Lewis Hamilton says battling Ferrari, rather than just an intra-team tussle, has brought the Mercedes drivers "together, collectively."
Over the past two years the fight for top honours in Formula 1 was largely Mercedes-only.
Hamilton took on his team-mate Nico Rosberg, winning two Drivers' titles to the German's one.
This year, though, Hamilton and his new team-mate Valtteri Bottas have a new target in Ferrari.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) April 8, 2017
With Sebastian Vettel winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix many are predicting that this year the Scuderia will launch a title tilt.
And that, Hamilton says, has united the Mercedes team-mates.
"When your battle is within a team it is very easy for a team to implode as a constant battle for the whole unit to be working together toward the same goal has a conflict of interests within it," he said.
"While currently there is still a conflict of interests in that both drivers want to win, we see red ahead of us and together, collectively, we have to push forwards."
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) April 7, 2017
As for his new team-mate, Hamilton said of Bottas: "He has obviously got a lot of potential and growth to go.
"But it is all about finding the right balance in the team and so far Valtteri and I have a great balance and the scales weigh up nicely."
Experience the full coverage of the FIA Formula One season throughout 2017 on FOX Sports Play, where you can watch LIVE races from angles unlike any other, highlights, interviews, behind the scenes and many more. Don’t miss it!