Fernando Alonso has denied that the Italian Grand Prix is a "make or break" race for Ferrari's title ambitions, but admitted that the championship would be a pretty remote prospect if he had another bad result at Monza.
After a disastrous Belgian Grand Prix – which saw Alonso qualify only 10th, get pushed into a spin by Rubens Barrichello on the first lap, make an incorrect tire choice in the changing weather, and then crash out in the late rain shower – the Spaniard is now 41 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton with only six races to go.
With the team's home race at Monza next on the calendar, Alonso conceded that the Italian event would be crucial in both points and morale terms.
"There is no denying that the Monza race will be very important," he wrote in his blog for the Ferrari website. "At our home circuit we will have to do everything to avoid losing any more points: a good result here would be a great boost. If things go badly, it won't be over but it would be a hard knock for team morale."
He is adamant that all is not yet lost for Ferrari this season and that a change of luck could make a massive difference.
"I have always said – and I repeat it now – that in the course of the season, good luck and bad luck tend to balance one another out, so let's hope that from now on it's payback time," said Alonso. "The first 'final' went badly, but there are still six to go. Going into these seven races, I had said that whoever did the best job in them would take the title: clearly, there are now three of us who need to make up for ground lost in Spa.
"With this points system and the way races swing one way or another, I am convinced we still have a significant chance. There are 150 points up for grabs, enough to turn the situation around. We must remain calm and concentrate, to try and make up the difference as soon as possible."