Kimi Raikkonen has conceded that he is pretty much out of the world championship fight, but has vowed to keep battling until the end of the campaign.
The Finn's title ambitions suffered a major blow at the Belgian Grand Prix when he was forced out of the race with brake failure. That retirement, allied to championship leader Sebastian Vettel's victory, meant Raikkonen slipped to 63 points adrift in the drivers' standings.
Although being able to pull off the results that would allow him to close that gap is unlikely, Raikkonen says that he is not throwing in the towel just yet.
"It is difficult," explained Raikkonen about the championship situation. "It is definitely even more difficult than before the last race. But we still have a chance, so we try to do the best we can and see where we end up.
"It is not going to be easy and it is probably not going to happen, but we will do what we can to try to get some points back. There are still quite a few races."
Raikkonen's title prospects are made even more difficult by the fact that he is not expecting a very competitive weekend in Italy. Although the Finn is getting to try out the long wheelbase E21 for the first time, Raikkonen thinks the low-downforce nature of Monza does not play to his car.
"It will be very difficult," he said. "The low-downforce circuits are probably not the strongest for us. Last year was difficult, and last year at Spa was quite tricky, and it wasn't easy this year, either.
"I think we were stronger than last year but we see how the new parts work and hopefully we can be a bit strong."