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Championship already over - Massa

Jenson Button and Felipe Massa
Massa has spent much of the last two months in the wake of Button's Brawn

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Turkey

Felipe Massa believes it is impossible for Ferrari to catch Formula 1 championship leader Jenson Button.

The Brawn GP driver is already 43 points ahead of the Brazilian after winning five of the first six races.

"Brawn will be champions," said the Brazilian, who lost the 2008 title by a single point, ahead of Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

"It's impossible to believe they are going to lose the championship. For me it's already over."

After a dismal start to the season, defending constructors' champions Ferrari have recaptured some form in the last two Grands Prix.

In the opening race of the European leg of the season in Barcelona, Massa finished sixth after conceding fourth place while trying to conserve fuel in the closing laps.

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen went on to take third place last time out at the Monaco Grand Prix to end the Italian marque's podium drought.

Andrew Benson on the Turkey circuit

Massa insists Ferrari will continue to fight, even though the titles may already be out of reach.

"Maybe for Red Bull it is not over yet, but for us, we are completely behind in the championship," added Massa, who has won the last three races in Istanbul.

"Brawn have a really competitive car with which is easy to score points. So even if we win as many races as possible, they are going to be there.

"That doesn't mean we won't fight in every race to win. We will fight until the end. Mathematically, it's still possible but it's difficult.

"I'm not the kind of guy who gives up very easily, so I'll fight until the last corner of the last race."

Button expects Ferrari and Red Bull, the only other team to have claimed a race victory this season in China, to push him hard in Turkey.

The fast and flowing circuit is particularly expected to suit Red Bull, who will want to see more performance gain from the advantageous double diffuser they fitted to their cars for the first time in Monaco.

"The Red Bulls will be competitive here," said Button. "They're quick enough to fight with us that's for sure.

"The Ferraris will be quick here too. They've made up ground at every race and they performed very well, especially in Monaco.

The Legend that is PhilSlocombe

"They've got Kers (kinetic energy recovery system) for the drag up the hill, which should help them quite a bit. So those two teams will be strong."

Brawn and Button's dominance this season has drawn comparisons with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari's supreme spell in 2004.

The German won a record 12 of the first 13 races to seal the championship by August but Button dismissed suggestions that he would repeat the seven-time champion's feat.

"I can't see it happening with the way the system is now," said Button, who leads team-mate Rubens Barrichello in the drivers' standings.

"We've had six races and I've only got a 16-point lead - it's not a lot.

"It's definitely not going to be a walk in the park, you can see that by the competitiveness of the other teams.

"Their lap times are the same as ours but they will get it right for sure - but hopefully not too often."


Zoom into the Turkey Grand Prix track

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see also
Fast Ferrari close gap on Brawn
26 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari stay firm over budget cap
31 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari take 'significant' step
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari take positives from Monaco
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Classy Button eases to Monaco win
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Button exhilarated by 'exceptional' win
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Monaco Grand Prix as it happened
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 budget cap solution in sight
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari fail in budget-cap appeal
20 May 09 |  Formula 1
Fighting Massa eyes Monaco podium
19 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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