Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that he has an important role to play in helping McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton compete for the 2008 world championship, but insists that that will not stop him from chasing race wins before the end of the season.

The Finn, after a shaky start to the season that saw him catch most of the bad luck going at McLaren, lies sixth in the championship race - and, being only 27 points off his team-mate's tally, still retains a mathematical chance of taking the title himself - but accepts that he will have to adopt a supporting role to help Hamilton overcome the increasing challenge from Felipe Massa and Ferrari.

"I think, if I have a chance at some point to help the team, of course I will do so," Kovalainen insisted, "The team has not given me any instructions to do something particular, so I will see how the situation is."

Unlike the tactics employed by other teams in the past, McLaren has always prided itself on giving both of its drivers an equal chance to succeed - albeit paying for the policy by missing last year's crown by a single point - and Kovalainen is adamant that he will not be denied a second grand prix win should he be in position to take it.

"Obviously, the objective for myself is to try and score more points and do the maximum result every time I go out, - and that's how I am approaching the weekend," he said on the eve of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix.

"If I have the chance to win the race, I will try to do that. I think the best thing I can do for the team is to try and take as many points away from the other people as possible.

"The good thing is I can decide myself how the situation looks and there are no instructions from the team. We are both trying to do the race with maximum effort whether it is earlier or the end of the season, like we always do."