Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen had admitted that the destiny of the 2008 crown is now out of his control, as he approaches the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix this weekend fearing that his street circuit curse may strike again.
The Finn heads into the final four races of the campaign sitting some 21 points adrift of the championship lead, and 20 markers shy of Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, with many suggesting that now is the time for the Scuderia
to prioritise the Brazilian's title charge and call on Raikkonen to play a supporting role.
Though he insists that for as long as he still retains a mathematical chance of lifting the laurels he will fight on, the 28-year-old acknowledges he has a considerable mountain to climb.
“The situation in the championship is what it is,” Raikkonen mused, “and it doesn't depend anymore only on my results, but on my competitors' results. In theory it's not over yet, but I don't have it under control anymore.
“Last year, in the second part of the season, we had a great set-up for the car and I was able to win many races. It has been much more difficult this year, especially as far as the tyre temperature is concerned, [but] when the temperature is right the car is very competitive.
“Monza was a bad weekend for me, but afterwards we had a good test session at Mugello.
The car had a very good set-up in the last two races on a dry track, and we've tested some new solutions, which will improve the performance.
“I think that we'll have the possibility to win in the four outstanding races, and then we'll see what's going to happen. I will give it my all to make it and to help the team to reach its goals. Only when I no longer have a mathematical chance will I be totally at the service of the team.”
Raikkonen's performances for much of 2008 have been patchy to say the least, and the 17-time grand prix winner – who has incredibly not now triumphed since the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona all the way back in April – has by his own admission not enjoyed a strong record around street circuits this season, having notched up just a sole point from the four outings in Melbourne, Monaco, Montreal and Valencia so far this year.
Nevertheless, he is hopeful of giving his championship defence one final kick-start in what will be F1's first-ever night race this weekend.