Toto Wolff thinks dumped McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne can still have a bright future.
The Mercedes boss says he is baffled as to why the once highly rated Belgian never impressed in his two years in formula one.
"I don't know when it started to go in the wrong direction for him," Wolff told the Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
Mercedes has rescued Vandoorne's dying motor racing career by snapping up the 26-year-old for the new works Formula E project.
"He is the driver with the most spectacular track record in the junior categories," Wolff said.
"He has won practically every championship he has competed in. He arrived in F1 with this record and I cannot understand why things did not work out," he added.
It is believed Vandoorne will keep in touch with F1 through a programme to work in Mercedes' driver simulator next year.
Wolff said: "My ambition is to show that Stoffel has everything it takes to be a successful driver.
"He will do Formula E with us, which is a very important platform for Mercedes. Then we will see how it's going to go."