Top Gear co-host Rory Reid likened the relaunched show to entering a war zone as he admitted being "very, very surprised" by the hostility directed towards it.
With Chris Evans the first casualty of the much-maligned series, the newcomer has predicted "a pretty big change" for the next one.
Speaking about his experience, he told redbull.com: "It's been a very intense experience - intense is probably the best word.
"The level of scrutiny that the show is under has just been absolutely immense.
"The way I thought about it was like being a soldier parachuted into a war, and you have some people that are on your side, and some people that are not on your side, and then you have the rest of them who are just watching to see what happens anyway."
He admitted he was surprised at how difficult it would be to take over from the legacy of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, but acknowledged it was "an institution", not just a TV show, to fans.
He said: "It's like if the Wu-Tang Clan took over from One Direction. The fans of One Direction would be like, 'What the hell are we watching, who are these people?'...That's a massive challenge for people to get used to.
"But even so, I was still very, very surprised at the level of hostility."
Chris quit the show after falling ratings and a mauling by critics, but he maintained he had given it his "best shot".
Rory said he was yet to sign a contract for the new series, and did not know if anyone else had, but he confirmed that "the expectation is that we will continue without Chris".
He thought it unlikely that the BBC would continue with Matt LeBlanc as a solo lead host.
"I think they'd incorporate the rest of us to make it like an ensemble piece.
"We'll see what happens, but I expect it to be a pretty big change, and that things will be pretty different for series 24," he said.