Bernie Ecclestone says Mick Schumacher needs help and support from his Haas team rather than criticism, the F1 supremo insisting that the young German's situation would be quite different "if Michael was here".
Schumacher is enduring a difficult sophomore season in F1, underperforming relative to teammate Kevin Magnussen but more importantly putting himself on the wrong side of team boss Guenther Steiner because of costly smash-ups in Saudi Arabia and Monaco.
The mishaps have not only taken their toll on Haas' limited 2022 budget but they've also triggered questions over the young Ferrari protégé's ability to perform among the elite.
But Ecclestone pleads for patience and believes Schumacher's performance level should also be assessed relative to his car.
"We don't know how good or bad the car is," Ecclestone told German broadcaster n-tv.
"It makes a big difference whether the car suits his driving style or not. He doesn't need people telling him negative things all the time.
"He needs someone to help him and not criticise him too much."
Ecclestone suggests that Mick's current situation would likely be very different if his legendary father was around and advising his son.
"If Michael was here, he would tell Guenther where to go, that would help a lot," contends Mr E.
"If he upsets the team and they kick him out, the question then becomes whether another team is ready to take him on. So he's suffering a bit and hoping someone will give him a chance.
"He has the ability, so it's whether there's a team that wants to take him and try to see if he is as good as his dad."
To get a clear reading on Schumacher's true potential, Ecclestone would like to see the young gun compete in a more competitive team.
"I would like to see Schumacher in another car, in a more competitive car," said the 91-year-old.
"I would like to see him in the Mercedes of the past. That would be nice! Look at Red Bull for example.
"They take care of their drivers, they try everything and find the best set-up for them. You also see how good the second driver of that team is.
"They are very good and make sure the car suits their drivers."