The McLaren and Ferrari drivers have kicked off their weekend at Spa-Francorchamps by insisting they are still in the hunt for the 2011 title.
But as the rivals rightly refuse to just let Sebastian Vettel stroll to his second consecutive championship, Pedro de la Rosa has pointed out the enormity of their task.
“The figures don’t lie,” the McLaren reserve driver told formulasantander.com, “and they also tell us that Vettel won last year’s world championship with 256 points.
“(That is) 22 points more than what he currently has. I know these are only figures, but they are worrying,” said the Spaniard, who said the driver who might manage to beat Red Bull’s Vettel would have to put up a “heroic” fight.
On the bright side for Vettel’s foes, the 24-year-old has not won a grand prix since Valencia in June, with the German press calling his slump a “mini-crisis”.
In an interview with Bild newspaper, however, the German sounded unworried.
“You can’t assume you’re going to have a car able to drive away from all the others for a whole season,” he said.
“I didn’t win the last few races but we always did our best and scored properly. It will be good as long as we continue like this.
“There are still eight races and we have to make sure we are fighting every time. You can’t win every time and it’s certainly not a drama to not win two or three in a row,” added Vettel.