Fernando Alonso has redoubled his attack on former McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the 2008 Formula 1 world title fight closes in – by claiming that 'all the drivers want [Felipe] Massa to be champion'.
Following his sensational triumph in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend – his second successive victory in the latter stages of the campaign – Alonso had suggested that, should the opportunity present itself, he would 'help Massa' to lift the laurels [see separate story – click here
Whilst insisting in Shanghai this weekend that 'sometimes what you read in newspapers is wrong', the Spaniard did admit that he hopes anyone but
Hamilton will ultimately prevail.
“When I said this in Fuji what I meant is that now we have a competitive car it seems that we are able to fight sometimes with Ferrari and McLaren,” the former double F1 World Champion elaborated.
“First of all we need to have a competitive, hard car here in Shanghai and Brazil to be fighting with Ferrari and McLaren. If we do that and Felipe wins the race and I can be second or third, I will be happy to help Felipe to take as many points as possible. This is the only approach.
“We can be here forever and you cannot misunderstand what I say, you know. My best relationship is with Robert [Kubica]. I would like to see him winning the championship, but I know this is quite difficult because I think [with] the performance of his car it will be difficult to recover twelve points.
“I will drive my own race, but when you finish the race and see the results, you prefer some drivers to win or some teams to win compared to others. I don't think that I will be a key part of the championship, though.
“Whichever driver wins will win because he won the last two races or did a better job than the other one, that's all. You can take whatever you can from my comment, but it is very simple.”
Replying with an equally simple but perhaps just as telling 'no comment' when asked whether he believed Hamilton's driving of late had been, in Kubica's words, 'dangerous' and 'too much', Alonso subsequently confessed in a separate interview with Spanish broadcaster Telecinco
that – in his opinion – no driver on the grand prix grid wanted the Briton to clinch the crown.