Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has described Daniel Ricciardo as 'unrecognisable' from the driver that left Red Bull at the end of 2018.
Ricciardo won seven races during his five years with Red Bull but since moving to Renault and latterly McLaren, the Australian has struggled to replicate this form.
The alarming slump has resulted in McLaren opting to divorce the Australian with a year still remaining on his £12million-per-year contract.
Giving his assessment of the situation to Sky Sports F1, Horner said: "It's just very sad.
"Obviously, I'm not close to it. I've spoken to Daniel a little bit but I don't recognise him as the same driver he was when he was with us.
"He's one of the best guys out there. He's definitely got that capability and I hope he finds a seat in Formula 1.
"I hope he finds his mojo because if you think back to some of the races he drove for us - winning the Monaco Grand Prix with 50 per cent of the power - he put in some amazing performances.
"And you have to think when he was alongside Seb [Vettel] when he first came into the team, how he delivered, how close he was obviously with Max [Verstappen] as well.
"So it's tough for him but I really hope he finds something for the future."
Ricciardo's "confidence has been zapped"
Ricciardo is still thought of as one of the strongest characters in the F1 paddock but his natural beaming smile has gradually faded.
Asked hypothetically if Ricciardo could still challenge Verstappen if he were to renew their partnership, Horner added: "We saw how close those guys were.
"Max has evolved since Daniel left the team but Daniel on his day was right there. He put in some amazing performances.
"We were sad to see him leave the team and he just doesn't look...his confidence has been zapped.
"We're used to seeing him on the podium doing shoeys, messing around with that big smile and we don't see any of that anymore.
"I hope, for him, he finds an opportunity to further his career because I think Formula 1 is better off having him in this championship than not."