Hit show Top Gear could "thrive" without its troubled co-host Jeremy Clarkson, according to The Stig.
Ben Collins played the show's mysterious helmeted character for eight years but fell out with the BBC after he decided to reveal his identity and publish an autobiography.
The broadcaster launched legal action, but failed to stop him.
Mr Collins told the Radio Times magazine that Mr Clarkson had not been supportive of him during his clash with the corporation and added that Top Gear could continue without him.
He said: "Top Gear has achieved huge status and Jeremy has certainly been part of that because he's got such a big personality... he's an unstoppable force.
"But fans of the programme love it for lots of different reasons. Jeremy is certainly one of them, but not the only one."
Mr Collins was The Stig until 2011 and said that it had become more difficult for the show "to reinvent itself" as it was "possibly starting to strain under the weight of its own success".
He added: "Things will evolve one way or the other. I don't think it can only be anchored in one person.
"The Bond franchise.... changes and moves forward. Top Gear will always continue.... it will carry on and continue to be successful because millions of people watch it."
"I was there for eight years but it came to a natural conclusion. I handed in my notice and had discussions with the BBC and they decided to go to court, which was a real shame and not what I wanted.
"Was Jeremy supportive? No, he wasn't. We haven't spoken since."
Perry McCarthy, who was The Stig from 2002 to 2003, said that Top Gear without Mr Clarkson would take "the fire out of it" and "won't work".
"I think you're going to have a diluted product. I don't think it will have the value that it did, here and overseas", he said.
"And God help any soul who takes his place, because that's like signing up for your own firing squad."
The words came as the BBC's internal investigation into Mr Clarkson's behaviour entered its second day.
He was suspended from Top Gear following a "fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon.
Mr Tymon did not file a formal complaint and it is understood Clarkson reported the incident himself.
On Tuesday it emerged that Clarkson is due to host the panel show Have I Got News For You.
The makers of the BBC2 programme said they have not heard from executives as to whether this will be a problem or not.
Credits: Orange News