Lando Norris feels "a different side" of Lewis Hamilton will emerge this F1 season in light of Mercedes' struggles he claims "is nice to see".
Following a record run of eight consecutive constructors' championships, Mercedes finds itself behind rivals Ferrari and Red Bull at the start of F1's new aerodynamic era.
With no major upgrade from the team for this weekend's first Australian Grand Prix for three years, seven-time champion Hamilton can expect another tough outing.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, McLaren driver Norris said: "In a way, it is nice to see that Mercedes don't always have success.
"It shows that even when you have had that success, you can still get things wrong. It is easy to get things wrong.
"Much as I hate to say it, it is good to see Ferrari up there. It is reassuring for other teams to know it is still possible. If it were just Mercedes and Red Bull again, it would be so predictable."
Hamilton to rise to the challenge
It is the first time since 2013 Hamilton has started a season with a car that so far has not been capable of victory.
Norris believes, though, the outstanding Hamilton will continue to prove himself in uncompetitive machinery.
"With Lewis, you are seeing the challenge of one of the best drivers competing in a car that is not the best," added Norris. "We will see a different side of Lewis, compared to the last decade.
"But I don't think you can say it is all about the car, rather than Lewis' ability. He has still been against very good drivers, such as Fernando [Alonso] in his first year, and then went on to achieve what everyone expected of him.
"I just don't believe in the last few years he has had quite the challenge that he could have had, or maybe that he had against [Nico] Rosberg.
"Perhaps we will see that against George [Russell]. I don't think anything takes away the driver he is."