Former Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes Pascal Wehrlein's potential remains intact, insisting the German driver deserves to be racing in Formula 1.
After seven years at the helm of the Swiss outfit, Kaltenborn was ousted as team principal earlier this year, as irreconcilable differences set in between herself and the squad's owners.
But the 46-year-old former manager had the opportunity to witness first hand Wehrlein's talent, which Sauber has now discarded in favour of Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc who will race alongside Marcus Ericsson in 2018.
"I think his performance in 2017 is still not properly appreciated," said Kaltenborn of the under-rated Wehrlein.
"Without him, the team would have scored no points at all.
"I just hope that he will continue to get what he deserves in formula one, which above all else is a cockpit.
"Pascal has the potential to become world champion with the right team. Anyone who has worked with him knows that," Kaltenborn added.