Felipe Massa is thinking positively as he heads for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, aware that Formula One fortunes can be as fickle as the weather at the famous circuit.

Having been handed a world championship lifeline when McLaren and Lewis Hamilton's appeal against the revised Belgian Grand Prix result was thrown out by the FIA, Massa saw the gap to the Briton go from one point to seven when he suffered a setback in the pits in Singapore, leading to a 13th place finish after he left early from his first refuelling stop.

With three races remaining, however, the Brazilian is refusing to give up, knowing that Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen overcame a bigger deficit in 2007 as the pressure got to McLaren and Hamilton in the closing stages of the season.

"After the Singapore Grand Prix, the motto for the rest of the season has to be look ahead and don't give up," Massa insisted, "As our team principal Stefano Domenicali said after the race, we really need to try and finish first and second in all the remaining rounds. It's a tough call, but everyone in the Scuderia will be trying their best.

"As for the championship, it depends how you look at it - a seven point gap can be a lot or it can be a little. If you look at what happened to me in Singapore, where my gap went from one point to seven so suddenly, you have to consider it could easily go the other way as well.

"The most important element to consider is that we have a very good car. Without that, my chances would be much smaller. We have two good cars and we can try and get both of us to finish ahead of our rivals. It can be done and we need to think positive and we need to keep fighting to the last race."

Massa qualified on the pole in Singapore and appeared to be leading comfortably when the safety car emerged to cover the clean-up operation around Nelson Piquet Jr's accident and changed the face of the race. Massa's pit-stop was ruined by him being given the signal to leave while the fuel hose was still attached to his F2008, resulting in a lengthy recovery period at the end of pit-lane and a subsequent penalty for impeding another car as he left his stall. The Brazilian, however, prefers to dwell on other things.

"Looking at a positive aspect of the weekend, our car seemed to have made a step forward as a result of our recent work, and we had a great car throughout the three days, with a good enough performance level to have finished first and second," he claimed, "But, for all the reasons you know, we failed to score a single point."

Massa will be hoping for a return to form and fortune at Fuji, but will be mindful that Ferrari also endured a trying finale to last year's Japanese Grand Prix where, after being penalised for starting on the wrong tyres, he and Raikkonen battled to finish sixth and third respectively. Hamilton, meanwhile, appeared to have set himself up for the title after winning in atrocious conditions, leaving Japan with a twelve-point advantage over then McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso and 17 points in hand over eventual champion Raikkonen.

"Last year was a very wet weekend in Fuji - and a very wet race," the Brazilian recalled, "It was a very tough event and I eventually finished sixth, which was not a great result at the end of the day, but I do remember that, in Friday's sessions, in the dry, we had a very strong pace from our package and the Fuji track was an enjoyable one to drive, at least without the rain!

"Of course, that was last year, but I am confident we will be competitive again."