Lewis Hamilton refuses to give up hope over F1 title
McLaren's Hamilton was disappointed, but thankful to finish in Suzuka
Lewis Hamilton insists he has "definitely not given up" on his Formula 1 title challenge this season.
The McLaren driver lies fourth in the standings, 28 points behind leader Mark Webber with three races remaining.
The 2008 world champion told his website: "I've learnt on more than one occasion that the world championship isn't won until the very last gasp.
"I always look back to 2007 - Kimi Raikkonen was 17 points behind with two races to go but still won the title."
Hamilton, 25, finished the Japanese Grand Prix in fifth place after a difficult weekend which saw him crash in Friday practice and then suffer a five-place grid penalty for having to replace his gearbox after qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel led home Webber in a Red Bull one-two in Japan, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third - all increasing their advantage over Hamilton.
Alonso and Vettel are tied on 206 points, 14 points adrift of Webber, but Hamilton believes he can still close the gap on them all.
"It's getting more difficult, I'm fully aware of this. But, in a situation like this, I always look back at the 2007 season and what happened in those final two or three races," he said.
Formula 1 heads to Korea for the first time on 24 October after the new track was this week given the go-ahead to stage the race. Hamilton would like to go down in history as the man to win the inaugural race there.
He said: "I want to win again and I go to Korea believing we can do that. And, who knows, if that happens and the other championship contenders fail to score, then I'm right back in it."
However, Hamilton also has his McLaren team-mate and reigning champion Jenson Button breathing down his neck, only three points behind.
And Button, who finished fourth at Suzuka, has not written off his chances of defending his title.
"It's all relative. At this time of the season, if you're ahead on points then you can't do anything risky, but if you're behind, then you've got more confidence to be aggressive, because you've got less to lose," Button told his website.
"For me it's a very different situation compared to where I was last year, and I'm actually looking forward to taking the fight to the leaders, because I've got nothing to lose by doing that.
"And luck has a habit of going in cycles, our team hasn't had the greatest of fortunes recently, so who knows what'll happen at the next race? It could all turn around."
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