McLaren told Hamilton Button wouldn’t pass him during the Turkish Grand Prix

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hamilton asked 'Is Jenson going to pass me?' and was told 'No'
Hamilton asked 'Is Jenson going to pass me?' and was told 'No'

McLaren told Lewis Hamilton that Jenson Button would not pass him during the Turkish Grand Prix.

New footage of the Turkish Grand Prix posted on the official F1 website reveals Hamilton asked the team “If I back off is Jenson going to pass me or not?”

He was told “No Lewis, no.” This audio clip is shown before the footage of Button overtaking Hamilton, suggesting the exchange took place before the pass was made.

The exchange – which was not aired during the race broadcast – is as follows:

Lewis Hamilton: Jenson’s closing in me you guys.
McLaren: Understood, Lewis.
Lewis Hamilton: If I back off is Jenson going to pass me or not?
McLaren: No Lewis, no

After the race Hamilton said he was “surprised” Button had passed him. Now we know why.

The question now is, was Button ordered to hand the place back?

The following radio exchanges from McLaren were broadcast during the race. We do not know what the time gap was between them being said to the drivers and being broadcast on television:

Lap 44: Hamilton told to “save fuel” and advised that both cars received the same instruction.
Lap 50: BBC reported that Martin Whitmarsh and Phil Prew were on the radio to both drivers.
Lap 52: Button told “We need more fuel saving. Fuel is critical. Save tyres in turn eight.”

Button passed Hamilton at the end of lap 48 and Hamilton re-passed him at the start of lap 49.

Read more: Hamilton ??surprised?? by Button?s pass (Turkish Grand Prix team-by-team)

2010 Turkish Grand Prix

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269 comments on “McLaren told Hamilton Button wouldn’t pass him during the Turkish Grand Prix”

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  1. Sandman

    Agree with you as you also agree that mistake happened by Mclaren. By “one driver is told to overtake” i meant to say Button wasn’t told to back off/save fuel as much as Lewis that is why he was faster, got close and passed him. Both drivers should be told to back off equally or don’t say it at all. Let them fight.

  2. Mclaren got their wires crossed, button had other ideas, lewis shoved it back up the inside to get it done. Big deal.

  3. I’m having a good chuckle at the RBR fans saying ti proves that McLaren are a poorer team than them.

    Sorry, but which team scored a one-two despite their drivers going wheel-to-wheel? Wasn’t RBR, and this despite Lewis Hamilton apparently being the most petulant and over-aggressive driver in F1.

    Hypocritical or what?

  4. Mr. ZingZang
    5th June 2010, 0:48

    Keith, I like your website and all, but why the bias twist at the end? “Was Button ordered to give the place back?.” No he wasn’t!

    Watch this video, Button DID NOT LEAVE AN INCH! Hamilton had to muscle his way into the corner!

    Thank Jesus Hamilton got back the spot.
    Go Hamilton! You are the best! No body can stop you!

    1. So is Hamilton the best, or is it divine intervention? You should make up your mind.

    2. Thanks for posting this :) two classy drivers

    3. why the bias twist at the end? “Was Button ordered to give the place back?.” No he wasn’t!

      It’s an honest question. McLaren could have easily radioed Button along the start/finish straight. Or, after Hamilton passed him, he may have been instructed not to try to pass again.

      But I’m not pointing a finger at anyone here – what we have is an incomplete picture and everyone is trying to work out what really happened.

      What we know is the McLaren drivers were being told to manage their fuel. Despite that Hamilton was told Button wouldn’t pass him, Button passed him, then Hamilton re-passed him and, perhaps most tellingly of all, Button then dropped back.

      I don’t see how you can interpret that as McLaren rigging the race in favour of either of their drivers. If they were favouring Button they could have given Hamilton a higher lap time target, if they were favouring Hamilton they could have given Button a higher lap time target.

      It looks to me like both were told to back off and save fuel, but Hamilton interpreted that as an instruction to hold position and Button did not.

  5. Davetherave
    5th June 2010, 2:38

    SOLID ……… obviously don’t understand a thing that has been said i.e. Webber told to turn engine down whilst at same time Vettel turns his up.
    Please Read, Mark, Learn and inwardly digest, and then perhaps you will understand just what happened and why.

  6. Both drivers were told to save fuel, Button didn’t read into it as don’t overtake so he pulloed the move off on Lewis. Lewis got the position back and McLaren told Jenson fuel was critical and he finally clicked what this meant! Thats my take on things.

    I’d like to say a big “I told you so” to all the Button haters out there who said Lewis would thrash him before the season started, Jenson is only a tiny bit slower than Lewis on average over the season. The driver combination here is fantastic.

    Jenson is a very intelligent and smooth driver, who makes good balanced decisions. He saves his tyres and is faster later in the stints.

    Lewis Hamilton squeezes every bit of performance out of the car in exchange for using his tyres up a bit faster.

    Both make for an interesting race, Lewis is my favourite of the 2 but I’m happy when my boys get a 1-2!

    Theres no conspiracy here and they got to the bottom of it, there’s no favourite at Mclaren as long as they are both winning races.

    In fact I predict another 1-2 at Montreal, on ace this time instead of the Red Bulls taking each other out.

    The only thing is…. i don’t know if it is Jenson or Lewis who will take the chequer flag first!

    1. Agree on all counts. No conspiracy, no Jenson ignoring team orders, no ordering to give a place back. Too many people reading way too much into it, in my opinion.

    2. I agree with you completely except that I favour Jenson over Lewis :P

      1. I favor whichever Mclaren driver gets to the first place first. The Lap 49 incident was too much for me to handle, it was great racing but..

        Being a Mclaren optimist I say this is a miscommunication, no BS conspiracy theories on the team preferring the WDC over Ron’s child prodigy. Whitmarsh had better sorted out this “problem” already so that it doesn’t turn into like in 2007.

  7. So the people who support other teams are 100% behind Button?

    I am just happy that I know you guys will be left far more disappointing in the next races after witnessing your teams stuck behind McLaren and a certain driver out shining the rest. Double trouble ahead!

  8. the idea of no fuel stops is that one driver go off fast at the start while the other paces himself and the car and can possibly catch him later. now if mclarens team orders stop the driver who has saved his fuel and tyres passing the one that hasnt then that sort of defeats the object of the race.

    i hope mclaren dont yet again do the thing where they pretend there drivers are racing yet they are doing nothing of the sort.

  9. Mark in Florida
    5th June 2010, 17:21

    Like it or not the way Ferrari did it with MS and RB ultimately makes sense.It puts the team behind the best driver and the #2 driver knows his role. This avoids these stupid late race antics that keep causing so much controversy.Championships are won by great driving and team strategy.Crashing into each other and overtaking when your not supposed to is ultimately a negative for the whole team. F1 is a team sport with individual drivers that need clear direction as to what role that they have in the team.

  10. So much for the brilliant race (making F1 better) Keith!

  11. maestrointhesky
    6th June 2010, 0:02

    This is purely speculation but I think there are a few standard scenarios teams will go though prior to every race. The one I think most front running teams will consider at this stage of the championship is, if there’s a one two on offer with (approximately) 10 laps to go, AND the competition has fallen away, then just do enough using formation flying till the end. RBR didn’t have that luxury at Istanbul as the VMM’s were so close. That gave Vettel licence to go for Webber, albeit in an arrogant and clumsy manoeuvre. The threat to the McLarens after the RBR incident was diminished and and so the scenario described came into play for McLaren, hence ‘fuel saving’ mode. Button chose to break the rule hence the dogfight down the start/finish straight. Once Hamilton established his position, drivers were reminded of the pre-race discussions and finished the race as per the scenario described.

    Like it or not, team orders exist behind closed doors. One way of reducing, it I think would be to limit communication between pit wall and driver to predefined messages from the pit board i.e. no radio transmission! That would mean that a driver would essentially have information seen in front and behind to base in race strategy decisions on. This should mean any driver would have to ‘race’ to the end making their own interpretations of pit board messages rather than conserving machinery knowing how many seconds ahead of another driver they were. Surely this is what racing should be about, first and foremost!

    1. Enrique Miguel
      7th June 2010, 15:23

      For that they could be in breach with Article 39.1 in the sporting regulations which states: ‘team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.’

  12. For those that “like” Button (don’t know how one can), this is his sportsmanship in full colour.

  13. Hamilton needs to experience another team to really grow in F1.

  14. Shagrathian
    6th June 2010, 9:50

    I was at the race and had a clear view of the turn 12. Also, a friend of mine is a technical at McLaren garage during the weekend. He told me that when JB overtook Lewis, then Lewis reovertook him, Martin Whitmarsh was on the radio and told to Jenson how he’s upset about the JB’s move. As it seems there was no team order or something. It was probably miscommunication or JB just did whatever he wants at the moment, which is not cool.

    1. The technical was on the pitwall?

      1. Shagrathian
        6th June 2010, 11:39

        I’m not sure about it’s terminological meaning but he called himself a technical, not a marshall…

  15. It is really indicative of how the British media view Hamilton and Button that this story has been totally ignored except by F1 Fanatic, and then has been spun to indicate that Lewis was asking for team orders. It confirms my view that most British journalists are partial to Button and prefer a story that shows Button in a good light and Hamilton in a bad light. As this story doesn’t, it is ignored or spun in a most ludicrous way. I’m afraid it lessens the validity of the journalists’ knowledge. Shame, real shame.

    I know Jake Humphrey twittered that he was v. surprised by the race edit and they will be “asking all the hard questions”. I hope they do a FAIR investigation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to spin it too!

  16. Enrique Miguel
    7th June 2010, 15:20

    If the team gave instructions to Button not to pass hamilton then they could be in breach with Article 39.1 in the sporting regulations which states: ‘team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.’


    Hope this clears it up. Hamilton’s race engineer simply ASSUMED Jenson would not overtake.

    “ appears that principal race engineer Phil Prew’s comment that Button would not overtake was an opinion based on the fact both men were in full conservation mode, rather than because a specific hold position order was in place.

    AUTOSPORT understands that there was no communication with Button that he should not race or challenge Hamilton..”

  18. HOW COULD BUTTON GIVE BACK THE LEAD THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE. Hamilton passed him on the 49th lap. The team order to button to conserve fuel came on the 52nd lap. By then hamilton had about a second on button. Sorry but i clearly don’t get your point. “WAS BUTTON ORDERED TO HAND THE PLACE BACK?” NO. he was told to conserve fuel(hold station).

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