Michael Schumacher’s “final challenge is against time”, according to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The newspaper on Tuesday marked the seven time world champion’s 43rd birthday.
“I can still win,” the German and Mercedes driver is quoted as saying.
Since returning to F1 last year, the former Ferrari driver is yet to add a single podium to his tally of mesmerising records. Schumacher’s current Mercedes deal runs out late this year.
“I’m sure Mercedes and I will succeed,” he insisted. “We need another small step and we will go to the top.”
Should the 43-year-old secure his 92nd career victory this year, he will leap to sixth on the all-time list of oldest race winners – and he will be still a decade behind the record holder Luigi Fagioli, who was 53 when he won the 1951 French Grand Prix.
1992 world champion Nigel Mansell won his last grand prix in Adelaide at the age of 41, while the oldest ever pole sitter was 47-year-old Nino Farina in 1954.
The oldest world champion was Juan Manuel Fangio, who was 46 years old in 1957.