Felipe Massa said he was very proud of his and Ferrari's championship challenge, despite losing the drivers' title by a single point.
The Brazilian did what he needed to do in his home race, taking a dominant victory, his sixth of the 2008 season.
In a dramatic finish, however, McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth to secure the title.
Massa was virtually the world champion when he crossed the finish line, but Hamilton overtook Timo Glock for fifth with just a couple of corners to go to grab the title.
"I think you know the race was just perfect," said a tearful Massa. "We did everything fantastically with such a difficult weather. I am so proud about that race I am so proud about the team.
"I am so proud about the people around who support me more than ever, more than 100 percent, much more than I expected.
"That is really an emotional day for me. You always do everything perfect even with the temperature but we saw Lewis passing Glock again and that is really mixed a lot of emotions, but that is racing.
"The race finishes at the chequered flag. We finished in front and we have to be very proud of that, we missed one point but that is racing. We need to be proud about our job, we need to be proud about our race and our championship.
"I know how to win and I know how to lose. It is another day of my life. I will learn a lot from this day but I am very emotional."
Ferrari, however, clinched the constructors' championship and Massa admitted he was happy for that.
The Brazilian, winner of one more race than Hamilton this year, said he had paid the price for some difficult races during the season.
He insisted that he was happy with his championship and is looking to bounce back next year.
"Everything perfect today and unfortunately it was not enough, and I think we did a great championship we had some ups and downs and we paid for that," the Brazilian said.
"There are races like that, sometimes you have a perfect year with so many victories and a very reliable car, sometimes you have ups and downs, that is racing.
"One year to the another many things change and that was our championship, but even if we have some ups and downs, I think everybody did a great job, everybody worked really hard to achieve our goals with the heart and sometimes thing don't happen in the way we want, but that is racing, that is the sport, but we need to be happy with our constructors' championship, it is very important.
"I am sure our president, everyone in the team is very proud, very happy like me - and we need to congratulate Lewis as he did a great championship, he scored more points than us so he deserves to be champion. I know how to lose, I know how to win and it is another day of my life where I will learn a lot.
"Hopefully we come back here with the title (next year), but it is part of our experience and part of our life."