A disappointed Fernando Alonso believes it will verging on the impossible for him to win Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix for Ferrari from the third row of the grid.
But after qualifying sixth following a rain-hit qualifying session, the Spaniard insisted he still had a chance to beat title rivals Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and championship leader German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
The two-time champion said he feared he could not catch and pass the Mercedes duo of pole sitter German Nico Rosberg and Briton Lewis Hamilton, who have locked out the front row of the grid.
Vettel qualified third and Raikkonen fifth, separated by Australian Mark Webber in the second Red Bull.
Alonso said: "I think it's going to be difficult tomorrow. It's not the best qualifying position if you want to fight for the race win.
"Nothing is impossible in Formula One, but it's going to be very unlikely that we'll fight for the victory tomorrow."
Alonso is currently third in the standings, 17 points behind Vettel and 13 down on Raikkonen.
"The second main target is to finish in front of our competitors in the championship, so Kimi and Sebastian, and this is perhaps possible -- I start on the same row as Kimi and Sebastian is just one row ahead -- so with a good start and good strategy we can do it."
His Ferrari team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa crashed in morning practice and failed to take part in qualifying, so will start from the back of the grid.