Juan Pablo Montoya refused to blame Formula One's tyre dispute for damaging his title bid after finishing second behind Michael Schumacher at the Italian Grand Prix.
Montoya's Williams team were forced to use redesigned Michelin front tyres at Monza - along with McLaren and Renault - following protests from Ferrari after the previous race in Hungary.
But the Colombian said that was not responsible for his failure to catch Schumacher's Ferrari, who stretched his lead in the drivers' standings to three points with just two races to go.
"I don't think it's got anything to do with it," said Montoya. "The last two races are normal downforce circuits, so I think we'll be strong again, and McLaren and Renault will be too."
Montoya almost snatched the lead on the first lap but was denied by some determined driving from Schumacher.
"That first lap was pretty good. But when I came out of the chicane I was tighter than him and couldn't make it," said Montoya.
"We were pretty close but then I got traffic and lost a lot of time so I said pace myself to get to the end.
"There were very slow backmarkers who didn't move out of the way but it would have been difficult to pass Michael.
"Ferrari beat us here but I believe in the last two races we will be strong and we can make the difference.
"I came out of here with the least loss possible. I am three points behind him which is nothing."
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen also refused to write off his title chances despite finishing fourth to fall seven points behind Schumacher.
"It's more difficult now than it was before but what can we do? We did our best and it wasn't quick enough," said Raikkonen.
"It's not finished until the end of the season. You never know what will happen."