Sep.8 (GMM/ Michael Schumacher is still one of the very best drivers in formula one.

That is the view of Gerhard Berger, amid constant media speculation that at the age of 42 the great German should give up his Mercedes seat.

He told APA news agency: “Schumi can no longer beat the young, super-fast drivers because of his age, which is quite normal. But he can join in the ranks behind them.

“To the best boys – so Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton – he is missing two or three tenths. But that means that in a Red Bull he could still win races.

“I still respect him highly. Apart from the three I mentioned I only see Alonso in front of him,” added Berger.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, told Die Welt newspaper that Schumacher is now “in the top 12″ on the 24-strong 2011 grid.