Felipe Massa insists that he is not about to give up on his Formula One world championship ambitions, despite having fallen seven points behind season-long rival Lewis Hamilton with three races remaining.
The Brazilian suffered a nightmare in Singapore where, despite claiming pole position with a scintillating qualifying lap, his early lead was squandered at his first stop. A problem with the refuelling coupling and Ferrari's traffic light release system saw Massa heading down pit-lane with the hose attached, and the subsequent rescue operation - plus a penalty for 'unsafe release' - removed him from contention as Hamilton settled for a safe third place.
Massa, however, knows from recent experience that a seven-point deficit can easily be overcome, having helped Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen come from 21 points down on Hamilton to win the 2007 title.
"I think the season is very competitive, but I think we have showed many good performances in so many races," he told a Bridgestone press conference in Tokyo, "For sure, there have been some ups and downs sometimes, which make it more difficult, and we showed sometimes a slight issue when we couldn't bring the car to the end of the race, while our main competitors showed great performance.
"We are seven points behind, but we still have 30 points in front of us. We're going to do the best we can to fight until the last lap in the last race, and I think we still have a big possibility in front of us. We will not give up, that's for sure."
The Japanese Grand Prix was not the best for Ferrari last season, as the team threw away it chances of victory by starting on the wrong tyres in appalling conditions. Forced to make a pit-stop that dropped it to the rear of the field, Raikkonen and Massa did well to come through to third and sixth respectively, and the Brazilian is hoping for better fortune this time around.
"Last year, it was a very strange race - very wet, very difficult to keep the car on the track and very difficult for the visibility," he admitted, "It looks, this year, like it will be a more consistent race, and then, for sure, you can maybe show 100 per cent of the performance of your car, how the car works with the tyres and everything.
"I'm looking forward to having a strong weekend. To really try to win the race will be definitely our target, and we're looking forward to that."