Fernando Alonso concedes defeat in Formula 1 title race

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has admitted defeat in the battle for this year's title after Sebastian Vettel's sixth win of the season in Valencia.

Red Bull's Vettel extended his lead in the title race to 77 points after eight rounds, leading from start to finish.

And despite there being 11 races left in the season, Alonso added: "The [title] is not in our calculations.

"If anyone thinks we can win being eight-tenths of a second behind [Red Bull] they don't understand Formula 1."

Vettel and Red Bull have been completely dominant throughout the season.

The 23-year-old has secured pole position in seven of the eight races so far, going on to win six of them, and is the first man to finish first or second in the first eight races of an F1 season.

In total, Vettel has dropped only 14 points all season, and his pace compared to his rivals in the last two races has been even more impressive given that the Canadian and European Grands Prix are not circuits ideally suited to the Red Bull's strengths - in particular on high-speed corners.

But the reigning champion refused to dwell on his championship lead after winning the European Grand Prix.

"If you look at F1 compared to other sports it's a very long season," he said. "You will have some races where it will work and races when you will struggle and it will be difficult.

"I think you need to look at last year as an example. It shows that we [Red Bull] had good races up to a certain point and then things went wrong.

"Of course, our target is to be in the lead and make sure we stay there but the most important race to lead the championship is after the last one."

However, with the gap to McLaren driver Jenson Button and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber now 77 points - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is 89 points adrift and Ferrari's Alonso 99 points off the pace - Vettel's rivals all believe the race is only on for second.

After the race, Hamilton also conceded that the title may be out of reach, before changing his mind and retracting his comments on Monday via Twitterexternal-link.

"It's finished really. In the sense of the title it's almost over," said Hamilton on Sunday.

But 24 hours later he said: "To all our supporters, ignore what you read in the papers today. My team will never give up and I will never give up."

Despite this, Hamilton along with McLaren team-mate Button said the team needed to improve the car quickly as the gap between them and Red Bull could be more pronounced in the next race at Silverstone.

"We've taken a step back this weekend - or maybe the others have gone forward," said Hamilton. "I think we're quite a bit down in downforce.

"We haven't made an upgrade on that for several weeks, especially rear downforce, and I think that in the next race we may really struggle again.

"I'm really not looking forward to Silverstone. Ferrari are a lot faster than us and the Red Bulls are on another planet."

Button added: "We need some really good upgrades.

"We need to get our heads down and come up with something - particularly aerodynamically, I think. We need to take some risks.

"There's a big gap behind us to the Mercedes and a big gap in front of us in terms of Ferrari and Red Bull."

Alonso, meanwhile, reiterated his pre-race belief that his focus is solely on beating the chasing pack to second behind Vettel.

"I think second place is the maximum we can have in these days, so to be here between the Red Bull cars is a great achievement today," said the Spaniard.

"Our aim is to fight with the McLarens."

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