Fernando Alonso is adamant that Ferrari is still in the title fight, but stresses that everything will turn on the next few races.
Alonso has lost momentum in recent weeks, and the gap to leader Vettel has grown.
“The title will be decided by what the performance of the cars in next four races, in my opinion,” he said today. “We have Spa, medium downforce, Monza, light downforce and Singapore, maximum downforce. These three circuits, with three completely different setups and configurations of the cars, will tell us which is the main contender for Vettel. He is the big favourite. Who will catch him or put him in some difficulties, we will see.
“After the form of Lewis in Hungary, he at the moment can chase for the title. Raikkonen will always be there, because Lotus with the tyre degradation that they have will always be a contender on Sundays. We hope and we believe that Ferrari will win that group, we work for that with some changes that we have made in the car for this race.
“More will come in Monza, more will come finally in Singapore, and in these three races we need to have the answers on our side. From the other side, we are not so interested, but Mercedes looks good and Raikkonen will also be good.”
Always keen to do the numbers, Alonso pointed out that recent history showed that the gap to his rival could be closed.
“It’s difficult, but we need to keep believing that we can do it. I was 42 points behind in 2010 and I arrived leading in Abu Dhabi, Vettel was 41 points behind me last year, and arrived leading in Texas. So the last two or three seasons we have some good examples of what we can do, what we can hope for if we do things right.
“For this, we need to improve the car, we need to make some parts work and the first step in that programme is here in Spa, to try to see some performance gain and try to deliver what people expect from us.”