Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he needs a miracle if he is to successfully defend the Formula 1 drivers' title after falling further off the championship pace during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The Finn has endured a difficult season which has yielded just two victories, the last of which came in Spain back in April. Raikkonen has also failed to score on five occasions, and didn't trouble the scorers in the final three events of the European season – retiring with engine problems in Valencia, crashing out at Spa, and taking the flag outside the points in ninth at Monza.
It means he heads into the final four races of the season 21 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the standings, and although he came from behind to take the title last year ahead of Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, Raikkonen admitted it would be tough to make it happen again.
“This sport can be really hard to digest,” he said. “You push, you give it all, but it seems as if won't go in the right direction. It's been a long time without a win for me and even the list of races without points is growing.
“Five times, no points in the standings are really a lot: you don't have to be Einstein to understand that this is not the right way to fight for the title.
“It's not over yet, but now it will take a miracle, like one that makes lightning strike twice.”
Raikkonen admitted however that he was still as determined as ever to succeed and, armed with an extended Ferrari contact under his belt, would be looking to return to the top of the podium before the end of the season.
“Things are definitely not going my way,” he reflected. “Sometimes it happens, but that won't lower my spirit or my determination: nevertheless I want to try to win again this season.
“You never know what will happen in a race. Obviously the team has two goals to reach and they will give their best that they will reach them. I will give my best myself, as usual. I was very happy that I could renew my contract with Ferrari: it's the best team in Formula One. I will never forget what happened last year and I want to repeat it again.”