Ralf Schumacher does not expect Red Bull to break Mercedes' streak of championship success, despite Max Verstappen's resurgent form before the summer break.
Verstappen won two of the four races before F1's shutdown, as well as finishing second in Hungary and fifth in Britain, where a greater result would have been on the cards if not for a crash with Sebastian Vettel.
The Hungaroring result was also another lost opportunity for the Dutchman, with Lewis Hamilton successfully chasing him down to halt some the momentum built up by Red Bull.
However, Mercedes' haul of 10 wins from the opening 12 races of the season leaves Schumacher doubtful that anything other than a sixth straight title double will fall the Silver arrows' way.
"The resurgent bulls have created more tension, especially in the last races," Schumacher told Sky Deutschland.
"The main problem in the early stages of this season was the superiority of Mercedes, because neither Ferrari nor Red Bull Racing drove on equal terms. Now, however, you can see how fast the championship can turn in Formula 1.
"Overall, it will still be difficult to permanently break the dominance of the Silver Arrows.
"Maybe Red Bull Racing can continue to open up and I guess Ferrari can win a few races as well. I do not see any of the other teams within striking distance. Renault, for example, has fallen short of expectations."
Former Jordan, Williams and Toyota driver Schumacher believes Red Bull's impressive form is not just confined to Verstappen.
"The German Grand Prix showed how strong Red Bull Racing has become, but also the smaller Red Bull team Toro Rosso can shine, as the third place by Daniil Kvyat shows.
"Both teams have taken a step forward, which is probably because of the fact that the aerodynamic problems have been understood. In addition, engine partner Honda has done a great job. Both teams now benefit from this."
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