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Felipe Massa performed to the very best of his abilities as with his back pushed to the wall, the Brazilian responded in his typical flamboyant manner as he drove a stellar race for a welcome return to the podium in 2nd place at the Japanese Grand Prix. This was Massa's first podium since Korea during the 2010 campaign. Fernando Alonso crashed out of the race at the very first corner itself after a rear-puncture sustained on his F2012, as after coming into contact with Kimi Raikkonen's front wing caused the subsequent spin and his retirement.
The Maranello based marquee had a mixed bag at the start of the race as Championship leader Fernando Alonso was caught in the gravel trap at turn 1, although Felipe Massa took advantage of the first corner mayhem to climb up to 4th place! Brazilian Massa was holding his own as the lone Ferrari ace was applying the pressure on 3rd placed man Jenson Button.
Massa drove like a man possessed as the Brazilian drove his Prancing Horse to the tilt, lapping quicker than Button who had pitted earlier, as lady-luck finally seemed to be smiling on Massa. McLaren's pain turned to be Ferrari's gain as the Ferrari think-tank outsmarted the McLaren team as Massa drove his way to 2nd place. The mercurial Massa was starting to outpace race-leader Vettel as the Prancing Horse was the fastest man on track, having eked three-tenths out of Vettel's lead.
Ferrari performed an run of the mill 2nd pit-stop for Massa as the Brazilian pace pitted to opt for hard tyres again to stay in a brilliant 2nd place, Massa retained his 2nd place for a welcome return to the podium as he garnered a good points haul to get the jump on Sergio Perez in the drivers' standings for 9th place.
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- 07/10/2012 12:44 - Japan GP 2012: Vettel triumphs; Alonso crashes out; Massa, Kobayashi make podium
- 07/10/2012 11:17 - Vettel reignites title challenge with win in Suzuka, Massa and Kobayashi complete popular podium places