Fernando Alonso has vowed to keep on pushing to defend his Formula 1 World Championship title after a disastrous Japanese Grand Prix that saw him destroy his McLaren-Mercedes in a heavy crash.

Attempting to bring the two point gap to team-mate Lewis Hamilton down with victory at Fuji, Alonso enjoyed a solid first stint, despite gradually slipping behind the Brit over the first few laps.

However, it was not enough for Alonso to build a big enough gap back to the chasing field when he did stop, bringing him out behind those embarking on a lengthy one-stop strategy.

Even so, Alonso's afternoon quickly began to unravel as he battled to regain lost ground, enjoying a couple of off-track moments before being tipped into a spin by Sebastian Vettel and dropping back to a net fifth place.

It got worse on lap 42 when he lost control of his damaged car coming out of turn five and slammed into the barriers, coating the circuit with debris and doing plenty more damage to his machine.

"A difficult race in difficult conditions. After my pit stop I came out into traffic and was fighting for positions in the field. It was very difficult to see anything because of the spray especially when you were coming down the straight. As a result I did not see Vettel in my mirrors and was surprised when he hit me. I think the car was damaged quite a bit by that, but I was able to continue.

"However when I was braking for Turn Five I just aquaplaned and spun. Unfortunately the walls at that corner are very close to the track, so I hit the barrier heavily, and that was it.

With Hamilton going on to win, Alonso is 12 points behind his team-mate with only 20 points remaining in China and Brazil, meaning he must now beat him on the road in Shanghai to keep the title fight open until Interlagos. Nonetheless, despite the magnitude of his task, the Spaniard is determined to keep fighting until it is mathematically possible he cannot take the title.

"Of course, it is a difficult situation for me now in the championship; however, I will keep fighting until the end - as last year's Championship battle showed anything can happen."



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