Fernando Alonso believes it is only through a miracle that he is still fighting for the World title so late in the season.
Although Sebastian Vettel edged closer to his fourth consecutive Drivers' Championship with victory in Korea, Alonso can prolong the title race by finishing higher than eighth at Suzuka.
It is no surprise that Vettel is clear favourite with bookmaker Paddy Power to win the Japanese GP this weekend with Alonso a distant fourth.
The Spaniard, though, admits it is only through sheer determination that he is still in with a chance of winning.
"If someone joins F1 today or yesterday and you tell them that the red car with the blue helmet is fighting for the World Championship and still second, they would say 'it's not true, it's a miracle,'" he is quoted as saying by Autosport.
"We did a miracle for 15 races and we try to keep this miracle alive for the remaining five."
After a run of three second-place finishes in a row, Alonso was sixth in Korea on Sunday and he believes Ferrari don't really have a car to battle for victories.
"The three consecutive second positions were over-performing," said Alonso. "We had the car to be third, fourth or fifth.
"After three little miracles, we had a bad weekend in Korea and I think something in the middle should be our target for the next races, fighting for some positions on the podium."
Ferrari have notoriously been worse than their main rivals during qualifying and Alonso started P5 on the grid at Yeongam, but he believes a good strategy will be key to their hopes of fighting for a podium.
For betting on a double podium finish for Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa and more, visit Paddy Power.
"We have to be realistic and think that in Suzuka we will be between fifth and eighth [on the grid] I reckon, which is normal," he said.
"But what we need to recover is the form we have on Sundays.
"Normally, we do a very good strategy, we have better degradation than the others and we are fighting for the podium.
"This is what I hope and expect for Suzuka."
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