Lewis Hamilton was told by his McLaren team during the Turkish Grand Prix that teammate Jenson Button would not overtake him once they switched to fuel-saving mode – moments before the reigning World Champion passed him.
In a fresh twist to what happened during an Istanbul event that had already seen Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel come together, the official race video edit on Formula1.com has offered a new perspective into the battle between Hamilton and Button.
In the video extract, which comes shortly after the Webber/Vettel collision has moved the McLaren duo to the front of the field, the team comes on the radio and tells Hamilton: "Lewis, we need you to save fuel. Both cars are doing the same."
Hamilton responds and expresses his concerns that although he has backed off to save fuel, Button is gaining on him. "Jenson's closing in on me, you guys."
After the team acknowledges that message, Hamilton then asks: "If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?"
McLaren's answer is: "No, Lewis. No."
It is unclear if Button was given, or understood, any message to not pass Hamilton – but the Hamilton radio conversation may explain why the 2008 champion was so eager to retake the lead as soon as he had lost it...