Did you read the rest of the post? You don't lose talent with age,you just go easy on the little risks you would've taken at a younger age. So while you may,for instance,still trail brake your way into corners,you wouldn't do this lap after lap and take it easy a bit. IMO there's also the psychological and fitness factors playing a part-Fisichella and DC were well settled into their respective repuations and were probably a bit sick with the whole thing by the time they retired. MS,on the other hand,is still in top shape at 41-as he was well into his thirties. And he's said time and again that his batteries are now recharged and that he's ready to take up the challenge ahead of him. Mentally ready? Check. Physically prepared? Check.
None of this is true for the above drivers. If you brought Mika back he'd trundle around seconds off the pace-I think it's basically a case of people severely underestimating the effect of the three year break. Not a case of losing talent,just one of getting back into his comfort zone.
Good posts, I think you nailed it. People keep saying, "My god! He's 41, how could he possibly still be good?" Let's think about what the number really means- nothing. It's all down to physical fitness and mental preparation. If these things are maintained, the age is irrelevant. If you had a triathalon event for the drivers, I'd put money on Michael being in the top 3 even at his age, he is that fit. When you maintain your fitness to such an extreme degree, your mental edge remains sharp and your reaction times aren't slowed in the least. Drivers like Mika have let themselves soften since they retired so they wouldn't be anywhere near the pace if they returned tomorrow, while Schumacher is just off it and I think as BRK says it's only because he hasn't had the experience in this particular breed of cars to understand where the last couple tenths can be made up and the risks that need to be taken to achieve the laptimes. He's such a competitive man that he will find those last margins he needs to push, I have no doubts.
Another thing being tossed around is his demeanor, his "softness" in interviews and his conciliatory tone. I don't think it's a sign that he has lost it, it's just reminiscent of 2005 when he knows he doesn't have the car to win so he doesn't carry the same aloof confidence into his interviews and interactions with other drivers and such. If he has the car, I'm sure he'd be his old self.