Former grand prix driver Jean Alesi believes that going up against Fernando Alonso in the same team will be a benefit for F1 new boy Romain Grosjean, rather than a hindrance.
Grosjean has been promoted to a Renault race seat from this weekend's European Grand Prix, with the team having parted ways with Nelson Piquet.
Alesi, who has helped guide Grosjean's career in his role as captain of the French motorsport federation's Equipe de France young driver development program, thinks the young Frenchman will be helped by facing Alonso.
"To make your debut alongside the best driver, the one who is ranked the highest, it is a chance," said Alesi. "It is a bit like if he was alone, because nobody can honestly expect him to come close to Alonso.
"Sometimes a driver makes his debut with another driver who is not really in the press's good book, but who is genuinely excellent and never had the opportunity to prove himself. In this case, if the former does not easily beat the latter the criticisms won't take long to be written."
He also thinks that Grosjean's only personal fault – over-optimism – could actually be a benefit when it comes to making an impression in F1.
"Sometimes, Romain's fault is his excessive optimism but you have to consider this aspect of his character as the drawback of a quality, the other side of a medal," he said.
"He is a fighter; he has already learned how to apply his energy when necessary and with this experience he will know even better how to channel his fiery side."