Fernando Alonso remains convinced he can still clinch this year's championship despite Sebastian Vettel's run of form in the last few races.
Red Bull driver Vettel has turned a 39-point deficit into a six-point advantage in just three races after taking three consecutive victories. In contrast, his Ferrari rival Alonso has finished third twice and has retired once. But the Spaniard insisted that despite Red Bull's momentum, he is still in a perfect position to beat Vettel and become the youngest ever three-time champion.
"My situation is quite good. Actually it's the second-best situation for a driver," said Alonso in India on Thursday. "With four races to go we have nearly the same points as Vettel and have all the possibilities open for the championship. We are in the situation that we wanted, fighting for the championship until the end.
"It's true that in the last few races, Red Bull has been very strong and quick, but we have seen all year that there have been ups and downs for everybody, so we need to improve our situation and our level of competitiveness and try to catch them.
"As for my motivation, it is better than ever and not just me, the whole team is very motivated, everyone in the team wants this championship. We have struggled all year with our car, especially in the first part of the season and now with four races to go, we are going on full attack for the last month with everyone in the team so focussed."
Alonso, who led the championship from the European to the Korean Grands Prix, says the key to winning the title will be to have four trouble-free races. The Spaniard has failed to score just twice following first lap crashes at Spa and Suzuka.
"At the moment we have seen that Red Bull maybe has the fastest car, especially on Saturday," he said. "They will try and make the most of this strong point and we will try to use our strong points. It is a matter of pushing everything to the limits now – the car development, the strategy and the approach to the weekends – but that is no different in fact to what we have been doing all year.
"We were leading the championship up until Korea thanks to our consistency and through avoiding making mistakes. We have produced 16 perfect races and now we must produce another four and if we do that, we will be very close to winning the championship."
Alonso is aware that Ferrari needs to be stronger in qualifying in order to avoid the kind of incidents that forced him out in Belgium and Japan.
"It all depends on the position from which you start. If you start from pole, you avoid 99 percent of the crashes, so we need to improve our Saturday pace and start at the front to avoid these incidents.
"But there is no specific action one can take to avoid first-lap accidents. We have always been very calm, not taking many risks and the retirements were completely out of our hands: it happened to us, but it can happen to the others as well. Usually, over the course of a season, everything balances out."