Date: 8th October 2012 at 10:04am
Written by:

Just like Kamui Kobayashi, Felipe Massa’s future in Formula One has remained up in the air all year.

At the beginning of the season, not many people would have backed the Brazilian to keep his seat alongside Fernando Alonso, but now it looks like Massa has just about done enough to save his Formula One career.

It might have been helped by Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton sorting themselves out with drives elsewhere, but since Monaco Massa’s performances have slowly improved and the Japanese race weekend could just be where he makes that physiological break through.

Not that he would have expected it to be after qualifying in eleventh place.

?I am very disappointed with the way this qualifying went. Up until the second run in Q2, everything was going well: the car felt very quick and I was happy with its balance. But suddenly, once we fitted a new set of Softs, I lost grip at the front, right from the first corner and it never returned throughout the lap. To miss out on Q3 by just 21 thousandths is a further blow. It?s very frustrating not being able to get the right results when you know you can count on a good car. It definitely won?t be easy making up places on a track like this, but we will give it our all and try and bring home plenty of points.?

And plenty of points was what Massa achieved. With 18 points from finishing in second place, his first podium since October 2010, that’s 35 races since standing on the podium and sipping the champagne!

The relief was clear to see for the Brazilian who had clearly been lacking in confidence during his dry spell.

The result may well have been heavily dependant on the first corner collisions, but Massa drove a faultless race, a performance that could well be enough to persuade Ferrari to give him a new deal for 2013.

After the race Massa said: ?It was a fantastic race! Being back on the podium after almost two years away is just great and I feel really uplifted. They have been two tough years for me and, sometimes, a million things go through your mind, some of them bad, but finally I can be happy! It?s an important result psychologically and also in terms of my future, at least I think so! It?s even better getting back on the podium here, at a track I like so much and that I have known since the start of my career. Sometimes, in the hardest moments the best things come: the first people I want to thank right now are my family, my wife and my son. This race motivates me even more for the rest of the season.