Fernando Alonso admits he defended harder than he usually would against Sebastian Vettel as he has "nothing to lose" in his fight with the German.
Alonso took the lead of the Italian GP at the start, storming up from fourth place. However, Vettel, who had started on pole, fought back almost immediately but the battle was cut short when the Safety Car was deployed after a first corner crash.
When the race resumed after lap three, Alonso did all he could to hold onto the lead as Vettel stuck to his rear wing.
The reigning World Champ eventually pulled off a brave move that saw him put two wheels on the grass at the Curva Grande.
Vettel went on to win the Italian GP while Alonso finished in third place.
"We have nothing to lose in the battles with Sebastian," said the Spaniard.
"He is leading the Championship by 100 points so when we have to defend we will be a little bit harder with him."
The double World Champ, who was also overtaken by Jenson Button, admitted he was also "a little bit lucky" to finish on the podium thanks to Michael Schumacher holding up Lewis Hamilton for the better part of 28 laps.
But when the McLaren driver was finally released he set about closing the gap to the Spaniard, who succeeding in holding onto third place by just over half a second.
"It was close, I think one or two more laps and probably we'd lose the podium. We were a little bit lucky with Michael and his battles because Lewis lost 20-30 seconds in the first laps, so we managed that gap."