Ferrari's Massa not giving up on title tilt

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FUJI, Japan, Sep 29 (Reuters) Ferrari's Felipe Massa has not given up on winning this season's Formula One championship and hopes the ongoing discord in the McLaren camp will work to his advantage at tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix.

Massa, who earned fourth place on the grid after Saturday's rain-soaked qualifying, is also fourth place in the standings, 20 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

He is also seven points behind Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

''We need to finish in front of them (McLaren) -- for our championship, it doesn't matter that Kimi is in better shape than me,'' Massa told reporters today.

McLaren's Hamilton snatched a last-gasp pole position from world champion team mate Fernando Alonso.

Massa said the turbulent relationship between rookie Hamilton and Alonso could help the Ferrari drivers chip away at the Briton's lead.

''We saw that they (Alonso and Hamilton) are fighting pretty hard each other. Maybe it can be good (for us),'' he said.

''It's going to be very close in whatever conditions -- very close in the dry, very close in the wet. It will be a very interesting race.'' Raikkonen, winner of the last race in Belgium, echoed his team mates' predictions.

''I think we can be in good shape -- we don't know what kind of weather we're going to have tomorrow, but it's the same for everybody,'' he told reporters.

Reuters SSC RS1803

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