Hamilton’s engineer got it wrong over Button pass, Whitmarsh admits

Hamilton was told Button wouldn't pass him

Hamilton was told Button wouldn't pass him

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the message given to Lewis Hamilton during the Turkish Grand Prix that Jenson Button would not overtake him was “wrong”.

During the Grand Prix race engineer Phil Prew advised him Button would not overtake. Whitmarsh admitted that Button’s pass on Hamilton came “shortly after” that message was given.

He also said Hamilton lifted more than expected in turn eight, giving Button the chance to pass.

Speaking to Whitmarsh during the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in I asked him when Hamilton had been advised Button wouldn’t pass him and why he had been given that message.

Whitmarsh explained Prew had read the situation wrongly:

Shortly after [Lewis] was told Jenson wouldn’t overtake him, Jenson did overtake him.

Phil gave his opinion, as it turned out his opinion was wrong. It’s as simple as that.

They both had a challenge in that race from the outside – the race was a bit quicker for the Red Bulls and the McLarens. We were consuming more fuel than we needed to so we had to find ways to save fuel.

Inevitably as you get to the end of race there is a dilemma about how hard you can race. I think we had it amply demonstrated that a team and their drivers can get that wrong.

Both of our racing drivers want to win and they were being told to look after fuel but as a consequence of that Phil had the opinion that Jenson wouldn’t overtake. Clearly that opinion was probably a wrong one.
Martin Whitmarsh

Whitmarsh added that Hamilton had lifted significantly in turn eight before Button passed him:

It wasn’t expected that Lewis would lift as much as he did in turn eight. I think for Jenson, as a racing driver, when he saw quite a big lift in turn eight he saw it as an opportunity to move up and subsequently made the pass.
Martin Whitmarsh

Drivers often lift at turn eight in Istanbul to save fuel.

Whitmarsh added that both cars were under instructions to save fuel which is why they maintained status up after Hamilton had taken the lead back from Button:

He asked a question and Phil Prew gave an instinctive and immediate response which is that he didn’t think Jenson was going to pass. He knew that they’d both been given the same instruction to save fuel.

Lewis understood that and wasn’t about to give up first place easily. He made a fairly robust overtake to ensure he remained in the lead.

Thereafter I think the two of them decided there was a reasonably fair and equitable equilibrium and they were looking to ensure they finished comfortably with fuel and with cars intact.
Martin Whitmarsh

Read more: McLaren told Hamilton Button wouldn?óÔéĽÔäót pass him during the Turkish Grand Prix

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120 comments on Hamilton’s engineer got it wrong over Button pass, Whitmarsh admits

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  1. Sush Meerkat said on 8th June 2010, 11:01

    Phil Prew vised him Button

    I think you mean advised there Keith?

    Vodafoe
    Vodafone?

  2. D8n said on 8th June 2010, 11:07

    I think this is an interesting outcome of the no-refueling rule. It was widely discussed that there would be tyre degradation issues and differences in fuel use strategy mixing things up toward the end of the race – but the idea that team-mates in identical machinery would be closely matched on fuel and therefore fight hard in a brief window of advantage was something I hadn’t considered.

  3. Rob said on 8th June 2010, 11:09

    This makes the most sense to me – Hamilton would know that team orders are not allowed so he could not have been asking if Jenson had been ordered not to pass, just asking his engineer if he thought Button would pass him. Hamilton’s engineer would know that he had been told to save fuel for a while but possibly did not realise he had saved enough that the could make a strong move, or thought that if Button had been told to save fuel relatively early then he must be struggling with consumption.

    Hamilton’s demeanor after the race could reflect that he suspected that both him and his engineer had been misinformed by the team about Button’s fuel levels.

    • Patrickl said on 8th June 2010, 11:39

      Team orders like that ARE allowed

    • Hairs said on 8th June 2010, 13:09

      Exactly – Lewis was asking for a definitive answer about him being “safe”, Phil gave an opinion, Lewis assumed that was gospel. Mistaken communication. You know what this means?

      It means that in the earlier thread, I WAS RIGHT!
      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/06/04/mclaren-told-hamilton-button-wouldnt-pass-him-during-the-turkish-grand-prix/comment-page-1/#comment-381461

      You know who’s always right? ME, that’s who. I’m the rightest. You want to know what’s right and what’s not? Ask me. I’m always right, so I’ll know. If the forum was open, you could start a thread titled “What’s the right answer, Hairs?”, to which you could post your questions. Unfortunately with no forum, Keith will have to make space elsewhere. I suggest removing the “2011 Season” link at the top of the page, which isn’t a lot of use, and replacing it with a link to a new article “Questions for the Rightmaster” instead. The rules will be set down in the article, along with a small Bio piece about how utterly awesome I am, linked examples of how right I’ve been in the past, and we can use the comments to post questions and answers in a handy Question-Reply format.

      We may have to add another article for “Testimonials on how Right Hairs Is” once the thread has been going for a while so people can post how my stunning examples of Rightness have positively affected their lives, and just how much more right I was than anybody else they may have asked.

      For the moment we should probably keep it to F1 queries, though I’m not averse to opening it up to personal problems if people have a need for it.

      • Derek said on 8th June 2010, 13:28

        Keep taking the “Happy pills” Hairs you know it’s the right thing to do!!

      • S Hughes said on 8th June 2010, 13:58

        Okay Rightmaster, who is going to win the WDC?

        • Hairs said on 9th June 2010, 0:48

          People looking for predictions are looking in the wrong place, this is “What’s the right answer, Hairs?”, which is situational questioning such as “Hey, see that over there, what do you think happened with that?” or “Is A better than B?”.

          For those looking for precognition, I refer you to the Hairs Psychic Detectioning Agency and Tantric Tarot, where your questions will be answered in as vague and non-specific manner as possible, at a premium phone line rate.

          Sample predictions include “A situtation will occur that you will not be entirely comfortable with.”; “A person you find annoying will engage in behaviour that encourages you to disengage from them” and “Things you enjoy will give you pleasure”.

          For more gems of Psychic wonder, please call 1800SLACKJAWED. I hope you can appreciate that given the sensitive and powerful nature of these predictions, I can’t just hand them out, and must protect them with large phone charges so that they are not used unscrupulously by the recipients.

      • Cacarella said on 8th June 2010, 14:03

        Well Hairs, if you thought for a second that anyone would get a laugh out of this…

        You we’re right!
        well done! ;)

      • steph said on 8th June 2010, 14:10

        Lol! Hairs you do make me laugh :)

        Oh Hairs the right one, could you please tell me when Massa will win again as I’m a bit impatient? I will courtsey, I will build a shrine for you, worship at your temple but your answer would be much appreciated…unless you say he never will again.

        • Hairs said on 9th June 2010, 0:50

          Courtsey and worship at my temple, eh?

          That’s tempting but I can’t break the rules of the Hairs Psychic Detecting Agency I’m afraid.

          Still, steph worshipping at my temple gives me another idea for my “Why you should watch….” guest column….

      • David A said on 8th June 2010, 15:01

        How many fingers am I holding up?

        • Hairs said on 9th June 2010, 0:41

          You’re holding up an amount of fingers that reflects your best guess as to what I might not happen to guess, in the hopes that you can prove me wrong.

      • djdaveyp said on 8th June 2010, 19:07

        :D Love It!
        (Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.)

      • JUGNU said on 8th June 2010, 20:04

        Rightmaster please tell me the drivers who will finish top 5 in the Canadian GP and also the pole time. I want to move up in the prediction championship.

  4. Hamish said on 8th June 2010, 11:21

    Are we expected to digest this nonsense?

    • Gilles said on 8th June 2010, 11:41

      Agreed: they’re just trying to wipe it under the carpet.
      JB clearly did not obey team orders; he must have known what the consequences would be of his overtake.
      I think we’re going to see more fireworks from Maclaren this season, all is clearly not well there – same as RB for that matter.
      Another plus for the refuelling ban in any case ! Last year they would just hold station after the last pitstop – now at least we get to see racing in the final laps. Like I said before: we have a boring middle section now, but don’t miss the beginning and the end of the race.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 8th June 2010, 12:38

        JB clearly did not obey team orders; he must have known what the consequences would be of his overtake.
        In your haste to make this into a conspiracy theory, you’re overlooking one crucial point: what consequences? If Button had kept his position, what could McLaren possibly have done to him? He wouldn’t have cost Hamilton the lead of the championship; in fact, Button would have passed Webber in the overall standings.

        My suspicion is that if Button was told to let Hamilton back through, it was because McLaren felt Button had unfairly claimed the position; ie, Hamilton would not have given the place away if he had thought he and Button were on the same strategy.

        After all, FOM have access to all of the audio from team radios, and they’re the ones who cut the race edits on Formula1.com, so why would they not play the audio from Button’s sie of the garage?

        • Hamish said on 8th June 2010, 13:14

          So you’re claiming we’re trying to make this into a conspiracy theory yet state that “Jenson clearly did not obey team orders”.

          Umm……..

          • Hamish said on 8th June 2010, 13:17

            Sorry Prisoner Monkeys. Your post makes a bit more sense after reading it twice, thrice actually.

        • I wasn’t thinking conspiracy, my thoughts about ‘consequences’ were more about internal fallout: Lewis and the team being all over him.
          I just think JB made the pass when he saw the opportunity, as that is racing off course. But: this being his team mate and nobody to threaten the win, I find no reason for his move, except for sending a message to Lewis. He can always claim ‘oops, misunderstanding’ afterwards. It didn’t look like he let LH pass him all too easily for that matter. He saw Lewis coming back and possibly realized that, well, there was enough fuel in LH’s tank.
          In JB’s position, when the team told you to ‘save fuel’, you can safely assume in the cockpit that they told LH the same. From his obvious slowing down, it is even visible as you are closing him down. Now, if LH had run into trouble they would have told JB that and he would have passed him indeed to secure the win. This message was not given, so from JB’s standpoint it must have been clear that LH was backing off and expected him to do the same (saving fuel=holding station). He could easily follow a second or so behind as he did in the last few laps, but no: he goes on and makes the pass. And by doing so, I think he sent a message.
          From what I see, the gloves are indeed off.
          If JB had managed to hold on, the story would have been that he won because LH did not have enough fuel at that stage. The message would have been even clearer to Lewis: no handouts.
          As JB has held more or less his own against Lewis courtesy of his 2 wins and add the fact that Whitmarsch himself wanted JB in the team, that will give JB some goodwill within Maclaren. As long he doesn’t get thrashed by Lewis and does not blatantly ignore team orders, I don’t think Maclaren cares one bit what JB did. A win is a win for them, and he didn’t crash into Lewis or something.
          Well, my interpretation off course; I have been wrong before mind !

    • kbdavies said on 8th June 2010, 12:01

      I agree. This is nonsense. Isnt Phil the Cheif engioneer that oversees BOTH sides of the garage?
      He would have known what Button is doing, and what Lewis is doing at any single time. He must have overseen the instruction for both of them to save fuel. He must have decided the lap delta times given to both drivers, So how can he get it wrong?
      He must have KNOWN the time given to Lewis would cause Jenson to overtake. This is simple mathematics, not rocket science!

      McLaren should just shut up about this incident and stop taking us for fools!

      • matt90 said on 8th June 2010, 15:21

        He could get it wrong because Lewis slowed more than anticipated- he couldn’t control Lewis’ speed, he could only advise. It’s simple logic.

    • Hallard said on 8th June 2010, 19:44

      Whats so implausible about this explanation? Certainly seems to make sense to me. Of course some people prefer the sensational answer to the logical one :)

  5. Bobby_B said on 8th June 2010, 11:25

    I wonder why Martin Whitmarsh has waited so long to make this statement.
    If it was this clear cut surely he would have said this long before now. The Maclaren team got it wrong; for such a slick outfit these amateurish recurring mistakes just do not ring true. It’s not good enough . . .

    My guess is that Whitmarsh as head ‘honcho’ – he needs to go into damage limitation mode to stem the flow of negative press his team are receiving through mounting press speculation and the publication of Lewis’s radio coms.
    (I also wonder why Jenson’s radio com has not been broadcast?)

    I think it a little low for Whitmarsh to throw Phil Prew under the bus, without revealing what Jenson’s engineer was communicating. surely as team boss he already knows the answer to that question?

    Perhaps F1 conspiracy theories add to the drama of the developing 2010 season.

    What ever happens Lewis will demonstrate his true worth, Jenson ‘a fine driver’ will complete the season where he deserves, on his own merits .

    Martin Whitmarsh should step up, get his act together and manage the team in a stellar fashion. Maclaren is a first class team and they deserve that much from him, the standard has already been set – he is letting the side down with his dithering politics.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey said on 8th June 2010, 11:53

      “I think it’s a little low for Whitmarsh to throw Phil Prew under the bus, without revealing what Jenson’s engineer was communicating.”

      I would agree, but I believe that this may be a form of damage limitation from Whitmarsh.

      Clearly, in an ideal world, this miscommunication would never have been made public and McLaren would simply have got everyone together and sorted it out internally and that would be the end of it – no one would ever need to know. However, as it turns out, FOM decide to share the actual radio conversation that caused the confusion between the two McLaren drivers with the world through their race highlights clip – and now everyone knows what happened. Hamilton was explicitly told that he wouldn’t need to defend his lead from Jenson so he backed-off… and was promptly passed by his team mate. Arguably, it’s only because Lewis muscled his way back past Jenson immediately afterwards that he still managed to win the race. This is why Lewis was so upset after the race, because he was told something that was incorrect. We don’t know what Jenson was told, but it makes sense to me to suggest that Jenson was given no instruction to hold position prior to the overtake and that Lewis shouldn’t have been led to believe otherwise in the first place, either.

      I think that it is because this is all now public knowledge that Whitmarsh feels the need to come clean and explain what actually happened in order to prevent the media and all of us from speculating about a possible team division or about any discontent between the drivers. I don’t think he wants to point the finger at Phil like this but I guess looking at Red Bull, and also thinking back to 2007, Martin wants to stop any kind of speculation about his team’s cohesion from resulting in any actual problems developing within the team.

      …or I could just be looking too much into this.

    • John H said on 8th June 2010, 14:16

      “I wonder why Martin Whitmarsh has waited so long to make this statement.”

      Well, he was asked by Keith, that’s why he’s made the ‘statement’ at this particular moment in time.

    • matt90 said on 8th June 2010, 15:28

      I wouldn’t say he threw him under the the bus. There was a miscomunication. An opinion was given and taken as fact. And it may have been that the opinion consisted of Button not overtaking Hamilton… assuming Hamilton backed off a bit so that both drivers had slowed to a similar pace. However, Hamilton took it to mean that Button would maintain a gap no matter how much Hamilton slowed. It’s unfortunate, probably a little embarassing, but I wouldn’t say he’s being made a scapegoat. It’s simply an explanation which, I believe, makes sense.

    • Patrickl said on 10th June 2010, 20:20

      Phil Prew is the chief engineer. He’s not Hamilton’s or Button’s “personal” engineer.

  6. Jonty said on 8th June 2010, 11:26

    I hope both drivers can bury the hatchet now.

    I don’t think there was too much animosity between them but Hamilton was quite reasonably a bit miffed.

    Whatever the outcome of the championship, one of the most interesting aspects this year is the straight fight between these two in identical cars. I don’t mind which one wins this battle but I hope I can go on enjoying a fair fight (as it has been so far).

    Fascinating!

  7. tobinen said on 8th June 2010, 11:26

    I’m happy to give McLaren the benefit of the doubt on this one. PP made an error with informing LH, and JB took advantage. Which for us, means we saw some overtaking!

  8. Whether it was Prew’s mistake or not is a matter of opinion. What this does do is highlight, and not for the first time this season, that Hamilton is frequently marginalised by the orders from his team.

    Surely the other senior management on the pitwall are able to hear what Prew was telling Hamilton and that he had given an incorrect order to one of their drivers and should have been corrected instantly rather than let to have developed in to the on track elbowing that came as a result.

    Cynically I wonder if they are making Prew the scapegoat to protect the team from the lure of the FIA and the wrath of a team orders punishment.

    If I was Hamilton I would be growing ever more paranoid and disgruntled with the way Mclaren in race decision making process seems to always work against him.

    Also I though Prew had moved out of his role as race engineer for Hamilton and more in to a supervisory role between the two cars. Surely if he is giving Hamilton a message that they were to hold ground, he should have given Button the same message.

    • S Hughes said on 8th June 2010, 14:03

      This whole thing still stinks. I wonder how many more “miscommunications”, pit stop blunders and strange strategies Hamilton will get before people cotton on that he is being stabbed in the back by his own team who obviously want blue-eyed Button to win.

      • Rob said on 8th June 2010, 14:27

        This is getting stupid – for your conspiracy to be true it would mean that Ron Dennis is the only person to work at McLaren in the last ten years who supported Hamilton and wanted him to win. If they wanted a ‘blue-eyed’ driver to win (way to play the racism card there!) then why bother spending all the time and money on Hamilton when he was far from a ‘sure thing’ and not just promote Gary Paffett to getting a proper chance, or sign Andy Priaulx, or Justin Wilson, or Mike Conway or Dan Wheldon or one of any number of white British drivers who win races at various levels of motorsport?

        Hamilton would not have thought twice about trying the move that Button made – he wasn’t afraid to try and gain an advantage over Alonso in his debut season even though it was against what the team had said (it was what caused the implosion of McLaren that season!).

        Scott – just because you have ‘proof’ of one incident it doesn’t automatically mean that every other time you suspected something happened it definitely did.

        • Scott Joslin said on 8th June 2010, 15:27

          Rob – I think you might have missed my point.

          I am not suggesting a conspiracy at Mclaren. Far from it.

          I was stating as fact, that Lewis has been on the rough end of poor decisions and communication from his team this year, which isn’t helped by the fact he relies upon their direction for his understanding of the race, unlike Button who for example in Wet conditions is happy to think for himself.

          If my point suggests anything it is that Mclaren have exposed a weakness in the area of reacting to the on track events and providing decisive communication and information to Lewis.

          If I am insinuating anything it is that Lewis is likely to be disappointed by the frequency of this errors from the team.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 8th June 2010, 15:20

        Why would the team want Button to win? If anything, they have a vested interest in Hamilton’s success, and so Button is the one they’d be sabotaging.

        • Scott Joslin said on 8th June 2010, 15:31

          I don’t think Mclaren want Button to win over Hamilton.

          I just think Mclaren are clumsy and error prone which has inadvertently hampered Hamilton slightly this year.

          • I think Whitmarsh does though. I think he is pushing Button for the championship to make his decision to sign him look great.

            Hamilton was Ron’s wonder boy and doesn’t have the star treatment everyone seems to think he has in the team now.

            I don’t get how McLaren’s was a miscommunication but Red Bull’s was favouritism. Both are drivers not being told that they are going to be passed by their teammates.

          • adam23 said on 8th June 2010, 23:25

            Its funny how quickly people forget about Button’s dodgy pit stop in Spain and the bung left in Button’s car at Monaco.

  9. BBQ2 said on 8th June 2010, 11:29

    It does not change anything IMO, as Phil is the overhead Engineer for both drivers. Button is just an opportunist who got it wrong too as he thought he could outwit Hamilton on a normal dry day. Had he succeeded in that move, he would put himself both psychologically and points-wise in the lead and it would have been a big blow to the ego of LH. Thank goodness it did not workout well for him :-)

    In all, lesson learned for Mr. Hamilton. He kind of expected that move from Button though, if not there wouldn’t be any reason for him to enquire from the team.

    I do also have the feeling Martin Whitmarsh wants to wash his hands off someone this time around and Phil playing the scapegoat :-(

    • Maybe they can fire Phil over this; they sacrafied a scapegoat before (OZ 09) …
      If LH did not take JB back, I think an all out war would have erupted as they were clearly expected to finish as they were with no threat from other teams.
      I doubt LH expected the move (he stated his surprise), but indeed: lessons learned. They are clearly not mates, just like at Red Bull. Better for us though: racing guaranteed till the end, even when a team is scoring a 1-2; unlike in the past.
      I’m loving the fact that all the simmering tension is now slowly erupting, the gloves are clearly off now. And team PR departments are obviously working overtime trying to spin the obvious.
      Didn’t Whitmarsch personnally stick his head out to contract JB over the winter ? He’s not going to condemn him publicly then, is he ?

      • matt90 said on 8th June 2010, 17:01

        I don’t see why people think they even need a scapegoat. It was a minor error in comunication, which resulted in some close but fair racing, even if it was a bit unecessary/unerving from a McLaren perspective. They needed a scapegoat last year because there was actually a scandal and the rules were brkoen. All we saw the other week was two drivers passing each other. The reasons for it happening may be interesting, but not particularly scandolous unless people get carried away with conspiracy stories. (for) Sure, Hamilton will be annoyed, but he’d have been annoyed had he suffered a blowout or brake fail etc. and nobody would have been fired for that. McLaren won the race!

        • Hallard said on 8th June 2010, 19:49

          I agree matt, the idea that they need a “scapegoat” for a 1-2 finish with a thrilling inter-team battle, is pretty funny.

      • soulmonkey said on 8th June 2010, 23:47

        I agree with this. Lewis is wiser b/c of this folly. Lewis claims that he was given a target speed to achieve. This was not accounted for in Whitmarsh explanation. Prew may have been wrong, but he did give a definite “no” in his response to Lewis. I think there is lots not being said in this, but at least now Lewis knows the dynamic of his team and he will race to the end.

        Good luck Lewis.

  10. graigchq said on 8th June 2010, 11:48

    /tldr

    bored if this now… who cares

    We moan when there isn’t any overtaking, then try to lay blame on individuals outside of the car when there is… If it all comes down to fuel mixture settings, lifting off in turn 8 – etc etc, then we really aren’t “racing” are we? This is just a tech show-down with badly co-ordinated rules and instruction. A real shame that it’s coming to this, as F1 is a passion i and most others here have had all our lives. How about 24 teams with one driver each?? Would that not solve these problems??

    • You have a point here. But there was a clear threat of overtaking leading up the incidents with 4 cars within 2 seconds of each other. None of them could relax.
      Better than Bahrain, where they were just following each other around without this threat …

  11. Hope this all true, if it is boo McLaren, starting to underapreciate what they got, this being how they lost Alo Alo Alo.

    On the other hand Hamilton should be learning a lesson as well, he’s got to rely on his own instincts and judgement a little more. Teams are faliable an not currently going round the race track.

    • On the other hand Hamilton should be learning a lesson as well, he’s got to rely on his own instincts and judgement a little more.

      I agree. I think if there is one criticism you can make of Hamilton (on the track, at least), it is that he relies too much on the team, even at the expense of his own better judgement.

      Today’s round-up has the footage of Hamilton driving into Raikkonen in Canada two years ago: I remember how almost immediately, the press and the forums were trying to make excuses for him, saying that the team should have warned him that the red light was on. Ditto with China ’07: apparently the team should have brought Lewis in to change his tyres earlier on, rather than it simply being a case of Lewis not being careful enough going into the pits. It strikes me as a driver who does not – indeed, is not allowed to – learn from his mistakes because somehow, it’s always somebody else’s fault.

      Admittedly this is all a long time ago now, and Hamilton has matured a lot since then, but perhaps the incident in Turkey shows that Lewis still has a bit to learn in this regard. I suspect he’ll be pretty well unstoppable once he does, though.

  12. JB just signalled with his overtake that he’s not going to roll over – up to LH to learn the lesson, which I’m sure he will.
    Or he might get the impression that Maclaren is starting to favour JB – and then, well, when is his contract up exactly ?

  13. If this was a genuine mistake Whitmarsh, why didn’t you respond quicker rather then just let it fester for days and “hoped for the best”.

    I reckon Phil Prew by mistake, has pritty much given us the mindset of the McLaren agenda this year which wasn’t to hard to already believe. McLaren needed to think up a believable excuse to try and divert the press and to end it there and then.

    Lets see how well Phil gets treated for this season and next, if for some weird reason he gets the boot we all know why…

    BTW what are we going to call this “incident” “fuel-gate”?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2010, 12:38

      Oh please let’s not make a ‘gate’ out of this!

      • bosyber said on 8th June 2010, 13:06

        Agreed! The 1st time I got tired of things becoming -gate is already several years ago. Also, there is very little to point to a conspiracy here.

        I stopped watching at almost every F1 forum I tend to visit, as all have been filled with “jenson vs. Lewis”/”Vetel vs Webber” and McLaren/Red l Bull team-order arguing. All with two sides talking past each other, which is easy as those sides refuse to listen to each other, and are only interested in sating their own view of how of how things are. I guess it is just the internet at work, but please let us not do it here.

      • How about “Phil-Gate”?

        yer, I like “Phil-gate”….

    • BasCB said on 8th June 2010, 13:14

      The information about being “buddies” and enjoying themselves came immediately after the event from both drivers, so it was not as explosive.
      Further Withmarsh knew, he was getting this phone in to get into detail before the next GP, so why attract any attention with extra press statements

      I suppose McLaren were keen to have the Red Bull team getting a lot of negative publicity in the last 10 days and not too keen on bringing their own story into that.

  14. michael said on 8th June 2010, 12:07

    Dear Martin Whitmarsh, why this, why now, where is Jenson’s chatter? If it is so that you are desperately trying to write your own legacy then please, please Martin, do it on your own time, your own dime and your own back and not on the back of the most exciting driver this decade has seen in F1. Jenson is a damn good choice and deserves our respect, BUT, he is by no means an Alonso nor is he Lewis just as much as you will never be Ron Dennis. If this kind of respect and adoration and or history it is that you desire then you should have bought out the Minardi team and make it what McLaren is now. Martin, thanks to Ron you are there not despite of Ron. History will be written and the side notes won’t be Ron and definitely not Lewis I am pretty sure! Really Jenson is blokishly nice guy and great fun to listen to, yet still, he will never be held in as high a regard as either Lewis or Alonso just like Ron will never be regarded as a “Handlanger”. You are a manager but Ron is way out your league he is a builder he molded McLaren from the ground up with sweat blood and passion his will and desire are a force of nature and faith stood by him. Who is Martin Whitmarsh but a mere manager. I am sure you have his trust but I am also sure you are beginning to loose a great part of the spiky first-class McLaren fan base. We love racers we and we love McLaren so Martin, do write your legacy go on and buy out HRT – make history – mold them into a Spanish McLaren but please stop messing with the best horse in your crop. all the best michael

  15. kbdavies said on 8th June 2010, 12:18

    This was certainly no mistake from Phil, and moreover, Phil Prew is NOT Hamilton’s engineer, he is the PRINCIPAL ENGINEER for the whole team. This means that NO decision is taken regarding both drivers in the race without Phil’s knowledge. Subsequently, he would have known the lap delta time given to Lewis, and if any was given to Jenson or not. He would also have known that Lewis’s lap time would mean he would be overtaking by Jenson.

    McLaren are in damage limitation mode. I believe they tried to engineer a Button win, and tried to make it look like racing between teammates. They knew Lewis would not let Jenson through a la team orders.

    As i earlier asserted, it makes more sense for Jenson to win, as it would mean McLaren would be leading both championships(Drivers by 5 points). Lewis’s win only brings him to 3rd, whilst Jenson is 2nd. A less ideal situation.

    Bringing Phil into the picture only serves to show that they are really trying hard to shift the focus off the suspected favouritism for Button that this issue has highlighted. By shifting the blame unto a scapegoat, they think it will silence the naysayers.

    Unfortunately, they have not done a good job of it.
    Question is – why would Martin wait all this time to bring this to light? Why are they releasing snippets of info on a daily basis regarding what happened? Because they are looking at the public response and reacting accordingly. I bet this is not the last we hear of this from Martin.

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