Toyota has revealed it employed team orders three times over the course of Sunday's opening round of the 2019/20 World Endurance Championship at the Silverstone 4 Hours.
The Japanese manufacturer has explained that each time Kamui Kobayashi and Brendon Hartley swapped positions over two stints in the middle period of the Silverstone 4 Hours, a call to cede position was made from the pit wall.
The final occasion just before the pair were due for driver changes determined the outcome of the race in favour of Kobayashi and team-mates Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID.
Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon told Autosport: "We have had three position swaps according to our usual agreement and processes.
"We observed the pace of the cars when they joined [closed up] and we have had to change position — it is the process we have to make sure the faster car is in front.
"One time Kamui caught Brendon in the wet, and then Brendon caught Kamui in the dry, but he could not pull away and we swapped back."
Kazuki Nakajima, who took over the #8 car he shares with Hartley and Sebastien Buemi, lost ground to Lopez initially but was able to close after the final round of pitstops.
As per the rules of engagement between the two Toyotas, their positions are frozen come the final stint of a race.
Vasselon explained to Autosport that this meant the race had "already been neutralised". The margin between the two Toyotas at the chequered flag was 1.9s.
Conway had led the early laps from pole position, before Buemi got ahead during the first round of pit stops when the two cars came in together and had to be manoeuvred into position in a crowded pitlane.