Raikkonen Sees Title Hopes Slipping Away

Kimi Raikkonen saw his Formula One title hopes slipping further away on Sunday after again being beaten by Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso

Raikkonen Sees Title Hopes Slipping Away

Alonso finished second behind McLaren's Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, with Raikkonen third. The Spaniard now has a 26-point lead in the standings with eight races remaining.

"It's getting more difficult race by race, especially with all the problems that I have," said the Finn, who lost 10 places on the starting grid for the second race in a row after an engine failure.

"Without the problems surely we should have had a better result in the last few races.

"We need to go race by race and do the best that we can and then we will see at the end of the season what happens. But it's definitely not going in the right direction at the moment."

Raikkonen has also twice been forced out while leading, because of a driveshaft problem at the San Marino Grand Prix and by suspension failure at the European Grand Prix due to self-inflicted, uneven tyre wear.

While Raikkonen sounded pessimistic, Alonso refused to take anything for granted.

"Too many races to go and I think anything can happen with two or three races where you don't finish," said the 23-year-old, who can become Formula One's youngest World Champion.

"Kimi has a quick enough car to win all those races so we have to concentrate now on finishing the races, to have as competitive a car as we have now and try to finish on the podium," said the Spaniard.

Mathematically, both McLaren men still have a chance of winning the title. Although scoring systems have changed, Formula One history has numerous examples of drivers winning five races in a season and not taking the title.

The most recent was Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in 1998, when the German won six races but lost out to McLaren's Mika Hakkinen, Raikkonen's compatriot.

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