Alonso eyes 2014 after Vettel strolls again

Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:20pm EDT
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By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso recognized the Formula One title battle was effectively over on Sunday after his skill and a calculated gamble with the tires were still no match for championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Spaniard did all he could around the Marina Bay Street Circuit, jumping from seventh on the grid to finish second to the Red Bull driver who increased his lead to 60 points with six races remaining.

Alonso said second place had felt like victory in a car that was two seconds slower than the one driven by his dominant German rival, who looks sure to take a fourth title in succession.

"We have to be realistic, few races to go already and the gap is still increasing every weekend and is now 60 points. We need to be honest with ourselves," the 32-year-old double champion told reporters.

"We need a lot of luck. We don't need (it just) in Korea, we need luck in Korea, Japan, India, Abu Dhabi. We need luck every weekend as we are one second of the pace."

Asked what he and his Ferrari team can do to reign in the lightning quick Red Bulls, Alonso was honest.

"Nothing we can do," he said.

"Obviously we try our maximum, we try to improve the car every race and we are doing that but obviously not enough compared to the opponents, they are doing a better job than us every weekend, they are fantastic every weekend, they are winning and they deserve those wins.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain claps on the podium after the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Natashia Lee