Red Bull's Sebastian Vettle claimed the Japanese Grand Prix title on Sunday to put himself in with a great chance of winning the driver's World Championship.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso had to retire from the race after he suffered a puncture after being hit by Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen
Vettle was followed over the line by Ferrari's Felipe Massa ,who told BBC sport, "I knew behind me there was a crash and I saw a Ferrari was out but wasn't sure which, Halfway through I was looking to see the others and I saw there [Ferrari] car still racing Felipe, I didn't know what happened to Fernando.
"The atmosphere has been unbelievable all weekend. There has been so much support, the stands have been full and that really makes our job feel very special.
"When you're dreaming at night, you dream one day about racing a car like that. The balance was so good and that's why there was a gap to behind."
Massa has been fighting for his Ferrari career after not finishing on the podium all season until the past weekend where he grabbed second ahead of Kampf Kobayashi who made his first appearance on the podium.
"I was clever on the first corner to manage to avoid the accident and the pace was really good," said Massa.
"I was quicker than Jenson [Button], then I was able to pass him and then Kamui [Kobayashi] so for sure it was a better race than what I expected. Unfortunately Fernando isn't here on the podium fighting for the championship but hopefully we can keep on pushing."
Vettle has closed the gap between himself and current leader Alonso who is now looking forward to the Korean Grand Prix.
"Kimi touched me a little bit in the rear and I had a puncture. It is a little sad but we need to concentrate and think about [the next race in Korea] next week.
"We need to keep working well and not making mistakes. Nothing we can do. Thanks to this consistency we are leading the championship. The others make mistakes, we need to avoid this."