Michael Schumacher has vowed to try yet again in 2012 if he fails to win an eighth world championship this season.
Some have questioned whether the 42-year-old will ever be fully competitive after taking a three-year sabbatical, but some insiders are still convinced of his skills.
"The new Pirelli tyres will suit Michael much more, particularly in the slow corners," Adrian Sutil is quoted as saying by Express newspaper in Cologne.
Schumacher's former championship nemesis Mika Hakkinen agreed: "Michael is definitely still one of the strongest in the field."
And a former teammate Jos Verstappen said: "A racing driver of Schumacher's calibre doesn't lose his talent. If he can get a car that suits his style of driving, he can go for the championship again, for sure.
"He may be 42 but he is still sharp," added the Dutchman.
But some detractors believe Schumacher will give up and return to retirement if he does not succeed with Mercedes in 2011.
But the record winner of 91 Grands Prix insists: "Look, we have a three year project.
"I want to perform and I'm going to put 100 per cent into it. And if that's not the case in 2011, then we will have to do it in the final year," he told F1 Racing magazine.
Schumacher will be testing Mercedes' new car, the W02, at Valencia next week.