Felipe Massa believes his first podium of the season will help him secure a new contract with Ferrari team for the 2013 season.
The Brazilian wound up in second place at Suzuka to secure his first top-three finish since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver, whose future is still uncertain, said it was a relief to put an end to his podium-less run.
"I think so," said Massa when asked if the result will help his future. "It is nice. It is like a relief. It was great. It was a great race anyway. I was able to push hard from the beginning to the end and show that we are here to fight for victory and the podium and not just points."
Massa, starting from 10th position, benefited from the drama at the first corner, where team-mate Fernando Alonso was eliminated and other cars in front hit trouble. The Brazilian is now hopeful Sunday's podium is the start of a new era for him.
"I think I was very happy with the car all weekend and it's very nice to be on the podium again after a little bit of time," he said. "Hopefully it is the beginning of many podiums in front."
Massa said was he sorry for Alonso, who saw a 29-point lead reduced to just four after his early exit.
"Nothing is finished for Fernando and he did many, many good races until now," he added. "What happened today was not nice for him but these things happen in a championship and it is important we push hard and concentrate on the next race to stay in front for the championship."