Lewis Hamilton does not believe he will be in a position to win a race until he steps out in front of his home crowd at Silverstone next month.
It is a startling admission from the world champion, and if true, it seemingly scuppers his chances of retaining his title.
The British Grand Prix on June 21 is the eighth of the 17 rounds of this season's championship, by which time the gap to whoever leads the way could be too difficult to bridge.
At least Hamilton may be in a position to give his fans something to cheer if McLaren are able to improve as much over the next six weeks as they have over the last six.
Yet the 24-year-old knows, after his experiences over the last two years when he has lost and won the title by a single point on the final day, that he should never be counted out.
After finishing an F1 career worst in the dry of 14th in qualifying for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton said: "Coming here we understood our position.
"We knew we wouldn't have a big upgrade, so what has happened is not a real huge surprise to us.
"When we think about the test we had here (in March) we were two and a half seconds off, nearly three seconds, so to now be eight tenths is not bad, but no surprise.
"We just need to be realistic. The car doesn't feel bad, and we're all we're working as hard as we can.
"The team's doing a fantastic job, but the other teams are doing a good job at the same time.
"I think for Monaco (in a fortnight) we've a better upgrade coming, and hopefully that will make a bigger difference than we've seen here.
"But I don't think I will be able to win again until the British Grand Prix next month."
Asked if it would be the end of his championship chances, Hamilton added: "It's difficult to say. Let's see how many points we can get tomorrow first.
"But it's never over until it's over. As we've seen in the last couple of years, it's gone down to the last race."
Source : Planet F1