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F1 NEWS 

Montezemolo backs Massa to 'surprise'

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Japanese GPFerrari president Luca di Montezemolo has backed Felipe Massa to bounce back and be the "surprise" of the final three races of the season.

Massa retired from the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday as he continued with his disappointing season. The Brazilian is currently 78 points behind team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Massa also struggled for qualifying pace as his tyre warm-up problems returned at Suzuka, where he qualified down in 12th position before crashing out at the first corner.

Di Montezemolo, however, believes Massa will react in the final three races of the season.

"I'm sorry for Felipe, who was certainly not lucky this weekend: I'm sure that he will be the surprise of the last three races of the season," said di Montezemolo on Ferrari's website.

"After this bad day he will be desperately keen to react and we will do everything to give him the possibility to win."

The Italian was pleased with Alonso's third place finish in Japan, conceding Red Bull was untouchable.

"We knew that in this race Red Bull was practically impossible to beat but we brought home the best possible result with Fernando, who remains firmly in the title battle," he added. "The team has worked well, with commitment and concentration."

Di Montezemolo also praised Alonso's consistency in the final part of the season.

"In the last six races our driver has taken three wins, one second and one third place, scoring the most points of anyone. We must continue down this path, seeking to make the podium every time."

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