McLaren deny team orders were given in Turkey

McLaren have denied giving team orders to their drivers in Turkey to hold position.

An edit of the radio conversation between the team and Lewis Hamilton, played on the official Formula One website, shows that Hamilton was instructed that Button would not pass him.

Hamilton is heard to ask the team, “If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?”

McLaren’s response, from Hamilton’s race engineer Phil Prew, is: “No, Lewis. No.”

Prew was basing this information on the idea that both McLaren drivers were in full fuel save mode, which Hamilton assumed meant that Button would not attempt a move. When Hamilton was very slow through Turn 8 next lap, Button capitalised. Hamilton was later able to re-take the position.

But McLaren sources told Autosport that there had been no order to hold position, as team orders are banned in the sport.

All was well that ended well for the team, although Hamilton’s bemusement about the incident was evident on the podium.