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Alonso on Massa's side in F1 duel
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Fernando Alonso has said he will do what he can to help Ferrari's Felipe Massa beat Lewis Hamilton to the Formula One title after winning the last two grands prix for Renault.

"Yes, without doubt. If I can help, I will help Massa," Spanish newspapers quoted the double world champion as saying after Sunday's victory in Japan.

Alonso, whose win at Fuji came two weeks after his surprise triumph in Singapore, fell out with championship leader Hamilton in an ill-fated 2007 season alongside the Briton at McLaren.

The Spaniard, who has been persistently linked to an eventual move to Ferrari, could become a factor in this year's title showdown if he continues to challenge for the podium in the remaining two races.

The 27-year-old has now scored more points (35) than any other driver in the six races since the German Grand Prix in July. Hamilton has taken 26 and Massa 25 in the same period.

Hamilton is five points clear of Brazilian Massa, whose teammate and world champion Kimi Raikkonen is now out of contention, with only this weekend's race in China and the season-ender in Brazil still to come.

Massa, a favorite to win his home race in Sao Paulo, ideally needs a Ferrari one-two in Shanghai with Alonso rounding out the podium to make the necessary inroads into Hamilton's tally.

BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica is the third man left in the title hunt, 12 points off Hamilton who can expect no help from that quarter after the Pole criticized the Briton's driving before Sunday's race.

Raikkonen returned to the podium on Sunday for the first time since Hungary in August, ending a run of four races without a point, but many Brazilians suspect he may not be Massa's strongest ally on the racetrack.

Alonso and resurgent Renault may be of more assistance.

Completely amazing

"We are now maybe just behind Ferrari and McLaren and this is completely amazing," said the Spaniard, whose team was struggling just to score points at the start of the year.

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