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Poland's Robert Kubica [Images] believes he can still pull off a miraculous turnaround and win this year's Formula One world title for BMW-Sauber.
- Images from Japanese GP
Poland's first F1 driver dared to dream after finishing second in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix to close the gap on championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] to 12 points with two races left.
Kubica pointed to the example of Ferrari's [Images] Kimi Raikkonen [Images], who clawed back a 17-point deficit in China and Brazil [Images] to pip Hamilton to last year's title.
"There's nothing to lose," said Kubica, who started the Japan [Images] race from sixth. "Kimi showed last year that anything is possible. It's a good boost -- we're still in the fight."
Hamilton finished 12th after starting on pole, receiving a drive-through penalty for cutting across Raikkonen at the start and being shunted by Ferrari's Felipe Massa [Images].
Renault's Fernando Alonso [Images], also helped by the first corner mayhem triggered by Hamilton's ill-advised dive, won a wild race at Fuji Speedway, the double world champion's second in a row.
Massa ended up seventh to move to within five points of the Briton at the top of the drivers' standings.
But Kubica, who led the standings after seven races following his maiden Formula One victory at the Canadian Grand Prix [Images], insisted he was still very much in the mix.
"You at least have to try," said Kubica after holding off Raikkonen to take second. "If you've led the championship after seven races you should be fighting for the title.
"I have two guys in front of me and at normal pace it's no secret that we are not as fast as Massa and Hamilton, so life is a bit more difficult but it could still happen.
"In Monza we had changeable conditions. I started 11th and finished on the podium. In the last race in Singapore my race was ruined by safety cars so you never know."
Raikkonen's third place, meanwhile, put Ferrari back on top of the constructors' championship, although it ended the Finn's outside hopes of retaining the drivers' crown.
With Kubica emerging as a real threat to the faltering front-runners, next weekend's Shanghai race could be given added spice, especially after the Pole labelled Hamilton a dangerous driver in the build-up to Fuji.
Kubica avoided controversy on Sunday, however, when asked about Hamilton's drive-through penalty.
"I didn't see the whole thing," said the 23-year-old. "I only saw him when he came up next to me. I'm not sure if he hit me or not but they make their decisions, so I have nothing against it."
Kubica rated his second-place drive above his Montreal victory.
"This is much better than my Canada [Images] win with a car that is not the one from the beginning of the season," he said. "We did not improve a lot in the last two months.
"To finish second, to keep quite good pace in qualifying, it's amazing."
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