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No love lost as Alonso confirms he will assist Hamilton's rivals

NEWS STORY
16/10/2008

In order that there was absolutely no confusion, Fernando Alonso this afternoon reiterated comments attributed to him earlier in the week, confirming that he will do what he can to assist Lewis Hamilton's rivals in the fight for the 2008 title.

All the big guns were present for today's FIA press conference at the Shanghai circuit, Alonso, Hamilton, Robert Kubica, and the other man who could have a say in the title's outcome, 2007 champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

Asked about reports in the Spanish media earlier this week, whereby Alonso is reported to have said that he would assist Massa in his fight with Hamilton, the Singapore and Japan winner smiled and replied: "Obviously I was waiting for this question.

"First of all we need to have a competitive car here in Shanghai and in Brazil to be fighting with McLaren and Ferrari, and if we do that and Felipe Massa wins the race and I am second or third, I will be happy for Felipe to take as many points as possible."

However, the Spaniard said that while he is willing to 'assist' Massa, he would prefer to see BMW's Robert Kubica win the title.

"You cannot misunderstand what I said," said Alonso. "My best relationship is with Robert and I would like to see him win the championship. But it is quite difficult because the performance of his car means it will be difficult to recover 12 points.

"I will do my own job but you prefer some teams to win or some teams to win compared to others," he admitted. "I will not be a key part in the championship, whatever driver wins will win because he did a better job in the last two races. You can take whatever you want from my comment but it is very simple."

Refusing to be phased by Alonso's comments, Hamilton simply said: "I don't really have an opinion on it," when asked about Alonso's comments.

"I focus on my job and the most important thing is to be competitive this weekend and try to earn some points. I want to be at the front and what the others do is none of my business."

Meanwhile, asked about comments he'd made before the Japan race, regarding Hamilton's aggressive tactics, Kubica said: "I didn't make comment on Lewis, I just said overall these kinds of moves are pretty dangerous especially in wet conditions."

It would appear that clear battle lines are being drawn.

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