Montoya ready to play supporting role for Raikkonen

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If the Spaniard finishes third tomorrow he will score six points and thus become the youngest-ever world champion at 24 to depose Emerson Fittipaldi as the youngest-ever champion. The legendary Brazilian was 25 years and 10 months old when he won his first title in 1972. And it would also be the first time that the title has been settled in Brazil.

Though he has publicly promised to do all that he can to help team-mate Raikkonen to maintain his title challenge over the final three races, part of Montoya is also hoping that Alonso will take that final podium position.

"We have to see what happens between Fernando and Kimi here and then take it from there," Montoya said yesterday. "At the moment the main priority, and probably the only realistic one, is just to win the constructors' [championship].

"You have got to look for your own personal results but at the moment I have been racing for the team for the last few races and it will probably be the same here.

"First of all, I am not in the best qualifying spot like I've been in the last few races, so it makes qualifying a bit harder but probably, if I'm being realistic, if Fernando is running third I probably should be able to win the race. If something changes then I will probably help Kimi again. It has been my decision in the last races to help Kimi, and here it's going to be the same thing.

"It is not a matter of team orders or anything, because team orders are not allowed, but you've got to be a team player and that's what I've been doing the last few races. But if I'm in a position to win and Fernando's running third I will probably win the race.

"It is kind of sad that when things are actually turning around for me to start winning races, I need to start helping Kimi. But I put myself in that position. I broke my shoulder earlier in the year and the car was very difficult for my driving style.

"We changed the car a lot throughout the year, and in the last few races I have always been as strong or stronger than Kimi. It's just sad that I have been helping him. It is sad in a way, but you have got to do it."

Montoya, who has clashed with backmarkers in recent races including last time in Belgium, costing him points, was fastest for much of yesterday's second practice session after lapping in 1min 12.694sec, but towards the end Alex Wurz beat that with 1m 12.083sec.

That was no problem for the Colombian since the Austrian is McLaren's Friday test driver.

The Brazilians Ricardo Zonta and Felipe Massa also lapped below 1min 13sec, leaving Raikkonen close behind fifth-placed Rubens Barrichello. Friday, however, is the day on which teams run differing set-ups in order to determine their tyre choice.

McLaren remain quietly confident, but so too are Renault.