Sebastian Vettel says he is not worried by his position outside the leaders' battle to be Formula 1 World Champion this year.
The Red Bull Racing driver currently lies 24 points adrift of points leader and teammate Mark Webber in the title standings with five races to go. Although he is well aware that a non-score from him and a decent result for the drivers ahead of him would effectively kill off his campaign, he still thinks his chances are good.
"In pure mathematics, I am the last in the row if you look at the title hunt," Vetel admited. "Felipe [Massa] is sixth and in theory still able to win the championship, but if you look at the five who are close together, then I am the last one in the queue.
"So, I am the outsider if you want to put it that way, and the others are favorites. But everyone has to focus on their own.
"Some people have to get along with the role of being the favorite or being the top 1-2-3 drivers and some, like Jenson [Button] and myself, are seen as more or less a bit more the outsiders and Fernando as well, because we are close in points. But we want to change this."
Vettel says his position makes no difference to the way he deals with the final five-race showdown.
"It is natural that people always look at the front," he said. "But it doesn't change anything in my approach or our approach. It is pretty much the same as it has been all year.
"I try to focus on myself, and try to achieve my optimum. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but surely we will always try. We have a very good chance to win this championship still, but we are not the favorites anymore. We will see.
"If you look at this championship, the last 14 races have been pretty much up and down, so things can change quickly. If you just take Fernando, for example, he has been written off in this championship twice already – so we will see."
Vettel has denied too that he was facing any extra tension from the pressure of needing to get himself closer to the head of the points table.
"For me at least, it doesn't really change a lot," he said. "I know what I want to achieve. I know why I am here, I want to win races and I want to win the title. If there is anyone putting pressure on me it is myself.
"All my career, all of this year, if people expect something from me it is a nice thing. But, in the end, it doesn't really affect me. In the end, all I can do is focus on my own. If the car is only good enough for fourth place, like in Monza, then we have to make sure that we finish fourth and not fifth or sixth or seventh or worse.
"If the car would be good enough to win here, we have to make sure that we win. It is as easy as that and, in the end I think, if I score 25 points more than anybody else it is fine."