Jenson Button says he must beat rivals Red Bull at the next Grand Prix race in Hungary to boost his world title push.
The Brawn driver finished fifth behind a Red Bull one-two at Sunday's German Grand Prix to see his lead in the championship cut to 21 points.
"We need to beat the Red Bulls in Hungary," said Button, who has won in six of nine races so far this season.
"We have to hope that in Hungary we are strong because we can't keep doing this - this is hurting now."
After stringing together four back-to-back victories between Bahrain and Turkey, Button has seen his momentum falter, finishing sixth in Britain and fifth at the Nurburgring.
A muddled pit stop also proved costly for his team-mate Rubens Barrichello's world title chances.
If Vettel had won here [in Germany] that would have been a disaster for me
The Brazilian finished sixth in Germany and was leapfrogged by both Red Bull drivers in the championship standings.
Button now has a 21-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel with Mark Webber, who claimed victory in Germany, 22.5 points adrift.
"The lead hasn't got that much smaller but it's a different person in second now," added Button.
"It's going to continue like this at the next race but it's a circuit where we will be more competitive with the Red Bulls - and we need to be."
Button took some comfort from the fact that Webber's victory means Red Bull have yet to decide to concentrate their efforts on just one of their drivers with eight races to go.
Vettel, who collected wins in China and Britain, had emerged as Button's chief rival but Webber's maiden victory on his team-mate's home soil has also put the Australian in the frame for the title race.
"Vettel has got his team-mate right behind him which is probably a good thing for me because they're taking points off each other," said the 29-year-old.
"If Vettel had won here that would have been a disaster for me.
"But we support both drivers - that's the way racing should be - and Red Bull are doing the same.
"I'm looking forward to Hungary now. Hopefully we'll get a few new part and it's going to be hotter, which will suit our cars.
"I'm not going to put any pressure on the team because we know what we need to do."
Webber believes Red Bull's decision to treat both of their drivers' equally for now is helping to keep alive the championship for the Milton Keynes-based team.
"It's rare to have two drivers performing quite so closely," said Webber, who won his first GP after 130 starts.
"Putting your eggs in one basket, it might help, but you could do that for two or three races and then he could have a couple of 'did not finish'.
"It's a decision the team have to make later on but both titles are up for grabs, there's no question about that."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the team are still some way from asking either of their drivers to support the other in chasing down Button.
"It's very tight between the two of them and it would be wrong to put our focus on Sebastian at this stage," said Horner.
"We support them equally until a team when one has to play a supporting role. Or maybe it will go down to the last race. Who knows?
"The Red Bull philosophy is all about fairness."