MERCEDES GRAND PRIX boss Ross Brawn says German legend Michael Schumacher is his tip to claim the 2010 World Championship.
Brawn believes Schumacher, who is returning to Formula 1 following a three-year break, has been rejuvenated by his temporary retirement and is capable of overcoming the challenge of key title rivals Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking with Germany's Bild, Brawn said: "If I had to bet on any of them then it is clear that Michael will become world champion.
"Michael is now more relaxed. When he retired in 2006, F1 was a burden for him. Now I can sense his old enthusiasm."
However, Brawn doubts the seven-time champion will be able to compete for race victories immediately upon his return, suggesting Schumacher will use the opening stages of the season to reacquaint himself with the sport.
"I do not think he will come out and win the first grand prix. He will need a few races to familiarise himself with the other cars and the many new drivers. Then I hope to see the old Schumacher," he said.
"This has always been his strength anyway: to learn and adapt amazingly quickly."
Schumacher will make his first appearance for Mercedes Grand Prix at the opening test of the new season at Valencia, from February 1-3.
However, it is team mate Nico Rosberg who will have the honour of completing the first laps in Mercedes' new F1 challenger.
Brawn says Rosberg possesses the ability to compete for the driver's crown despite being largely overlooked as a potential threat throughout the off-season.
"There's no doubt that Nico also has the capability to win the title," Brawn said.