Alain Prost has claimed that we are yet to see what Alpine driver Fernando Alonso can do this year - after the veteran driver decided to return to F1 for the 2021 season.
Alonso has looked off the pace since joining Alpine in the off-season, where he replaced McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo.
However, with the Spaniard having taken some time away from Formula 1, former world champion - and Alpine advisor - Alain Prost thinks the team may have to be patient with the driver.
"I always remember when I came back [to F1 with Williams], you know, after only six months, I know how difficult it is especially, I was lucky that I could test the cars from September," Prost told the F1 Nation podcast.
I'm not surprised that he needs to have time, but not only knowing the car and all the systems because they are much more complex than what we were doing in the past.
"They have to learn and they have to interpret everything, they have to listen to what we're saying to them. It takes time, you know, and the simulator is good. But it's more inside the car."
For Prost, who got to know Alonso a lot better during his time at Alpine, the impact of the 39-year-old's horrendous cycling crash cannot be overlooked - as it may still be having an impact on his driving.
"You can't forget that he had also the bike accident. So you don't know the effect that it could have. So I was a little bit worried. He's getting better, and I'm better but it's still not completely at the top in my opinion, he knows that," Prost added.
"What surprised me also was that Fernando is very professional, and is very honest with himself and everybody. He's very, very good for the team. It's not a secret that you can always be a little bit worried because of what happened with Fernando in all the teams.
"And that's not the case today. It's a big surprise, but a good surprise for us."