Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted that Formula One can be a cruel sport after seeing Lewis Hamilton take the drivers' title from under the nose of Felipe Massa at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Massa went into the race knowing that he had to win - and hope Hamilton hit trouble - if he was to overturn a seven-point deficit, and produced a impressive performance to lead from start to finish, only giving up his position at the head of the field as the pit-stops cycled through during the race.

With rain throwing a curveball into the mix in the final laps, it looked like Massa was going to lift the drivers' crown with Hamilton down in sixth place on the last tour but, when the Briton was able to get ahead of Timo Glock, he secured the position he needed to beat Massa to the title by a single point.

It left a tearful Massa second in the standings, although his win and third place for Kimi Raikkonen was enough to give Ferrari the constructors' title.

While Domenicali praised the Scuderia for successfully defending one of its titles, he admitted that there was disappointment at missing out on the drivers crown, although his was quick to pay tribute to Massa's performance during the year, stating that the Brazilian had come of age during the campaign.

"It was an incredible day and we are happy with what we have achieved," he said, "Eight out of ten - that was the target set us by president Montezemolo at the start of the season and we achieved it at the end of a difficult, complicated and incident-packed season. The entire team, both at the track and back home, always work with great intensity and it deserves to be congratulated for this.

"Of course, there is disappointment that we did not get to see Felipe realise his dream, especially given how the race turned out, but I think that, nevertheless, days like this are important. Felipe has grown so much, year after year, demonstrating his talent and personality, answering his critics with his driving and with his mind. He has had an amazing season and would have deserved the title. That's sport, it can sometimes be cruel.

"Last year, we won the drivers' title by a point and, this year, we lost it by one. I wish to congratulate Hamilton, the new world champion."