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Massa 'optimistic' for title finale

2008-10-20 08:47

 Robert Kubica has dropped out of the hunt for the 2008 championship, but the two main contenders are primed to take their battle to the wire in Brazil in two weeks.

Lewis Hamilton completed a dominant weekend in Shanghai on Sunday, following a run of first positions in practice, supreme pace in qualifying, and the fastest lap and victory.

But even though Ferrari's Felipe Massa had a bland run to second in China, aided by his number two teammate Kimi Raikkonen, the Brazilian is buoyed by the forthcoming home advantage of the season finale at Interlagos.

"I think we can have a much better car in Brazil than we had here.  Today it was very difficult to follow this guy and fight with him," said Massa, sitting alongside winner Hamilton after the race.

Hamilton's 5 point advantage became 7 at Shanghai, meaning he needs to finish just fifth in Brazil to wear the crown, irrespective of 2007 race winner Massa's result.

"I'm very optimistic, for sure, and we need to be," Massa continued.  "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."

Meanwhile, as the micro-analytical world of F1 prepared to censure the 'team orders' that went on between the two Ferrari drivers towards the end of Sunday's race, world champion Kimi Raikkonen insisted his actions were entirely "normal" at this stage of a championship.

McLaren's Hamilton agreed.  "They're a team and I know if it was in my position, if Heikki (Kovalainen) was leading, we would probably do the same thing.

"It's playing together as a team and they obviously did a great job," the Briton said.


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