Fernando Alonso hoped luck would come to the rescue after Ferrari lost out again to Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel in the Italian team's home grand prix. The Spaniard remained second overall after finishing runner-up at Monza but is now 53 points adrift of triple champion Vettel with seven races remaining worth a maximum 175.
At the current rate, Vettel stands to wrap up his fourth successive crown well before the final race of the year in Brazil. "I think we need to be realistic about the championship now there's a very big gap," Alonso told reporters. "We don't have enough races and probably we don't have the speed right now to win some consecutive races and hope to reduce the gap just by pace.
"We need to be lucky and we need to have some DNFs (retirements) from Sebastian or something to win the championship. With the races left and the points disadvantage, it's hard but in a way, it was exactly the same last year." Last year, Alonso had built up a commanding lead only for Vettel to reel him in and eventually win the championship by three points. The problem for Alonso is that most of the remaining circuits have been good for Red Bull in the past, with Vettel reeling off four straight wins in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and India last year. Despite that, Alonso said he had managed to get the maximum from his car and refused to give up until the situation became mathematically hopeless.
"There's still a long way to go; we will try until the last race to be as good as we can and score as many points as possible and then in Brazil we will see how many points we have compared to him," he said. The Spaniard has won only twice this season, with his last victory in Spain in May. Vettel has now been triumphant in half of the races.
Despite that, Alonso was not downcast. "It's true that we didn't win the race because Red Bull and Sebastian did an even better job and they were very very good. But in our level of competitiveness that we had this year, Monza is one of the best weekends," said Alonso.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alison Wildey)