Jenson Button has admitted feeling sorry for Lewis Hamilton after watching his former team-mate's Formula One world title hopes suffer a string of crushing blows.
Button, though, does feel the battle for the championship has become "spicy" following the warfare that has unfolded between Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton claimed, in a heated post-Belgian Grand Prix meeting, Rosberg said he opted not to avoid their lap-two collision to "make a point".
It was an incident which ultimately ended Hamilton's race, with the Briton now 29 points adrift of Rosberg, who went on to finish second behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
Rosberg has since stated his version of events is "very different" to Hamilton's, but has refused to elaborate, preferring to keep such matters "internal".
Button has been left amazed by Hamilton's appalling run, with events on Sunday at Spa following his brake-disc failure in Germany and car fire in Hungary, both during qualifying at those races.
"I feel for Lewis, he was leading the race...it is unbelievable," said Button, who partnered Hamilton at McLaren for three years from 2010-2012.
"I've never seen such bad luck, or misjudgement on other people's part, for Lewis to lose so many points over a period of races.
"It's astonishing, really. I've never seen that before, especially when you have a car that is so dominant and they should be first and second every race.
"It is just a matter of fighting it out and beating your team-mate, although I know that takes its toll.
"But for me Lewis has come across really well in the media after some disappointing races.
"He has definitely grown as an individual, which is good to see, and has taken it on the chin.
"Hopefully it will build his confidence for the rest of the season rather than shatter it."
The veteran 34-year-old has been left perplexed by Rosberg's attempt to overtake Hamilton, adding: "There was nothing there.
"All there was was going off the circuit. There was no move. Strange.
"I think any driver would look at it now, and I am sure Nico will look at it and say 'I don't know what was I thinking'.
"You should be able to judge situations like that a bit better."
Button, though, is relishing the rest of the campaign between the duo given what unfolded on and off track at Spa.
"It is a shame it is not a cleaner fight," added Button.
"I've always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not quite seem the way it is at the moment.
"They (Mercedes and one of the their drivers) will still win the championships, but what has happened definitely adds spice to what is already a pretty spicy relationship.
"Is it good for the sport? It's negative because we didn't see a good battle between those two.
"But it does get everyone excited about the next grand prix in Italy where none of the fans will be cheering for either of them and would love a coming together.
"It adds spice, but it's a shame in that true racers want to see them fighting."