Felipe Massa insists that he has not yet given up on landing this year's Formula One world title, despite falling seven points behind McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton after a poor showing in the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Brazilian heads home for the showdown at Interlagos, but knows that Hamilton only needs to finish in the top five to succeed where he failed a year ago. However, with the scenario remarkably similar to the Briton's battle with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, Massa is trying to keep morale high, aware than even the seemingly most certain outcome can be turned on its head.
"For sure, we are in a difficult position, but we know many things can happen in one race," he said, referring to Raikkonen overturning Hamilton's seven-point advantage last year to snatch the crown, "We just need to keep our head up. It is not finished yet.
"Until it is finished, we know that, in sport, many things can happen. We just need to concentrate on our job and try to win the race and, then, what's happened has happened. That's our concentration for the last race and that's the way we are going to approach it, knowing we are still fighting for the drivers' championship."
Massa has been a frontrunner for each of the last two seasons at Interlagos, and will hope to start next weekend's race with the ability to win from the front. However, he will still require others to raise their game - of Hamilton to drop the ball again - if he is to achieve his ultimate aim.
"Hoping is always very important for whatever driver, whatever person," he admitted, "But, then, for sure, you need a good car - and I think we can have a much better car in Brazil than we had here because, today, it was very difficult to follow this guy and fight with him.
"For sure, always when you play at home, you usually play better. I have had very good experiences in Brazil for the last two years so, hopefully, we can repeat that and have a great experience again. I'm very optimistic, for sure - and we need to be, everybody in the team. We need to be together, very optimistic and trying to do our job in the best way we can - and trying to win."
With Ferrari taking a 2-3 finish in China, and Heikki Kovalainen failing to finish in the second McLaren, the Scuderia moved into an eleven-point lead in the constructors' championship, and Massa insists that chasing that title is jut as important as trying to overhaul Hamilton in the individual standings.
"We are in a reasonably good position for the constructors' championship, and I think this is quite important for us, so we are going to do everything we can to achieve our target and then we will see what will happen," the Brazilian commented, "Winning [the race] is not enough [for the drivers' title], but winning is the most important thing you can do, so first of all we try to win and then we see what happens."