Fernando Alonso admits he is facing a very difficult Monaco Grand Prix after being forced to take the start from the pit lane.
The Spanish driver had to sit out today's qualifying after his Ferrari was damaged when he crashed at the Massenet corner during final practice. With rules not allowing the use of a spare car, Alonso will have to start tomorrow's race from the pit lane, at a track where overtaking is nearly impossible.
The Ferrari driver admitted the incident could not have come at a worst circuit, but he is not giving up on a point-scoring finish just yet.
"It's a very difficult circuit because overtaking is impossible, so it's the worst circuit to start at the back," Alonso told reporters. "But we also saw in 2006 Michael [Schumacher] finished sixth starting last, so we need to try to repeat that performance.
"We think it's very difficult, but we also know that it's difficult that the first 10 cars finish the race, because many things can happen in one race. It happened to us in practice and maybe it can happen to others in the race. We have to be ready to take the opportunity."
Alonso reckons his crash was very unlucky as the chassis broke despite the low speed of the impact.
"I think it was an unlucky situation because I touched the wall at 90kph and I broke the chassis. I think if I crash 100 times, 99 I will never break the chassis, but this time it happened."
The two-time champion, whose teammate Felipe Massa qualified in fourth, said he expected to be able to fight for pole position. He conceded, however, that Ferrari still needed to find more speed in order to catch Red Bull.
"I think we need to improve, that's for sure," he said. "I think we all understand that Red Bull is quick at the moment. It's the quickest car. I think here in Monte Carlo we were at a very good level, maybe quick enough to fight for pole position, so we missed the opportunity but I think at some of the tracks Red Bull will be the favorite, especially for qualifying.
"But we remain very optimistic about the future development of the car. We have new parts coming for the next grands prix so hopefully we can catch them.
"Also, at the same time, they are behind us in the championship so let's concentrate first on McLaren and Button, who are in front of us, and tomorrow afternoon we'll decide who is the next target. At the moment, McLaren and Button are the target."