(CNN) -- Fernando Alonso believes all the pressure is on Sebastian Vettel as the title rivals head into their F1 championship decider in Brazil this weekend.
Alonso trails the reigning two-time champion by just 13 points going into Sunday's final grand prix of the season at Interlagos but has tried to play down his own chances.
"The first priority is to be on the podium, which gives us a possibility to score more than 13 points and then we need to wait for the result from Red Bull," he told Thursday's official press conference.
"It is not in our hands, we have not much to lose -- the only possibility is to win something. If he (Vettel) wins, fine. We try again next year.
"There is always pressure but we have less than other occasions and less than leading the championship. We have nothing to lose," added the Ferrari ace.
Red Bull's Vettel admitted that the pressure of expectation of an historic third straight title was real.
"It's obviously normal if you are in that position," he admitted.
"We are in a strong position, we can be happy with that, but we have to focus on every single step to get the job done here," added the 25-year-old German, who would be the youngest driver to achieve a hat-trick of world championships.
Alonso said it was unlikely that his Ferrari would challenge the Red Bulls or McLaren in qualifying where he has been consistently off the pace.
"There is no magic that you can put in the car in five days. We were seventh in Abu Dhabi (qualifying), ninth in Austin, so those positions should be normal but hopefully we can do a better job."
Alonso battled through in Austin to finish an eventual third at the U.S. Grand Prix last Sunday to keep his title hopes alive behind winner Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Vettel.
The Spaniard was helped by Ferrari's decision to enforce a gear box change on teammate Felipe Massa's car, dropping the Brazilian five places on the grid and moving Alonso up to a more favorable position at the start.
Vettel, who could have clinched the title at the Circuit of Americas, said he was untroubled by the controversy surrounding the move.
"What they do is not in our hands. I didn't follow up whether Felipe had real trouble with the gearbox or not, but it is not our job to focus on these things," he said.
"It is a different approach compared to our team. That is how life is, everyone handles certain situation in a different way."
Hamilton is racing in his final grand prix for McLaren after a big-money switch to Mercedes and is desperate to sign off with a win.
"It's going to be a tough one, but we will try to push as hard as we can, as we did in the last race, to try to win. I've never won here before," he said.
The race also brings down the curtain on the F1 career of former seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who is quitting for the second time after his largely fruitless return with Mercedes.
"I'm quite happy to finish here and go for a different life," he admitted.