Fernando Alonso has welcomed Lewis Hamilton to his world of struggle in F1 following the seven-time champion's tough start to this season.
Heading into his home race this weekend in Spain, it is nine years since Alonso last won a race, since when a ride that has included two years in retirement has been a rollercoaster for the 40-year-old.
For Hamilton, after eight years of success with Mercedes, during which time he has won six of his seven titles, the Briton suddenly finds himself in a fight to simply pick up the scraps behind Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes has struggled to adapt to the new aerodynamic regulations and find answers to cure the problems with its W13.
"This is the nature of the sport," said Alonso to BBC Sport. "Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you have not such a good car and you still need to fight and make some progress.
"This year we see that the driver is very important in F1 but not crucial.
"Lewis is driving as good as he has been the last eight years. He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records and 100-and-something pole positions.
"And now he is doing a mega lap - as he said in Australia or somewhere like that - and he is one second behind. So, yeah - welcome."
Hamilton being reminded he is only as good as the car
Referencing what he has experienced over his career since winning his two titles in 2005 and 2006, and with many believing he should have added to those, Alonso said: "This is F1. It is not going to be a fair sport in terms of numbers.
"This is a team sport more than anything and we tend to forget this, especially when we have success. We are so happy for what we are achieving that even if we try to share with the team, all the headlines are for the driver.
"It happened to me when I won the two championships. I was beating Michael Schumacher. This was a big topic.
"But my car was more reliable at that time and had very good performance and you cannot praise enough that package because the headlines will still be the driver. And with Lewis, it's the same.
"To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You need to have the best car and package for many, many years.
"We were doing magic laps sometimes and we were P15, and how do you explain that to people? It will be impossible.
"He deserves everything he's achieved in the past but this year is a good reminder that in all those records and numbers there is a big part on what you have in your hands as a package in the car."
Hamilton to finish ahead of Russell
So far, Hamilton has been outshone by new team-mate George Russell who is 23 points ahead in the drivers' championship.
After just five races, Hamilton is a lowly sixth in the standings, 68 points behind the leader in Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
As to whether he is surprised to see Hamilton adrift of Russell, in particular, Alonso replied: "Yes and no. George has been very fast in the last few years.
"I think everyone was expecting him to be a tough competitor for Lewis but I still believe Lewis will eventually finish the championship in front.
"This is just a five-race championship, but eventually when things are more tricky or [there are] difficult situations, Lewis will still have more experience and maybe more talent."