Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso kept the world championship battle alive by finishing first and second in the Chinese Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton retired after going off the road in the pit entry.
The result closes Alonso to within four points of Hamilton going into the final round, with Raikkonen a further three points adrift.
Hamilton had dominated the wet opening stages, but stayed out too long on extremely worn intermediates tyres, and ran wide into the gravel in the pitlane entry when he finally tried to make a stop. The McLaren became beached in the gravel and the championship leader was out of the race.
As Hamilton began to suffer badly with tyre wear, Raikkonen closed right in on the leader. The McLaren was sliding around wildly and lapping 10 seconds slower than it had earlier on.
After rebuffing several of Raikkonen's passing attempts, Hamilton eventually ran wide at Turn 8 on lap 28, allowing the Ferrari through.
Raikkonen then pulled away by up to six seconds per lap as Hamilton struggled, and Alonso - who finally passed Massa at the hairpin on lap 26 - closed in on his title rival at an even faster rate.
I knew Kimi would be victorious. What a fantastic performance - he made all the difference when it counted before his first pit stop and never stopped pushing till the end.
He was indeed the heaviest of the top four in qualifying, so it outlines his qualifying lap in particular, compared to Lewis' light run for pole, as quite impressive. He was also struggling a little with the slippery track but kept control and put pressure on Hamilton. It was an emotional win of Kimi's, personally to me, because sometimes dreams do come true for once and our dream was for Kimi to win this race. It felt right and justified after the poor circumstances at Japan, and most importantly - he deserved it! No matter how frustrating this season has been for the fans with the interference of huge egos, bitching, court rooms and penalties, Kimi brought a smile to my face. The fans there must have loved it. The race itself was brilliant with plenty of battles going on and superb drives.
gif picture by SaimaAzam"> Quotes
-Raikkonen hopes Brazil win brings title
Kimi Raikkonen - 1st: "I am very happy! It is a really great result for me and the whole team, who done a truly excellent job," said Raikkonen. who gave Ferrari their 200th victory in Formula One. "We needed this win and we got it. At the start of the race, I had a lot of understeer but then the situation improved.
I was one of the last to switch to dry tyres but this was a help as after a little while the rain began to fall again. Even after the second stop I had a bit of understeer, but as before, the situation improved in the final stages. I knew Alonso was very quick but I was in full control of the situation. The car overall was working well both in the wet and in the dry. Last week in Fuji, we were unlucky but today things went right for us.
"We have had yet another example that in this sport anything can happen. The situation in the drivers' classification is still difficult, but I will try everything to win in Brazil, even if the final outcome does not just depend on what we do. It should be a great battle, very hard to predict and interesting."
Sunday quotes: Ferrari - Felipe Massa - 3rd: "All in all, finishing on the podium in a race like this is very important and I am very happy for the team. There is one race to go: anything can happen and we must continue to work to stay ahead of our rivals."
Jean Todt: "It is great to be able to celebrate Scuderia Ferrari's two hundredth victory in Formula 1, here in Shanghai, at the end of a difficult race, further complicated by the unpredictability of the changes in the weather. Kimi brings his total tally of the season to five and this is the team's eighth. He drove an extraordinary race, without committing the slightest error."
Luca Baldisserri: "This was probably one of the most difficult races of the season, characterized by very unstable weather, with the rain coming and going. After the first pit stop, Kimi gradually made up ground on Hamilton and could have got past earlier but for the yellow flags. Then, as the track was drying, Kimi stepped up the pace and controlled a possible attack from Alonso."
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1h37:58.395
2. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 9.800
3. Massa Ferrari (B) + 12.800
4. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 53.500
5. Button Honda (B) + 68.600
6. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 73.600
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 74.200
8. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) + 80.700
9. Kovalainen Renault (B) + 81.100
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 84.600
11. Fisichella Renault (B) + 86.600
12. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) + 1 Lap
13. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1 Lap
14. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 Lap
15. Barrichello Honda (B) + 1 Lap
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 2 Laps
17. Yamamoto Spyker-Ferrari (B) + 3 Laps
Fastest lap: Massa, 1:37.454
Driver Team On lap
Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 34
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 31
R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 26
Sutil Spyker-Ferrari (B) 25
Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) 12