Fernando Alonso insists he would be happy to help Felipe Massa take points away from Lewis Hamilton if he is in a position to do it.
The Spaniard, who split acrimoniously with the McLaren team last year following a bitter rivalry with current points-leader Lewis Hamilton, made it clear in Thursday's press conference in China that he would prefer either the Ferrari driver or BMW's Robert Kubica to become world champion.
When asked to clarify his comments reported in the Spanish press earlier in the week about helping Massa, he replied: "Obviously I was waiting for this question.
"When I said this in Fuji now we have a competitive car it seems we are able to fight with Ferrari and McLaren," he added.
"And 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 and this is the only approach."
Alonso also revealed that while he would be prepared to help Massa, Kubica is the driver he would most like to see become world champion in 2008.
"You can be here forever, and you cannot misunderstand what I said," he said. "When we say all these things, 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. But I will do my own job but when you see the results you prefer some teams to win or some teams to win compared to others.
"I will not be any key part to 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."
Alonso said that he expected Renault, with whom he has won the last two Grands Prix, to be a force until the end of the season, though whether they were yet ready to beat McLaren and Ferrari in a straight fight remains to be seen.
"Hopefully we can do well here [in China], he said. "Obviously the victories are always... I am still thinking we are not as quick as maybe the contender for the win here, but we can do a good job again and take hopefully many points for the team.
"The car is really nice to drive now, the last month and a half, so I don't see any reason why here will not be a competitive car. Maybe not for a win but hopefully the podium will be our target."