Fernando Alonso claims his hopes of title glory had all but slipped away the moment his team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton escaped any kind of punishment from the FIA hearing to discuss his driving standards.

Hamilton was ordered before a meeting of the drivers to give his account of the incidents at the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji when he was accused of contributing to the crash between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel as they lined up behind him and the safety car.

Hamilton since escaped any punishment - which could have seen his ten points docked or a grid penalty installed -, something Alonso claims was the final blow to any glimmer of hope towards his title dreams.

"I'm not thinking of this championship any more, it's been decided off the track," Alonso told Italy's Sky TV before practice and qualifying. "The drivers' briefing has no purpose.

"You go there to hear what Charlie Whiting and the other officials say. Twenty one drivers have an opinion, Charlie and the officials another, and so it's like talking to a wall. It's better not to waste time and try to have fun in the car."

Indeed, Alonso admits he has all but conceded fighting for the title, particularly after qualifying fourth for the Chinese Grand Prix, while Hamilton starts on pole position.

Alonso must beat Hamilton by at least two points this weekend if he has any hope of keeping the title open until the final round of the season in Brazil.

"Fourth place is the worst place to start tomorrow in terms of the championship battle," he told reporters. I am a little bit pessimistic after the result today and after what happened all weekend. I really think that destiny means it is not my lucky year this time."

 

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