Fernando Alonso described his eighth place on the Brazilian Grand Prix grid as "no surprise" and is still confident he can finish on the podium.
The Ferrari driver needs to outscore Formula 1 world championship rival Sebastian Vettel by 14 points in Sunday's race to snatch the title, but the Red Bull qualified four places ahead.
Alonso was undaunted by this and declared himself content with his qualifying laps.
"It's not a surprise because we started seventh in Abu Dhabi, ninth in the USA, and eighth here. So it's more or less as expected," said Alonso.
"We'll try to repeat our performance on Sunday and reach the podium like Abu Dhabi and Austin.
"We need some strange circumstances, we need a chaotic race in a way, rain or something, let's hope we see something like that."
He also denied that Ferrari had gone for a fully wet set-up in qualifying in anticipation of Sunday rain.
"We ran with maximum downforce in the dry so obviously it is the same in the wet, so no big changes," Alonso insisted.
"I don't think anyone gambled today for a wet set-up because there is minimal changes."
VETTEL WINS THE TITLE IF:
- He finishes in the top four
- He finishes fifth, sixth or seventh and Alonso doesn't win
- He finishes eighth or ninth and Alonso is third or lower
- He finishes 10th or worse and Alonso isn't on the podium
ALONSO WINS THE TITLE IF:
- He wins and Vettel is fifth or lower
- He is second and Vettel eighth or lower
- He is third and Vettel is 10th or lower