John Watson says Jenson Button shouldn't complain about Sergio Perez racing him hard, rather he should do something about it.
Button had a difficult time at the last race in Bahrain when he was attacked by his team-mate on several occasions - and at times rather robustly.
The Brit was heard over the radio telling his McLaren team to "sort him out" while after the grand prix he complained about Perez's "dangerous" driving, saying the Mexican needs to "calm down."
However, according to Watson it's more a case of Button needs to toughen up.
"If Perez gives Button a difficult time, it's up to Button to come to terms with it," Watson told BBC Sport.
"It's a fact of life. He can't expect [team boss] Martin Whitmarsh to tell Perez to back off.
"If your kid team-mate is pushing you hard, it's not nice, but it's part of the game. You have to respond by getting in and doing the best job."
The five-time grand prix winner added that it is up to McLaren to speak to both drivers and remind them that they are on the same team despite being in very different stages of their racing careers.
"When you've got a kid or young pup like Perez up against Button, who is the elder statesman of F1 these days, and has gone past all the white knuckle, wheel-to-wheel style of racing, what frequently happens is that it ends up hurting both of them," he said.
"All a team boss can do is remind them that they are driving for the team, not themselves, so they must not take each other off. They managed not to do that, but not for the want of trying.
"Someone like Perez is fast, fiery and keen to lay down his own scent trail, like animals in the jungle, to establish a pecking order in team.
"He is desperate to show what he can do, especially as he has not done an awful lot in the opening three races.
"Button is very experienced and the number one driver in that team, even though McLaren say there is no number one and number two.
"But because he is in that position, he has a target on his back and Perez will think that if he beats him, he'll be in the pound seat at McLaren.
"It's the law of the jungle, laying your scent around. That's what every driver is trying to do - they want to lead the team."