Michael Schumacher has tipped Ferrari to emerge quickly from its current slump.
The famous German, who between 2000 and 2004 scooped five of his seven world championships with the Maranello based team, said Mercedes' 2011 recovery after a difficult start is proof that F1's Italian giant is not too far behind.
"I'm not convinced their problems are as serious as they seem," Schumacher is quoted by the Spanish press.
"And as we have taken a big step forward after Malaysia, they can do the same. They have the ability and the people," added the 42-year-old.
He said the fact Ferrari has not won a drivers' title since 2007 is "an exception" rather than a new trend for the team's post-glory era.