Stoffel Vandoorne is generally perceived as not having lived up to expectations so far in his Formula 1 career with McLaren.
Last season, the Belgian was limited by the unreliable package provided by his team and Honda, but this year, a more trust-worthy Renault-powered MCL33 offers no such excuse.
Vandoorne consistent under-performance compared to team mate Fernando Alonso has put his future with the Woking-based outfit in doubt.
A keen observer of young talent, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes patience is warranted regarding the 26-year-old.
"For me it's pretty simple with Stoffel," Wolff told Belgian broadcaster RTBF when asked about the McLaren driver.
"He is one of the most talented drivers on the grid. He beat everyone in GP2 and when he came to F1 many people said he was a future Senna.
"Expectations and comparisons like that are difficult for any young driver. It takes time," added the Austrian.
"You have to give a driver time to get kilometres and to learn. The whole environment is difficult and we had a good example last year with Valtteri Bottas who had a very good start but then it didn't go so well.
"Now he has come back very strong. I have no doubt that Stoffel has the intelligence and the talent to progress and become a very great driver. I hope he will get that time."
Vandoorne's countryman, three-time Grand Prix winner Thierry Boutsen has offered his support, but warns the McLaren needs to deliver.
"I'm his biggest fan, but his future is at stake now."