A downbeat Lewis Hamilton acknowledged that his dreams of winning a second world title in three years are hanging by a thread after he could finish only fourth in yesterday's Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Briton is 24 points adrift of Fernando Alonso, the championship leader, going into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi next Sunday with only a maximum of 25 left to be won.
The McLaren-Mercedes driver has to win at Yas Marina Circuit and hope for problems for Alonso and the two Red Bull-Renault drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, and after being out-paced by his three rivals in Brazil, he does not fancy his chances of coming out on top.
"We weren't quick enough here and we won't be quick enough in Abu Dhabi," the 25-year-old told reporters after the race.
"Realistically, we need a miracle. But I'll keep trying, we have nothing to lose now."
Hamilton was running ahead of Alonso early in the race in fourth place, before his former teammate passed him on lap three.
And he believed that there had been a problem with his car's F-duct design, a system aimed at increasing the car's speed in a straight line.
"It was a tough race, the car was nowhere, I had no grip," Hamilton added.
"I feel quite lucky to have finished where I finished. The car didn't feel like it did in practice, down the straights particularly.
"I didn't think the F-duct was working because I was struggling to overtake backmarkers and Fernando shot by on the straight.
"But the team did a great job with the strategy, you just can't win with a car that's not quick enough."
* Compiled by Graham Caygill