Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has reacted to Sunday's world championship setback with a Gallic shrug and stoic 'that's racing', admitting that the Scuderia now has a mountain to climb at Interlagos.

Michael Schumacher appeared on course for an eighth win of the year and a two-point lead in the drivers' standings as he led Fernando Alonso with 16 laps to run in the Japanese Grand Prix, but a rare engine failure - the German's first in a race for six years - turned the championship on its head, and handed Alonso a near-impenetrable ten-point advantage with one race to run.

Reactions in the Ferrari camp varied in the aftermath of the race, with Schumacher himself all but conceding the title, and company president Luca di Montezemolo insisting that the Scuderia would fight 'to the last metre' of the Brazilian GP next weekend. Todt, however, took the phlegmatic route.

"Mathematically, it's still possible but, logically, we know it will be very difficult," the Frenchman said, "But that's racing. We know that to win races, to win championships, we need performance, good tyres, good team, reliability, good drivers and, today, we did not have good reliability and we paid the highest price. It's our mistake and we have to accept it. The others did not make a mistake and they are in front, so there is logic.

"We [have been] in this business for many years so, when you have success, you must be happy, and, when you don't, you must turn the page. Sometimes, you must remember the unbelievable period we have had - success, friendship, a unique relationship. We are lucky to be able to exercise our passion, knowing that some more difficult things happen in the world. We must give a weight to each single thing."

With Alonso ten points to the good and Renault holding a nine-point advantage over Ferrari in the constructors' table, Todt admits that getting any silverware this season is going to be tough.

"What is good is to be able to win championships when it's left up to us," he explained, "Now it's not left up to us, it's left to the problems of others, so there's a lot of parameters which will be out of our control. But, saying that, we will go to the last race, hopefully, with the disappointment of [Sunday] behind us, and motivated to do the best result as possible. Then we will see."

Todt revealed that there had been no warning of Schumacher's problem, which came just a lap after the German's second pit-stop.

"It was sudden engine failure," he confirmed, "We don't know the exact cause. I hope we can find it, but I must say that the engine has been quite badly damaged, so it might be difficult to find the cause. It's too early to know that."