Rob Smedley has heralded Carlos Sainz as the right man for Ferrari right now, as the Spaniard attempts to fill the shoes of the departed Sebastian Vettel.
Sainz is one half of Ferrari's youngest ever teammate pairing, but despite being just 26-year-old, Smedley - who was previously Filipe Massa's race engineer at the team - believes that the driver is wise beyond his years.
"I mean, we think of Carlos [Sainz] as being young," Smedley said on the F1 Nation Podcast.
"But as Carlos has been doing it for a long, long time, I think that he's already got a mature head on his shoulders. [He had] Childhood development as a driver still, you know, he's the real deal - there's no doubt about it.
"But I think when you've got a half-decent car, and good peddlers with a few years of experience under their belt, they're going to be fine. You're not really reliant on those 10s of years of experience [from Vettel]."
However, while the current Director of Data Systems with F1 is confident in Sainz's ability, he does issue a warning over the pressure and expectation the driver will have to manage from the famous Tifosi.
"And I think that, if Carlos had started on the back foot, they're a tough crowd to please the Tifosi," Smedley continued.
"They either love you or hate you, you know, and everybody who's worked there will tell you that. Sometimes you walk down the street and people will literally come up to you and hug you.
"They're almost like shaking to be in your presence. And the same people, two weeks later, will spit on the floor when you walk past - literally."