Massa cries tears of frustration

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Felipe Massa's tears of frustration could be heard over the Ferrari team radio after the Brazilian's Formula One title hopes were dashed at the last on Sunday.

The Brazilian won his home race for the second time in three years but McLaren’s 23-year-old Lewis Hamilton became the sport’s youngest champion after seizing fifth place late on the final lap.

"In terms of emotion, I think it was the most incredible race I ever saw in my life," Massa told a news conference after appearing shell-shocked on the podium. "So many things happened.

"I’m not normally the kind of guy who cries a lot but I think today was quite difficult. It was quite difficult to hold back your emotions.

"Maybe with my age, I’m becoming older…and crying a little bit more as well."

Massa, whose fans were already celebrating before Hamilton snatched back the title by a single point, did everything he could to become Brazil’s first champion since the late Ayrton Senna in 1991 but it was not enough.

"I had completely mixed emotions because by the time I had crossed the line, I was still the champion and then suddenly my engineer was telling me everything on the radio," said Massa.

"He told me when I was already in turn three that Lewis had passed (Toyota’s Timo) Glock. It was a completely mixed emotion because I was still waiting to hear the confirmation (of the title) and then we didn’t have (what we wanted)."

Massa, whose team mate Kimi Raikkonen beat Hamilton to the title by a single point last year, was quick to compliment his British opponent.

"We need to congratulate Lewis because he did a great championship and he scored more points than us, so he deserves to be champion," he said.

"I know how to lose and I know how to win and it is another day of my life from which I am going to learn a lot," added the Brazilian.

Despite the disappointment, Massa ended the season with six wins to Hamilton’s five while Ferrari retained the constructors’ championship.

"I think it was a great day," said Massa. "We won the race, we did a perfect job, for a Brazilian to win the race in Brazil is already very special so it’s a day to remember. You always need to remember the difficult moments.

"I would easily exchange one win for a point today but anyway, I’m very proud of my victories, about the championship and it shows that we are very strong."