Monza: Nico Rosberg vowed to keep on fighting after an engine failure at the Italian Grand Prix dealt a hammer blow to his Formula One title hopes on Sunday and left him 53 points adrift of Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.
The deficit means the German will still be behind the double world champion in the standings even if he wins the next two races and Hamilton -- who has triumphed in seven of 12 so far -- draws a blank.
With seven races remaining, the points gap also means Hamilton does not have to win another race this season to take a third championship.
"It`s a fact that it`s taken a massive step in the wrong direction," Rosberg told reporters after his car`s engine blew two laps from the finish at Monza while he had been in third place and challenging for second. Hamilton won the race.
"It`s been the biggest loss that I`ve had in one day in the whole season, so that`s very bad.
"But I keep going, giving up doesn`t exist for me, just keep fighting and now I`ll just try and win the next couple of races," he added.
The prospects of that happening do not look great, with Hamilton`s victory at Monza last year setting off a run of five wins in succession for the Briton.
Rosberg, by contrast has previously won only one of the remaining races -- Brazil last year.
"The whole weekend just went wrong completely, very unlucky I think," said Rosberg, who was slower than Hamilton in practice at Monza and then saw his weekend compromised by having to use an older engine after a problem emerged before qualifying.
The engine he raced with had already been used in five previous race weekends, whereas Hamilton enjoyed the benefits of a new and upgraded power unit.
"Just so many repercussions of this engine issue...it wasn`t even an engine issue, it was actually a chassis issue, that meant we had to change the engine, and then it was a difficult race as a result," said Rosberg.