Felipe Massa is officially out of the Formula 1 title race after his sixth place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix was not enough to keep him in with a mathematical chance.

An eventful race for the Brazilian, Massa was forced to pit early on to change the wrong tyres on his Ferrari following an error of judgement before then receiving a drive-through penalty for passing Nick Heidfeld under safety car conditions when he attempted to make up ground following a spin.

A second drive-through penalty was handed to him when it was deemed he completed the first punishment whilst under the safety car, leaving him well off the pace in the early stages of the race.

Coupled to a collision with Alex Wurz that almost eliminated him from the race, Massa's race looked to be over but he was able to haul his way, remarkably, up to third by the second safety car period.

A splash and dash for fuel ended any podium hopes but Massa fought his way back up to sixth place with a thrilling scrap with Robert Kubica over the course of the final corners, thus bringing three well deserved points his way.

Nonetheless, while it places him out of contention now, the Brazilian was otherwise pleased with his performance, although less so with the conduct of the FIA.

"The result of this race has put an end to my chances of fighting for the title, but over the whole of the championship, I think I have always been competitive. Unfortunately, sometimes the reliability was not there and that cost me valuable points.

"As for today's race, I knew that, given the championship positions, I could take the risk of running different tyres to our rivals, but it was not the right choice, on top of which there was the decision of the Stewards that we were unaware of and which is nevertheless serious.

"Then I tried to do my best. I managed to get up to the front places again but I had to pit again because I did not have enough fuel to get to the end. Winning the duel with Kubica on the final lap was the best moment of this race."

 

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