SHANGHAI, Oct 7 (Reuters) Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen turned the Formula One title battle into a three-way fight down to the wire with victory in China today after McLaren's championship leader Lewis Hamilton skidded out.
Hamilton's double world champion team mate and closest title rival Fernando Alonso finished second with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa third.
On an afternoon of delight for Ferrari and heartbreak for Hamilton, who had hoped to become Formula One's first rookie champion with one race to spare, the Briton's overall lead was trimmed to four points.
Hamilton has 107 points, Spaniard Alonso 103 and Finland's Raikkonen 100 after taking the 200th win of Ferrari's grand prix history.
''I'm disappointed for the team, the battle goes on to Brazil,'' said 22-year-old Hamilton, besieged by reporters on his return to the paddock.
''I can still do it.'' The Briton started the race with one hand on the crown, needing only to win or finish ahead of Alonso and Raikkonen to become the youngest of champions.
Instead, at the worst of moments, he suffered the first retirement of an extraordinary season in which he has set a string of records.
''Obviously I was gutted when I got out of the car as I hadn't made a mistake all year and to do it on the way into the pits is not something I usually do,'' he said.
MORE REUTERS BJR RK1508