FUJI, Japan, Sep 28 (Reuters) Fernando Alonso said today he needs the full support of his McLaren team to retain his Formula One crown for a third consecutive year.
''Winning a world championship is a job that is done by everybody, from the first to the last mechanic, not only here in the track but also in the factory,'' he told reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix.
''We are lucky now that we are in front of the championship and we are fighting to win the championship. If we win or if we lose, it will be everybody's job.'' Alonso, who has recently fallen out recently with championship-leading team mate Lewis Hamilton and boss Ron Dennis, lags the 22-year-old British rookie by two points with three races remaining.
Hamilton said yesterday he felt he had a stronger bond with the Mercedes-powered team than Alonso.
The champion, who won his first two titles with Renault, rejected comments by Dennis that he and the driver were no longer talking.
''That was not true. Again, that is not very important,'' declared the Spaniard.
''What is important is to try to win races and try to win everything.'' While Hamilton set the pace on Friday, clocking the fastest lap of the day in the afternoon practice session, Alonso was second fastest.
Hamilton felt aggrieved after the previous race in Belgium, where he was forced off the track by his team mate at the first corner, and said yesterday he wanted to talk further to Alonso about the incident.
The Briton also made clear that he would not back off next time, raising the stakes in their title duel.
''Again, I think it's not very important,'' said Alonso.
''Spa is gone and we will talk about this weekend. We'll talk about this circuit and the low grip of the circuit, so it's a very normal relationship and very good.
''In Spa we didn't crash and I think we will never crash into the other one,'' he added.
''We are fighting for the world championship but at the same time we are intelligent people and we try to finish the races.
In any incident you don't know if you'll be the one to stop in turn one, so we cannot have that risk.
''We all want to win, but we all want to cross the line at the end of the race so this will not happen.'' REUTERS TB RN1638