McLaren: Turkey radio message wrong

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

McLaren: Turkey radio message wrong

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.

shares
comments
Mallya: Off-track issues no distraction
Previous article

Mallya: Off-track issues no distraction

Next article

Formula 1 'must prove itself' in America

Formula 1 'must prove itself' in America
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022