McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh insists a simple miscommunication was to blame for Lewis Hamilton believing that team-mate Jenson Button would not overtake him during the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was told by McLaren's chief engineer Phil Prew during the Istanbul race that Button would not overtake him once they switched to fuel-saving mode, but moments later the reigning champion passed him for the lead, which Hamilton retook seconds later.
Whitmarsh, speaking during a Vodafone phone-in on Tuesday, said Prew was simply giving his opinion when he replied to Hamilton and that, as it turned out, his opinion was wrong.
But Whitmarsh made it clear there had not been any orders given to the drivers.
"Shortly after he was told that Jenson wouldn't overtake him, Jenson did overtake him," said Whitmarsh.
"Phil gave an opinion to Lewis and as it turned out his opinion was wrong. Simply as that. They are racing drivers and they both had a challenge in that race from the outset.
"The race was a bit quicker than expected. So we were consuming more fuel than we needed to. So we had to find ways to save fuel.
"Inevitably there's a dilemma as you get to the end of a race about how hard you can race. I think we've had it amply demonstrated that a team and its drivers can get that wrong, but there is no doubt that both of our racing drivers want to win and they were being told to look after fuel.
"But as a consequence of that Phil Prew had the opinion that Jenson wouldn't overtake and clearly that was probably a wrong one.
"But I don't think it was expected that Lewis would lift as much in Turn 8 and for Jenson, who is a racing driver, when he saw quite big lift in Turn 8 he thought it was his opportunity, he lined up and subsequently made the pass."
He added: "They know they are racing drivers. Lewis was surprised by that information. He asked the question and Phil Prew, who is the chief engineer, gave an instinctive and immediate response, which is he didn't think Jenson was going to pass.
"But Lewis wasn't about to give his first place easily and I think he made a fairly robust overtake to ensure that he remained in the lead."
Hamilton went on to score his first win of the season.