Fernando Alonso says rain is his only chance of staying in the hunt for the drivers' championship after qualifying in fourth spot at the China Grand Prix.
Fingers crossed for some rain, because maybe then I will have a shot
Alonso's McLaren team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton secured pole in Shanghai and will win the championship if he finishes ahead of the Spaniard.
And Alonso said: "Fourth place is the worst place for me to start.
"I'm a little bit pessimistic but fingers crossed for some rain, because maybe then I will have a shot."
Hamilton's superb final lap of one minute, 35.908 seconds saw the Briton pip the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa to first place on the grid and left Alonso languishing on the second row.
With a 12-point lead and just two races remaining, Hamilton knows a podium finish will all but guarantee him the drivers title.
But the rookie insists he would prefer a dry race on Sunday, even though rain could aid his cause to finish the race and close in on the championship.
"I don't really hope it will rain. I would hope it is a dry race," he said.
"I don't want a storm to stop the race. I would hate to do all this preparation and then the race is stopped. I love to have the battle and the challenge.
"I am not bothered either way though, as last week the car was really good in the wet."
The 22-year-old's title charge was strengthened even further when motorsport's governing body the FIA decided not to punish him after he was accused of erratic driving behind the safety car during his victory in Japan last week.
I don't really hope it will rain. I would hope it is a dry race
The allegation that Hamilton contributed to the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber was discussed at a meeting of the drivers and race director Charlie Whiting.
He eventually escaped reprimand - a decision that surprised Alonso, who said: "I'm not thinking of this championship any more, it's been decided off the track.
"The drivers' briefing has no purpose. You go there to hear what Charlie Whiting and the other officials say. Twenty one drivers have an opinion, Charlie and the officials another, and so it's like talking to a wall.
"It's better not to waste time and try to have fun in the car."