BBC BLOGS - Andrew Benson
« Previous | Main | Next »

New evidence to explain Hamilton's displeasure

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 09:25 UK time, Monday, 7 June 2010

While the fall-out from the crash involving the two Red Bull drivers has understandably dominated the Formula 1 agenda in the days since the Turkish Grand Prix, a potentially just as dangerous flashpoint has been largely ignored.

That is the situation between the two drivers at McLaren, where Lewis Hamilton was clearly less than thrilled after the race despite winning his first grand prix of the season.

"What was going on there?" Hamilton asked his team-mate Jenson Button as they prepared to go on to the podium, in a clear reference to the part of the race when Button overtook Hamilton for the lead - and was passed back at the next corner - despite both drivers being told to save fuel.

Both Mark Hughes and I touched on this in our post-race articles last week, when it appeared that there had been a simple misunderstanding between the drivers and their team.

But new information has since emerged that sheds new light on what happened - and exactly why Hamilton seemed so downbeat.

After the race, Hamilton said he had been given a target lap time to meet to ensure he got to the end, and that it had been too slow. "All of a sudden, Jenson was on my tail," he said.

For his part, Button said that he had been told to save fuel, but not how much, nor how fast to go.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


But the official Formula 1 website has now published its edit of the Turkish Grand Prix, and it turns out that Hamilton was not telling the whole story. You can watch it here, although you'll need to register to do so.

In the video, Hamilton can be heard asking his team on the radio after being told he needs to save fuel, and that Button is also doing the same: "Jenson's closing in on me, you guys. If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?"

His engineer replies: "No, Lewis. No."

And yet that is exactly what happened. No wonder Hamilton was upset - although he did his best to keep what was bothering him to himself. One suspects he has been less circumspect with the team in private.

So what was going on?

Quite often, when two drivers from a single team are told to save fuel when they are running one-two, this is code for them to hold position until the end of the race.

Team orders are banned in F1 if they "interfere with the race result", as the rule book puts it - but there is nothing to stop a team coming up with a series of coded messages, the meaning of which is clear only to those involved.

So why was Hamilton told Button would not overtake him? Why did Button overtake him?

Did Button not get the message? Did he not understand what he was being told? Did he ignore it? Did McLaren secretly want Button, as their lead driver in the championship, to pass Hamilton and win the race?

I understand that, actually, it was a simple misunderstanding, that the two sides of the garage were not telling their drivers the same thing.

Hamilton's engineers had given him a lap-time target to ensure he got to the end of the race; Button's had told him to save fuel but not given him a target.

Hamilton had been told that Button would not overtake; Button had not been told that he couldn't.

It is also worth mentioning the background to McLaren's wishes not to be seen to interfere with their drivers' ability to race each other - despite Max Mosley no longer being FIA president, they are still paranoid about being jumped on by the governing body at the slightest opportunity, as they believe was the case during the Mosley era.

I'm told Hamilton is not particularly upset about this - although had he not been able to get back past Button, and ended up finishing second behind his team-mate, he certainly would be.

Be that as it may, you can bet Hamilton will have been asking team principal Martin Whitmarsh for an explanation, and some reassurance about what actually had happened.

One thing is abundantly clear - someone wants this information out. In case the viewer is in any doubt about what has been said on the McLaren radio, formula1.com helpfully provide subtitles!

Interestingly, the formula1.com video also features new radio transmissions from Red Bull.

But not, sadly, perhaps the most telling conversation that appears to have happened in their team during that race - that, as Hughes reported in Autosport last week, of team principal Christian Horner telling Mark Webber's race engineer Ciaran Pilbeam to order the Australian to let Sebastian Vettel pass, a message Pilbeam did not pass on.

What is broadcast for the first time, though, is Pilbeam urging Webber to "use your overtake button for a boost on the straight" to help him defend against Vettel on the straight before Turn 12 on the fateful lap 40.

The more that comes out about the Webber-Vettel collision, the more it appears that Red Bull were trying to engineer a win for the German.

There is Horner's order to Pilbeam. I understand this was not passed on because Pilbeam was preoccupied with something else at the time.

Then there is adviser Helmut Marko's insistence after the race that Webber was at fault, when the vast majority of observers pinned most of the blame on Vettel for turning right into Webber when he was still alongside, if nosing ahead.

It also transpires that in the post-race debrief - which Vettel did not attend because he had left the track - Horner, Marko and chief technical officer Adrian Newey "laid into" Webber and Pilbeam. And strong words were said in the other direction, too.

I hear another interesting fact, as well.

Red Bull said after the race that Webber had asked the team to slow Vettel down. But that is not accurate. Having noticed Vettel was quicker than him on the straight, Webber had actually asked whether Vettel was on the same engine settings as him.

I understand the team and Webber will make this clear in Canada this weekend.

Just as at McLaren, there appears to have been an element of confusion and mixed messages involved at Red Bull.

Nevetheless, it does look like Red Bull - who, like McLaren, profess to treat both drivers equally - were keen for Vettel to win. If so, why?

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


They will argue, I believe, that they wanted to ensure they got a one-two, and that they were in the awkward position of having to fend off two McLarens while also saving fuel to ensure they got to the end.

They will say they believed their best hope of doing so was to have their faster driver on the day - Vettel - lead and pull out a gap, and leave their slower one - Webber - to hold back the McLarens.

But you can argue that this is contrary to the rules forbidding team orders. And you can imagine how that will look to Webber, a man who has long believed the team secretly favoured Vettel and could be forgiven after Turkey for feeling that his concerns have been confirmed.

To add to the intrigue, Red Bull announced on Monday that Webber had signed a new contract with the team and will partner Vettel again in 2011.

This, we can be certain, is far from the last we have heard of either of these issues.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I watched the race edit on f1.com yesterday and couldn't believe the Hamilton / Button scenario being played out. As you report Hamilton asked if Button would not overtake if he slowed down, and was told "No". You can understand therefore why Hamilton would be so upset that Button did exactly what he'd been told was not going to happen.

    Personally I don't think for a moment that Button went past Hamilton because of some misunderstanding or different instructions being received. I think Button went past because it hurts him to know that despite being the current world champion everyone (rightly in my opinion) thinks Hamilton is the better driver. He wanted to get one up on his team-mate, simple as.

    Unfortunately for Button he's left with egg on his face. He went past Hamilton unfairly (Hamilton wasn't racing him because he'd been told Button wasn't going to pass), only for Hamilton to easily regain the lead on the next corner, thereby pretty much proving Hamilton really is the better driver, the last thing Button expected or wanted.

    The really interesting thing about all this though is the f1.com race edit, and as you point out the sub-titles in case there's any doubt about the McLaren radio messages. Who made the decision to include that in the edit, and why?

  • Comment number 2.

    Oops, the 2nd sentence above should've read :-

    As you report Hamilton asked if Button would overtake if he slowed down, and was told "No".

  • Comment number 3.

    Smart move by Red Bull to get Webber signed on for another year and annouce it this week. It should go some way towards repairing the damaged image of the team and give an impression of togetherness from the outside at least.

    In reality I bet there's a get-out clause in that contract and if Mark Webber continues the great form he's been showing he might get an offer he can't refuse from the likes of Ferrari or Mercedes.

  • Comment number 4.

    And Webber is staying at Red Bull for another year. Is it just me or does this seem a little strange?

  • Comment number 5.

    Hey Andrew Benson, I take you saw the email (below) that I sent to f1@bbc.co.uk yesterday morning with regards to your blog today:
    Hi All
    I am a fan of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Jensen Button and McLaren but I think that there is still a lot of unanswered questions from last weeks Grand Prix in Istanbul please all check out the Video race edit from the Formula 1 website http://www.formula1.com/video/race_edits.html it will shake you to your bones ;-(
    Lewis, Jenson and Martin Whitmarsh need to clear up a thing or two!!!
    Regards
    Patrick (Essex)

  • Comment number 6.

    once again andrew, excellent article giving us the viewers/fan an isnight as to what happen during the turkish grand prix. i cant help but to wonder if Mclaren are favouring jenson to the detriment of lewis. i hope to GOD that this is not the case. we want both drivers to be treated equally in every sense of the word. im beginning to get a sick feeling in my stomach regarding the whole Mclaren/redbull situation.

    if this is the case, then us the fans dont want any of it. people will start boycotting the sport if they sense any foul play. MCLAREN/REDBULL PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING, TREAT YOUR DRIVERS FAIRLY.

  • Comment number 7.

    Fascinating stuff about the Red Bulls - I figured that Horner coming out and saying Webber had asked them to slow Vettel down was smokescreen at the time. The more that comes out about what happened on lap 40, the more clumsy and inept Vettel's move looks now - after all, if your team is trying to "engineer" you a win, then you had better get the overtake right in the first place!

    As for Jenson & Lewis, I think Jenson's comment after the race about "having to have a go" when he came across Lewis dawdling down to turn 12 says it all really - it would have looked awfully like team orders if he'd just leapt off the throttle instead, wouldn't it? So they had a brief, clean dice for position that lasted 3 corners, order was then restored and Lewis subsequently rather spoiled the whole thing by being mardy on the podium. Had he been less petulant about it, we wouldn't even be making an issue of the thing...

  • Comment number 8.

    FIA SHOULD START TO LOOK INTO THESE THINGS, IM SICK OF TEAM ORDERS TRYING TO INFLUENCE THE OUTCOME OF THE RACE. IT DRIVES ME ABSOLUTELY NUTS. I FOR ONE WILL BE KEEPING A CLOSE EYES ON THESE TEAMS AS THE SEASON ON FOLDS.I CAN SMELL A RAT FROM A MILE

  • Comment number 9.

    Thought it was pretty obvious after the race that this is what happened chez McClaren. Buttons words pre podium, those we could hear, and his body language seemed to be as reassuring towards Lewis as possible.

    Don't see any great intrigue in F1.com releasing radio transmits, clears up why Lewis was a bit grumpy after race. Paddy Lowe was also pretty keen to have a word in his ear before podium too. Agree with AB that this was simple miscommunication, obviously with potentially significant consequences.

    I simply don't see this as a big deal, team made a mistake in how they communicated, teams make much bigger mistakes but the world keeps going . . . Lewis & Jenson will always have a better relationship than that unravelling at Red Bull, (Check Vettels reaction to Webbers comments in post qualifying tv), because they've both got the maturity of having won WDC

  • Comment number 10.

    PEM1963 - Congratulations on noticing something which millions of other people had also noticed. I'm sure Andrew Benson has to wait to be informed of these things...

    Mark Roper - what utter nonsense that Button overtook to prove his worth as a racing driver. It is well known that there is a clause in the McLaren drivers' contract to the effect of "you must do what the team manager or other nominated person tells you to do." Why would Button therefore ignore the team's advice - all he would do is make enemies. Highly unlikely.

    What is interesting about this, I think, is that Hamilton even asked the question in the first place. Although the drivers are at the same team, the "no team orders" rule means that they are always racing each other. From Button's point of view, he knows he is saving fuel, and knows that the guy in front is, too. Why shouldn't he overtake? It's his own race he's risking if he runs out of fuel or the car comes in underweight.

    If Hamilton has to go so slowly to save fuel that his team-mate can come past him, it's his bad luck or bad judgement earlier in the race (remember Jenson was apparently saving fuel from lap 20-30 onwards).

    All of what I have written assumes that there indeed was a need to save fuel, and that it wasn't just coded messages. I find it hard to believe that they were coded messages which weren't understood, as it's very very easy to set up behind closed doors.

    I really believe there was problems with saving fuel. If that is the case, then they are free to fight for track position, surely.

  • Comment number 11.

    There are so many fishy goings on at McLaren - so many "miscommunications" already on Lewis' side of the garage, it is no wonder that conspiracy theories are flying around. Coupled with that slow pit stop. How can they tell Lewis one thing and indicate to him that he doesn't need to defend, and relay something different to Button? I thought they had shuffled about their engineers with Phil Prew as the central one, in order to IMPROVE communication. If it wasn't that Button sneaked past an unsuspecting Hamilton (which is a strong possibility), then McLaren's communications are not fit for purpose, OR they are trying to hobble Lewis and get Button in front.

    Don't know if anyone noticed, but if you listen again, it was Whitmarsh's voice who said strongly "No Lewis.. no". The whole thing is extremely suspicious and F1.com have tried to stir up a hornet's nest. Funny that no media outlet so far, except specialist online F1 sites, have picked up on this story. You can bet your bottom dollar, if Lewis sneaked past an undefending Button, it would be another excuse to Hamilton-bash by the British media.

    I remember also, Brundle thought when the transmission came to Lewis: "Save fuel now, both cars are the same" that it meant they would cruise to the line in the same position to save fuel, so it cannot have been that hard an instruction to understand.

  • Comment number 12.

    To add to my last comment, we really need to hear Button's transmissions also to get the full picture.

  • Comment number 13.

    I've seen elsewhere that there are still people who believe Webber was at fault.
    It just goes to show what bias can do.
    I have never particularly warmed to Webber and until this incident, was an admirer of Vettel who, as well as being a brilliant driver, seemed to be pleasant and "grounded".
    I still don't particularly like Webber but my opinion of Vettel has altered completely. His disgusting behaviour in refusing to accept that he was at fault, including shaking his fist at Webber as they passed in the sand trap, has shown that his on-camera demeanour is just a sham.
    I have watched the video many, many times. Webber left room for Vettel and was actually moving to his right, away from Vettel when Vettel turned into him.
    There was nothing that Webber could have done to avoid a collision at that point and Vettel must have known that. It is clear from the video that Vettel was little more than a wheel ahead of Webber and had no right to make his suicidal move.
    I can only imagine that a la Senna and Schumacher, Vettel is laying down his marker that if you defend against him or try to pass him, he is prepared to crash into you.
    This crash was 100% down to Vettel.
    As Alain Prost once prophetically said of Ayrton Senna "His problem is, he thinks that he can't be killed".

  • Comment number 14.

    I agree with the sentiments expressed in post 6. Clearly there was a mix up in the Mclaren garage (I don't agree with post as I think the majority of people are impressed by the fact that Button is doing so well against Lewis), but the situation in Redbull leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Its one thing to tell your drivers to hold station (as it appears McLaren may have been doing), but quite another to expect one driver to allow the other driver to overtake to take a race win. If the FIA are serious about preventing the sort of situation we used to see with Schumacher during his Ferrari days then they should investigate this further.

  • Comment number 15.

    Not sure why some commenters here are paranoid about the FIA's video from Turkey.

    As a matter of fact, in almost every video, they release new radio transmissions, it's a regular occurrence and nothing to be very cynical about. Sure, they are trying to create tension but it was already there, now we just have some proof to back it up.

  • Comment number 16.

    I hadn't realised it was Webber's engineer saying use the boost button. I thought it was Vettel's.

    I remember a few years ago when teams had to stop encrypting their radio traffic so the FIA could monitor it. I think only McL and Ferrari were encrypting at the time. Ferrari released they own transcripts of McLaren radio traffic!

    It brings up an important point. The FIA release selected radio during the race, but this can affect race outcomes (telling Red Bull that McLaren were into fuel saving). How do they ensure that this information is fair across all teams?

    The selective release of traffic on the f1.com site was a clear provocation against selected teams. Who is going to police the FIA if they show such bias? What other juicy conversations were had by other teams during the race? Where are the snippets of things said to Vettel and Webber in the run up to lap 40? I hope this was just clumsy of the FIA rather than a machiavellian plot.

    FOTA must surely become involved and agree a protocol which stops this selective release. It should be: demonstrably fair across teams, all released or none released.

    Re the McLaren radio, it sounds like they need to ensure that the two engineers are both working to the same script. Maybe the pit needs another re-design...

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm glad they did make it abundantly clear in the F1 edit - I was left surprised after the race thinking a reason for Hamilton's lack of enthusiasm after the race was because he couldn't accept that Jenson was quite competitive.

    Now we know Hamilton wasn't racing Jenson at all and was even told he wouldn't overtake. This changes everything - of course Hamilton should feel hacked off about this.

    This is why I'm glad FOA released this with subtitles to leave fans in absolutely no doubt about the gravity of the facts behind what seemed to be a simple misunderstanding.

    I agree with EJ's views on the forum when he questioned the 'fuel saving' message. I think he needs to do more interviews especially with the more PR-conscious folk in the paddock. I loved his little grilling of Martin Whitmarsh!

    Also - I was under the impression that the F1 radios were now open to the media. I'm sure I heard Ted reporting on a radio conversation a while ago that viewers hadn't heard broadcast on the radio. If the radios are still open, I'm surprised neither Ted/Lee or the BBC/other media didn't hear until FOA released it.

    Looking forward to the weekend's coverage. Keep up the good work BBC. Although you didn't win the BAFTA you still do a truly fantastic job of F1 broadcasting.

  • Comment number 18.

    Sorry, but your facts are wrong.

    Watch the post race scene again.

    Hamilton to Button: "what was that about?"
    A few moments later, Button started to explain why he overtook Hamilton. Hamilton interrupted him and said something like "no I didn't mean that, I was referring to those two" and nodded in Webber's direction.

    Stop stirring.

  • Comment number 19.

    Webber's extended contract seems like an extremely clear attempt at an olive branch by Red Bull to me! Guilty conscience...?

  • Comment number 20.

    #6 'people will start boycotting the sport if they sense any foul play'
    If that was true, everybody would have switched off years ago lol!

    Fact is, it would be far more sensible to allow team orders, but have an understanding with the teams that you don't do anything that makes the racing look silly, like Ferrari infamously did with Michael and Rubens. Shouldn't be hard, because it's not in their interests to do that anyway.

    But where is the FIA investigation into the apparent admission of team prders at both McL and RB? Not to mention the Ferrari protest? Don't tell me common sense has got in the way of FIA beaurocracy??????

    Excellent summation by the way Andrew.

  • Comment number 21.

    #7 As for Jenson & Lewis, I think Jenson's comment after the race about "having to have a go" when he came across Lewis dawdling down to turn 12 says it all really - it would have looked awfully like team orders if he'd just leapt off the throttle instead, wouldn't it? So they had a brief, clean dice for position that lasted 3 corners, order was then restored and Lewis subsequently rather spoiled the whole thing by being mardy on the podium. Had he been less petulant about it, we wouldn't even be making an issue of the thing...

    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't for a minute buy your view that Jenson felt he needed to pass Lewis, and then let Lewis overtake him back, in order to avoid the appearance of team orders. They'd just been first-hand witnesses to the dangers of overtaking your team-mate when in a 1-2 position. Jenson overtook Lewis with the intent to win the race, it's as simple as that. Lewis was surprised, as he had been told Jenson wouldn't overtake, but quickly got back on to the offensive to take back his rightful place ahead of Jenson.

    "Lewis subsequently rather spoiled the whole thing by being mardy on the podium"? You almost lost the race to your team-mate because your team either accidentally or deliberately gave you the wrong information. I think any of us would be a bit miffed.

    As for the blog Andrew, some interesting new stuff in there. I, like you, put the whole Jenson-Lewis fight down to a misunderstanding. It's far too early in the season to start choosing favourites in teams like McLaren and Red Bull, and I can't see any reason why McLaren would want to risk their 1-2 just to get Jenson to come 1st.

  • Comment number 22.

    Lewis needs to behave less like a petulent child, it seems he has another season of growing up to do .. His demeanor after the race was much like my 4 year old when he's been told he can't have more sweets.

    If he's not careful he will end up looking a bit daft in comparison to the more mature Button who is handling himself with dignity whilst the press scoff at him for going to McLaren.

    As for Red Bull .. they're making themselves look like a bunch of amateurs .. Vettel is behaving like a spoilt brat and the team are encouraging him (what were all those hugs and kisses at the pitwall about after he nearly took Webber out ?), and no one's sure if Horner or Marco is running the team, if it's Horner then Marco should keep his opinions to himself when in public.

    I have lost my respect for Red Bull after the last race, now, I really hope Webber continues his form and puts Vettel and Red Bull under more pressure .. Button and Hamilton will only benefit.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think there is a point that most people are missing in this ongoing story. That is Hamiltons relative lap times after receiving the team orders. His 'target' pace on the lap that Jenson passed him and the two previous was a lot slower than his lap times after he retook Jenson into turn1.

    I have to ask the question that if Lewis was following his target pace at the time of the Jenson overtake, and that target pace was the necessary speed to allow him to finish the grand prix, then how after incident was he able to go so much faster than his target pace to the end of the lap? Surely he would have ran out of fuel? Obviously he did not.

    This suggests to me, that although fuel may have been a concern, it obviously was not as much of one as everyone made out, the team orders were just that, team orders to hold position. This beggers the question, why on earth was Lewis given an ideal lap time so slow that it gave Jenson the opportunity to pass?

    I don't like conspiracy theories but there is something definitely fishy in the air?

    Re. Road of Bones, what do you think a drivers reaction will be on the podium if he believes his team conspired to get him to finish second? All celebrations? Hamilton behaved extremely well, didn't say anything he would regret and cleared everything up behind closed doors. Some people are never happy with anything Lewis does no matter what... He behaved maturely and respectfully of the team.

  • Comment number 24.

    Why are some people too quick to say Button is the favoured driver? Have they conveniently forgot the last 2 races where the team lost Button a place at the pit stop in Spain and left the bung in Monaco?

    Just look at the situation of this race from the wider picture. Hamilton was tucked up behind the Red Bulls most of the race trying to pass and would have been pushing harder and using more fuel to do so. Button was staying just outside Vettels dirty air and Hamiltons to preserve his tyres. So towards the end Button would have been less critical and therefore had 1 chance to overtake before he was as critical.

    If people were being objective they'd then see that it was no different to China where Hamilton was catching Button and they were allowed to still race at the end. Also i bet if it was the other way round we'd be hearing how its because Lewis is a racer etc.

    So really not much here other than conspiracy theories.

  • Comment number 25.

    Incredible. Absolutely cast-iron team orders from McLaren. Shocking.

    Button looks even more like a fool now, as #1 suggested.

    As for Red Bull, Webber is not considered a great talent in Austria, and so 'Baby Schumi' will get all the big breaks. This is clear, as is Schumacher getting preferential treatment in Mercedes, even though Rosberg had enough points to be considered a real title challenger and the No.1 driver.

  • Comment number 26.

    Also, I would just like to say that the BBC coverage of F1 is the best I have seen, from any news organisation, for any sport. Real well done to all involved.

  • Comment number 27.

    #21: that is, of course, your prerogative to disagree!

    I saw a good bit of driving from both of them, and the right result at the end of the race. Why is everyone so desperate to see conspiracies and favouritism at McLaren? Haven't all the recent fan-surveys said that we want to see more overtaking in F1?

    And before people start to trot out the "Lewis was going slower and thought they weren't racing" line, it is up to the driver to manage his pace on the racetrack - he had been given a target time of 1.31, and the lap before he had done a 1.33, so he had clearly missed his target. What was Jenson supposed to do - brake early?

  • Comment number 28.

    listen to the intonation of the first part of the question 'IF I BACK OFF,' is jenson going to pass me or not?' very telling in my opinion. surprised not picked up by any of you.
    @TH post 10. you completely answer the second part of your arguement with the first part. some people!?? LOL

  • Comment number 29.

    #1 Really?

    I think Jenson has done more than enough to disprove the Hamilton miles better theory, by being ahead of him in the championship.

    Hamilton may be exciting and more aggressive but Jenson's shown there’s more than one-way to win a race. Hamilton could learn a thing or two.

    I think he was just trying to win a race, because he had more in his tyres and tank, and Hamilton should be kinda grateful for coded messages telling Button to back off


  • Comment number 30.

    i should proof read my posts.
    to reword my counter to T.Hicks post #10.
    this part of your arguement (which i find completely flawed and illogical as well as highly speculative);

    [If Hamilton has to go so slowly to save fuel that his team-mate can come past him, it's his bad luck or bad judgement earlier in the race (remember Jenson was apparently saving fuel from lap 20-30 onwards).]

    answered by this part of your same ramblings.

    Mark Roper - what utter nonsense that Button overtook to prove his worth as a racing driver. It is well known that there is a clause in the McLaren drivers' contract to the effect of "you must do what the team manager or other nominated person tells you to do." Why would Button therefore ignore the team's advice - all he would do is make enemies. Highly unlikely.

    it did make me chuckle....

  • Comment number 31.

    27: On the contrary, if this was a simple miss understanding on the pit wall, and therefore a racing incdient then I have absolutely no problem with this what so ever. I am quite happy to watch a good fight at anytime in a race. Even if that is between the two British team mates when a 1-2 is all but assured.

    I am simply responding to your comment regarding Lewis's reaction on the podium and trying to explain the situation from what would have been his point of view. I am in strongly in the camp that his media reactions this year have been thoughtful and mature and didn't agree with your reaction that he acted with petulance. At that time he would have been unaware of the circumstances and would be understandably concerned about the fact that Jenson attempted to pass him when as far as he was aware the race had all but been called off by the pit wall

  • Comment number 32.

    The whole Webber/Vettel incident (and perhaps the McLarens as well) brings up an interesting point, are we going to get like the 125cc motorbikes, where the one behind has the advantage of slip streaming and racers play games even almost coming to a halt to ensure they don't lead into the final straight?

    If following your faster team mate around for 40 laps saves you even a little fuel as he punches through the air in front, the follower will then have the extra fuel to "turn up the wick" for the last crucial few laps.

    This could be extremely worrying for the sport. Who would want to try to lead the early laps in a pair of matched team mates under such circumstances? The one behind will appear "faster" as they have more fuel to play with, and the team may be tempted to let him through (see Vettel vs Webber).

    Paradoxically team orders would have prevented this in the "bad old days" as the drivers would be told to hold station after it was clear who was in the lead in the final laps, but the drivers would race each other flat out to that point, to ensure they were the one in front at that stage.

  • Comment number 33.

    Those who believe there is now mud between LH and JB can get back in your pram's.

    As for Mark Roper's scenario and his 'proof' that LH is a better driver than JB because he muscled his way back in front of JB .. come back from la la land. They are 2 very different drivers. LH is a b*lls out senna/mansell-esq racer. Button is more Prost/Hill.
    Sure LH's re-pass was fantastic and fearless but his blood was also pumping as he thought he'd been tricked.
    Whether JB tried a fast one or not, his behaviour on turn 1 shows his maturity. He could have kept his line and it would have been Webber/Vettel deja-vu, but you can see JB avoid's a collision.

    Having said that LH deserved the win for that alone.

  • Comment number 34.

    Vettel just gave another press interview. Hes still denying he's to blame and said the crazy sign he did after he crashed was normal at the end of races and did not suggest webber was mad. Vettel and Red Bull have lost everything in terms of credibility in one ten day period. What a shame. Lies and cover ups. And worst of all bratish behaviour. The team should have waited to look at the footage before berating Webber. And Vettel should just put his hands up and admit he was wrong. Damage contained. Lets move on. Instead they have gone from one hash up to a huge press nightmare. The f1 official sitewith its Hamilton subtitles is very interesting. At school we would have called it "S..t-stirring!"

  • Comment number 35.

    Having just watched this video, it seems pretty clear why lewis was so peeved. Another gaffe by macca.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuKJhnBA64E

  • Comment number 36.

    Nice one Andrew - explains a lot

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    Interesting Article Andrew with some good insight.

    At the same time though, it all feels rather depressing. I know this is nothing new, but races being decided by blokes in the boardroom (the pit wall) all makes it sound terribly corperate and clinical.

    I know this has gone on for absolutely years, but its always a shame when things like this are brought out as i still like to suspend reality and pretend the Drivers are doing it for themselves when i watch the telly - i.e - Vettel had a go at Webber and Webber defended becuase both Drivers wanted to battle on the track, not Vettel had a go at Webber and it ended in a crash becuase the message from the Pit Wall hadn't got through for Webber to move over. AND, Button had a go and Hamilton because he wanted to, not becuase of some botched radio message.

    Ideally, i'd like all Radio Transmissions banned, but the complexity of the sport nowadays is such that it can't happen.

    Incidentally, Anyone notice Christian Horner on the Red Bull Pit wall clearly mouthing the words "Move...MOVE!!" as Vettel makes his move on Webber.

  • Comment number 39.


    Hamilton went faster than his target pace and did not run out of fuel.
    Did the team read it wrong? Was there any need for the message in the first place?
    Despite people excusing Button ("O, it's not Button's fault, Hamilton couldn't manage his tyres, his fuel, etc"), yet without "team orders", the conserve fuel shout - if Hamilton hadn't got this message - he'd not have needed to slow.

    He got there in the end, the tyres, fuel held out, no? So was there really a problem, a need for that target pace from the team, in the first place? Lucky it was all alright on the night...in the end.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think Seb Vettel needs to go have a nice long conversation with Herr Schumacher. Ask him about how it felt to be booed on the podium of the Austrian Grand Prix that time after Rubens was ordered to let him pass.

    A hint, Vettel. You might be quite pleased to have wins handed to you by your team mate, but the fans will never forgive you for it.

    Never. Ever. Ever...

  • Comment number 41.

    Red Bull are really starting to annoy me, if they are going to favour a driver don't be so open about it, i think t will all end in tears at the end of the season and one of them will leave. I like the blog.

  • Comment number 42.

    It would be far more interesting to BAN radios, and the drivers have to rely on the much unused pit board to understand what's required of them. True, we wouldn't get the whinging and whinings of an F1 race driver, but we also wouldn't get driving instructions from the pits. It should be up to the drivers "skill" to manage their vehicles throughout the race.

  • Comment number 43.

    Judging by the action in Turkey it's quite clear that, if there were team orders, someone forgot to tell the drivers!! Long may this mis-communication continue if we get to see the same action throughout the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 44.

    #7
    Did you read the article whatsoever?.
    I suggest you do, and be more informed, rather than just 'guess' a random explanation :)

    I can see why LH would be hashed off, being told 'no' Jenson won't be overtaking you if you save fuel, then seeing him come through.
    Mind you, shows you the racer he is. Bit of a stick in the rear end for all the JB fan boys eh ;)

    As for Horner, sounds like Team orders to me, which are illegal are they not?. Engineer a win for one driver?.

    RB dropped a right clanger last weekend, lost a lot of fans, me included.

  • Comment number 45.

    @41 David

    Agree with you David, they are annoying me. I'd like to know the real reason why Mark Webber has signed for another year? Christian Horner said the decision to retain Webber had been "straightforward" I feel there is a degree of falseness.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8725679.stm

  • Comment number 46.

    this author sounds prejudicial with his claims that hamilton didn't tell the whole truth but never mentioned that hamilton wasn't told the whole truth nor did he indicate that horner lied to the press about webber asking them to slow vettel down. it's not about the fundamental message but the association of hamilton's name with the words not telling the whole truth and lies.
    if he was fair he'd associate everyone who lied with the same words. shame onto him.

  • Comment number 47.

    Like alge7a in post 34 I'm disapointed that Vettel hasn't admitted he made a mistake so that both drivers can move on. Cearly, this incidence is now going to rumble on throughout the rest of the season and if is costs Red Bull one or both championships then they only have their weak management to blame. And yes Sebastian, we did all understand what the sing you made at the end of your race meant...

  • Comment number 48.

    Why the fixation on what went on at McLaren, when the Red Bull story is both more spectacular and more interesting?

    McLaren are doing no spinning at all, but Red Bull are bending over backwards to make Vettel the good guy. They also tried to engineer a Vettel race win. What do they stand to gain by this?

    Webber is clearly number 2 at Red Bull, yet in the immediate aftermath of seeing the proof of this, he signs another contract? There is far more to this than meets the eye.

    On the other hand, only die-hard conspiracy theorists believe that McLaren were engineering a Jenson win. It really is a non-story.

  • Comment number 49.

    Button for the title, he is clearly more relaxed engaging and far less pompus than Hamilton! Button has become a much more accomplished driver in the past few seasons and his experience and attitude gives him the edge in my opinion!

  • Comment number 50.

    OK, I think my original post was a bit too melodramic :)

    But for me what comes out of the Button / Hamilton affair is 3 things :-

    1. Drivers being told to "save fuel" is effectively the same thing as "team orders", which is unfortunate because we're all racing fans here and we all want to see the drivers having a go. As others have said, if they really needed to save fuel why did they not run out after picking up the pace?

    2. Hamilton comes out of this well because he was overtaken by a sneaky move but won his place back fairly, and in light of these revelations behaved admirably after the race by not expressing his views in public, as he might have done a year or 2 ago. Shows he's growing up. Yes, he might need to grow up a bit more sometimes but he's getting there.

    3. Button comes out of this badly. His move on Hamilton was underhand. Yes, you can argue drivers should always be racing, it's up to them to defend their position, manage their fuel / tyres etc. etc. But Hamilton had been told he didn't need to defend against Button, and Button took advanatge of that. Whether it's in the rules or not, whether it's Hamilton's fault for being naive or mis-informed etc., Button's move was underhand and not befitting a world champion.

  • Comment number 51.

    @Mark Roper, you wrote:

    Unfortunately for Button he's left with egg on his face. He went past Hamilton unfairly (Hamilton wasn't racing him because he'd been told Button wasn't going to pass), only for Hamilton to easily regain the lead on the next corner, thereby pretty much proving Hamilton really is the better driver, the last thing Button expected or wanted.

    I tend to disagree. Button said boo and Hamilton was visibly shaken, he didn't expect it. That gives the psychological advantage to Jenson. An advantage he has cultivated since the beginning of the season. It puts Lewis in a tricky position, because, for the first time, he's being challenged by a team-mate. This is not the same as with Nando Alonso, because, as a rookie, he had absolutely nothing to lose. He's a WDC now, respected, admired, very highly regarded. But, his first race win of the season has been overshadowed by his team-mate nudging him on the shoulder and sending an unexpected message - Jenson Button can beat Lewis Hamilton in a straight fight on the track. Game on.

  • Comment number 52.

    With regards to post 50, I don't think its fair to say Button's move was underhand because he hadn't been told that Lewis had been told he didn't need to defend from him.

  • Comment number 53.

    I don't know why Hamilton should be upset with Button - if Button hadn't given him room into the corner when Hamilton re-passed him, there would have been a similar accident to that involving the Red Bulls, as Hamilton was clearly going to fast/late into the corner (on the dirty side of the track) to get around on the inside line.

  • Comment number 54.

    Wow! no wonder the guy was peeved! Dont understand why martin whitmarsh did not explain exactly what happened to the fans straight away as there were clearly questions being asked. Instead it had to come to light this way. In fact I think after the race he left the track straight away (was it to avoid the in dept post race interviews of the forum?). Had it not been for this edited video would we had ever known the facts?

    Well done for this article andrew. Its answered the questions we have been asking since the turkish grand prix.

  • Comment number 55.

    I can genuinely believe that the Mclaren situation was a misunderstanding, due to Martin Whitmarsh's leadership style and the new atmosphere at Mclaren because of that.

    You could even argue (as some might well believe) that it was indeed a misunderstanding, because, supposedly, Mclaren would NEVER dare let the other teammate pass their young pretender whom they have tailored and supported for years. I don't believe that they do support Hamilton any more than Button this year, but still, I thought i'd through that in there.

    However, at Red Bull, the situation appears to be far more edgy, despite all the public 'friends forever' statements. The turkish grand prix weekend clearly gave an indication that Red Bull support Vettel more than Webber. On current form, where is the reasoning for that? Yes, Webber is getting old for a racing driver, but despite that, he appears to be a late bloomer, and is really driving well. He also now has the WDC lead, and a bit of a gap to Vettel too. So why should they support Vettel any more than Webber? The answer is, that, right now, this season, they shouldn't. If they did so in the last few races, when one of the drivers was challenging for the title, and the other was not, then that may be forgiveable. But it is not even half way through the season. I think Red Bull will continue to struggle internally, as tensions and stresses build up as the championship unfolds. This won't be the end of the tears. The team showed their true colours at Turkey.

  • Comment number 56.

    If people think that Button is being favoured over Hamtilton then they have very short memories. Monaco anyone....

  • Comment number 57.

    @51, that's my point, I don't think JB can beat LH in a straight fight. JB might have rattled him, but he's still got to prove he's got the skills IMO, LH has been overtaking for fun this year, JB's hardly overtaken anyone other than those with far inferior cars, or a team-mate he knew was saving fuel :)

    @52, JB must have known LH was saving fuel (just as he was), which is the same thing as being told LH had been told he didn't need to defend.

    @53, JB was fair in respect to LH's re-take, granted, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a sneaky thing to do taking the lead in the 1st place.

  • Comment number 58.

    Also, I don't think either Mclaren driver is hindered in any way by this. The cause of the overtake, as the article above and other sources (the FIA highlights cut etc), show that there was a misunderstanding between the drivers engineers and the central team command. This happens from time to time, so it is entirely feasible. Therefore, if Button hadn't been told to just sit tight and stay behind, in whatever coded way Mclaren chose, then he was perfectly entitled to have a go and pass. And who knows, Hamilton may actually have had been in more trouble on the fuel front. Theoretically, what if he did have to slow more than Button? Should Button not be able to pass, however much trouble Hamilton was in?

    Then, the actual action itself shows how much mature and composed Mclaren are, even in times of mistakes and tension. Okay, it was between the Drivers on the track, but it just reflects so well on the atmosphere and environment at Mclaren. Both drivers gave respect and room to the other, and it was a pleasure to watch. They weren't idiotic and stupid like the Red Bull drivers and team appear to be.

  • Comment number 59.

    Andrew you are soooooooo late on this story, but I will not hold it against you!

    However, stick to the point, the Vettel and Webber story is played out. It is also clear that the RedBull hirearchy are trying to protect Vettel and propel him to a false championship early in his career. If he is as good as people make out he should be able to beat Webber over the course of 19 races, without team orders.

    Webber was a driver with promise, but got lulled into David Coulthard's level of mediocrity at some point in his career, now he is back to his best and his team have made it clear that they want to shut him down.

    The point of this blog as you stated at the beginning is Hamilton/Button - here lies the question! Does Whitmarsh want Button to win the championship by compromising Hamilton (Australia and Turkey), if so why?

    Fuel savings, tyre management, slipstream all that is a boloni sandwich (I mean story - Whitmarsh got caught!). If Hamilton could not make it to the end of the race, the message should have been - you are not going to make it to the finish and Button will over take you (Buttton has better tyres and fuel), you (Hamilton)decide how you want to end the race.

  • Comment number 60.

    @51 iloveyoubrother, you wrote: "Jenson Button can beat Lewis Hamilton in a straight fight on the track".

    I wonder, did you watch the race edit at all or just spew your nonsense because you love Button and hate Hamilton. Button overtaking Hamilton WAS NOT a straight fight on track as Hamilton had been told that he and Button were saving fuel, targeting lap times and that Button categorically WOULDN'T overtake Hamilton because of this. Therefore, Button overtook a slowing down, non-defending Hamilton, NOT a racing Hamilton. We all saw what happened when Hamilton was a racing Hamilton!

    This in fact proves that Button can only sneakily overtake when the team puts Hamilton off his guard and mixes up (intentionally or otherwise) his communications.

  • Comment number 61.

    Just to all the posters baying for Button's blood, just ask yourself this question:

    If the roles were reversed would you have been complaining about underhand tactics or saying Hamilton is a true racer and only wants to win etc?

    It is a storm in a teacup which is only being perpetuated because at present the so predicted thrashing hasn't happened yet and excuses are trying to be found.

  • Comment number 62.

    I used to somewhat like Red Bull as they are based in Milton Keynes, and although they are classed as an Austrian team the make-up is mostly British. But after this, if whats been reported is indeed true, then unfortunately I have to say Red Bull are an absolute disgrace!
    I really can't believe how anyone can lay blame on Webber, yes he could have left more room but why should he? And I'm sure the last thing he was expecting was Vettel to slam straight into him. And if the team really are favouring Vettel, which seems blindingly obvious, then I would really have considered not signing the contract extension that Webber has. He was leading the championship and the race yet the team wanted him to move over for Vettel!? If I was Webber I would move on at the end of the season if the team showed such a lack of respect. Really is a shame for him, and I never liked Vettel anyway. I just knew there was something unlikable about him which he is proving correct recently.
    As for McLaren, I really hope they don't ruin this chance for a great British team with disorganisation and petulance.

  • Comment number 63.

    39. At 12:48pm on 07 Jun 2010, alanskillcole wrote:


    Hamilton went faster than his target pace and did not run out of fuel.
    Did the team read it wrong? Was there any need for the message in the first place?
    Despite people excusing Button ("O, it's not Button's fault, Hamilton couldn't manage his tyres, his fuel, etc"), yet without "team orders", the conserve fuel shout - if Hamilton hadn't got this message - he'd not have needed to slow.

    He got there in the end, the tyres, fuel held out, no? So was there really a problem, a need for that target pace from the team, in the first place? Lucky it was all alright on the night...in the end.


    ----------------------------------------

    I don't understand this whole saving fuel nonsense, if the RB's hadn't crashed then JB and LH would have been pushing as hard as they could to catch them no? I'm really not enjoying the whole 'saving tyres' 'saving fuel' aspect of F1 this year, I want to see drivers pushing as hard as they can, it seems really 'anti-racing' to me.

  • Comment number 64.

    With regards to post 57, I understand what you're saying, but just because JB and LH were both in fuel saving mode doesn't mean that they couldn't race each other, it just meant they had to turn their engines down.

    Also Button has done a lot of overtaking this year (Schumacher in Turkey for instance). There have been times when both Lewis and Jenson have been stuck behind slower cars (Lewis was stuck behind Alonso in Australia and Sutil a couple of races back), but both drivers have proved they can overtake when there is an oppertunity and they are not shackled by cockpit display failures.

    I really wouldn't want to predict which of the McLaren drivers will be on top at the end of the season.

  • Comment number 65.

    Good on Webber! Signing for another year goes to show that he is not awed by the system!
    It makes a huge amount of sense for Red Bull to 'favour' Vettel: young, gifted, potential world Champion... as opposed to Webber who is entering his 'Gotterdämmerung'; still, just like Barrichello and Schumacher, the Aussie proves that good wine improves with age, and without whingeing; respect! and good luck for the rest of the season!

  • Comment number 66.

    @50

    How can you say JB's move on Hamilton was 'underhand' and 'not befitting a World Champion'? He's a world champion because he overtakes drivers in front of him and wins races. If he was unaware that fuel saving was the order of the day at this point then why shouldn't he attempt to pass Lewis? How did JB know that Lewis didn't had a problem? Is he expected to sit behind him until the pit wall tell him he can pass? This is F1, not a fairground go-kart track. If my grandad was here he'd be spitting feathers about people complaining that someone had the audacity to overtake on the track! JB was doing his job, and that is going as fast as he can at any given moment and trying to finish as high as he possibly can in every race. You telling em Lewis wouldn't have done the same if the roles were reversed?

    Now, on to the Vettel/Webber incident - if I was Webber i'd be on the phone to Maranello to see if they have a drive available. Clearly Red Bull, amd Messers Mateschitz and Marko in particular, only have eyes for Schumi MkII, who by the way, i used to like, but don't now having seen him over the past few weeks has turned into a spoilt brat cos he's not been allowed to win.

  • Comment number 67.

    @64, again my point, JB overtook Schumi (in his far inferior Merc) and ... er, who else? LH has overtaken far more than any other driver this year (just as he did last year, in a relatively poor car, btw)

  • Comment number 68.

    I would agree with post no.64, had Hamilton been told that he needed to conserve fuel, but Button would be allowed to overtake him, he would have been able to defend against Button for longer, if not until the end of the race like he eventually did. In defending a line you are in fact going off line and so if you don't have to do it, you don't.

    The fact LH nailed JB back in turn 1 in typical racer fashion put JB firmly in his place, and should confirm to everyone that LH was not expecting JB to overtake.

    My conclusion is that the race engineers got it wrong with confused messages, 'NO' is pretty definitive in my book. Neither JB nor LH acted in a dishonest way though, they were doing what they do. JB had no instructions and so wouldn't second guess why LH was leaving the door open, as a driver he took it, nothing wrong in that to me, anything could have been wrong with LH's car for all JB knew.

    Not sure there is anything sinister with regard to Whitmarsh either, he has to rely on his engineers to communicate properly with their own driver. LH has had little luck this season, whereas JB has had points positions almost gifted to him this season, when he has had no impact in a race. I expect them both to be in the mix at the end though, despite very different styles, they both race successfully in their own way.

  • Comment number 69.

    @66

    "If he was unaware that fuel saving was the order of the day at this point then why shouldn't he attempt to pass Lewis?"

    That's the point, he was well aware that LH was saving fuel.

  • Comment number 70.

    PS I read these posts and see such Hamilton vs Button fans everywhere. Why don't you support both!? They're British/English so support them both for Christs sake (unless your not from Britain of course, in which case support who you want) we need to get behind all our drivers, sort yourselves out! Its people like you who make British fans the worst in the World even though you think your die-hard stance on one driver over the other is doing them good.

  • Comment number 71.

    trevor4491 has it spot on regarding Webber and Vettle.

    As for Lewis/Jenson.
    Lewis is faster.
    Jenson is wiser.
    We'll see at the end of the season.

  • Comment number 72.

    @RememberScarborough

    "If people think that Button is being favoured over Hamtilton then they have very short memories. Monaco anyone...."

    Woah, woah. You're suggesting that they don't favour Button as much, and proof of this is purposely(?) sabotaging one of their own cars so that he'd retire?

    Surely, a more viable theory, is that someone made a school boy mistake. Jenson wasn't favoured, and qualified further back than Lewis. And the team will be kicking themselves that they lost out on constructors points.

  • Comment number 73.

    Anyone thinking McLaren favour Button needs to have a lie down, why on earth would they do this?

    It all depends on how the instruction is interpreted, and only the team and drivers will know this - anything else is speculation. If they were being told no overtaking in code, obviously Hamilton is entitled to be upset and surpirsed. If they were being told to genuinely save fuel, Button has every right to race Hamilton.

    Swerve1 - I noticed Horner shouting "move" on the first replay too. If Vettel is faster then Webber should not be making it so difficult to pass. If he has a problem with that and wants to hold his team-mate back and let other teams back into the race-winning equation, then I'd say it's Webber to blame. As it transpired Vettel made a mistake with the actual overtake, but it wouldn't have happened if Webber gave him enough room IMO.

  • Comment number 74.

    It's been going round the comments pages for a while that Lewis is "a failed experiment" according to Whitmarsh which he only inherited from Ron Dennis. Jenson, according to Ross Brawn, is at McLaren only to race Lewis and a WDC would be a welcome bonus. Motivation for possible nefarious goings on at McLaren?

    "it's not all about speed" Button wouldn't have any problem with the move he attempted to make on Lewis since, well, it's not all about speed, a win is a win however it comes. Lewis on the other hand probably wouldn't have done this as he want's RACE to the line, an "inherited" win is almost an anathema.

    If it turns out it was a simple miscommunication then all is well and we can all look forward to the rest of the season, otherwise...

  • Comment number 75.

    thanks for this insight, whilst we the fans understand the importance of team orders and why drivers must follow such instructions. It is however sickening to feel any outcome is fixed as it takes away the joy of watching state of the art cars and wonderful drivers at top of their proffession battling each other. I certainly hope the FIA will remind the teams of the rules.

    Good on Webber signing for another year, he's my favourite to win the drivers championship after either Lewis or Jenson!

  • Comment number 76.

    @Iloveyoubrother - You are right LH is spooked, that is because he thought he will be racing JB fairly on the track, however what has transpired is that Whitmarsh is seeking to elevate JB to Number one status!
    Also JB has got away with the rain wins because officially no one was racing him (Not Alonso, Not Redbulls and not even Mercedes). You can be sure that everyone will cover his audacious rain calls in the future. The funny thing is that if Whitmarsh left the drivers to race (not calling LH into the pits with 12 laps to go when he is only 3 seconds behind Button) or giving instructions that JB will not pass when he is clearly running to different instructions in turkey, then at the end of the season JB can satisfy himself and his fans, that he is a good driver - at the moment all we have is a guy that was able to win when his team had a double diffuser and unable to win after everyone else got theirs. It is now clear that the Austrailian win was engineered to his benefit and he was trying to steal Turkey with the help of the Boss once again.

    PS. I did not see Whitmarsh celebrate Lewis win in Turkey and oh by the way for those who think that Button earned his wins and hamilton did not because of the redbull crash - I remember a Vettel breakdown in Austrailia and Nico Rossberg going of track in China.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 69

    Yes, but Jb hadn't been told to save fuel at that point. So why shouldn't he overtake a slower car that is in front of him? If Mclaren had told both drivers to save fuel and 'turn the wick down' (team speak for hold position) and JB ignored it then i could understand the reaction. But JB was unaware, so proceeded as any F1 driver worth his salt would have done, which is to try and improve his position.

  • Comment number 78.

    34. At 12:44pm on 07 Jun 2010, alge7a wrote:
    Vettel just gave another press interview. Hes still denying he's to blame and said the crazy sign he did after he crashed was normal at the end of races and did not suggest webber was mad.

    ===============================

    I think, in the case of the 'crazy sign', its more that Vettel didn't really understand what was meant by the question.

    I got the impression that Vattel thought Lee (the interviewer) was saying that *doing* the sign was crazy - which is why he said it was normal, and that we all know what he meant - rather than him doing a 'crazy sign'.

    If that makes sense.


    (...it probably doesn't).

    To add my opinion, Hamilton certainly wasn't petulant. I think, as he stated on at least 2 occasions that I can remember, it was just mixed feelings - he'd won the race on one hand, but it had been given to him (by a Red Bull mistake) and he probably had concerns over the manner of Buttons overtake on the other hand. Especially if, as we now know, he'd been told that Button would not be overtaking if he dropped his pace.

    To some extent, I agree with the comment further up that some people will always look to criticise Hamilton. I like Button a lot, but for me Hamilton is just the more entertaining driver and entertainment is what I'm after with this sport.

  • Comment number 79.

    @Schloom

    Your comment is a tad highly strung. I suggest a lie down. I do, however, take your point, even if it was rather rudely articulated. "Straight fight" is perhaps too simple a phrase and one which is increasingly difficult to define given the number of variables at play at any given moment during a race. My point is that Lewis was shaken by the events on the track and, although I remain hugely impressed with Lewis Hamilton, hats off to Jenson for testing Lewis and continuing to exert considerable pressure on arguably the most naturally gifted driver in F1.

  • Comment number 80.

    I agree with most on here that the McLaren incident genuinely seems to be down to miscommunication/misunderstanding. This amouts to incompetance but is less sinister than what appears to be happening at Red Bull.

    Does anyone know how the Red Bull incident was portrayed in the German media? Did they take Red Bull's stance in supporting Vettel? Or, like the majority of objective spectators, do they see that the team have clearly shown that Webber should merely play a support role to the young German?

  • Comment number 81.

    63. At 1:38pm on 07 Jun 2010, Melx wrote:

    I'm really not enjoying the whole 'saving tyres' 'saving fuel' aspect of F1 this year, I want to see drivers pushing as hard as they can, it seems really 'anti-racing' to me.

    ========================================

    So, so true.

  • Comment number 82.

    Let's not be overly partisan about who did what to whom or who's better. Let's be very grateful that F1.com put out this information and that PEM1963 understood its significance. And the lesson that ALL drivers will have learned in Turkey is that they can't trust their teams and they can't trust their team mates. The only way they can win is by beating everyone else. And the viewing public will be the beneficiaries. Let's see the drivers race. That's all we want at the end of the day.

    And the teams should have learned that cynical manipulation doesn't work and is detested by all. But we need more info like this to keep them honest.

    Game on!

  • Comment number 83.

    I think it's absolutely crazy to suggest that McLaren might be favouring Button over Hamilton, especially after so much was made of Button joining "Hamilton's Team" (I don't think Hamilton is favoured either btw).

    My feeling (admittedly no evidence to support this), is that Button probably made the pass to get one over on Hamilton. Despite leading him in the Championship, Hamilton has generally been quicker than Button, and he's also passed him on the track in a race. I think the momentum is starting to get behind Hamilton and this was an opportunity for JB to have a dig.

    In the same way it must have been very satisfying for Schumacher to pass Alonso (even though it didn't stick in the end), I think Button must have loved making the pass on Hamilton. Hamilton must have been furious and his dive down the inside on turn one was from quite far back, and could have easily taken them both off.

    At the end of the season when everyone's talking about who was most competitive, JB can now say "I've passed Hamilton on the track, so I have been competitive".

  • Comment number 84.

    63. At 1:38pm on 07 Jun 2010, Melx wrote:

    I'm really not enjoying the whole 'saving tyres' 'saving fuel' aspect of F1 this year, I want to see drivers pushing as hard as they can, it seems really 'anti-racing' to me.

    =========================================================================

    Spot on! They should give them all the same amount of fuel at the start of the race which is enough to get them to the end at full on pace. Or, how about this for a brilliant idea, let them refuel during the race............

  • Comment number 85.

    "At the end of the season when everyone's talking about who was most competitive, JB can now say "I've passed Hamilton on the track, so I have been competitive"."

    I don't think you will ever hear him say that with respect to this race. Ever.

  • Comment number 86.

    Obviously two egotistical drivers who, despite their say so, do not like one another. This is going to happen more and more if they are in the same position. I mean, would you sit back and let your team mate beat you to the finish line, team instructions or not, i would not . I'm out to win whatever happens. So that little spat last week could be the first of many, and , let the best man win.
    I'm all for it . So far F1 2010 has been boring up to last week . More please.

  • Comment number 87.

    @77

    "Yes, but Jb hadn't been told to save fuel at that point."

    I think it's come out around here somewhere that they had both been told to save fuel at that point, though in fairness I can't find a specific quote to prove it.

  • Comment number 88.

    Don't see anything wrong in the Hamilton/Button incident. I don't think it matters what the drivers are told, they are racing and should be prepared to deal with attacks - as Lewis did. It also provided some entertainment which is what the whole thing is about anyway.

    Too much politicking - whether real or engineered by the press - for my liking.

  • Comment number 89.

    "And the lesson that ALL drivers will have learned in Turkey is that they can't trust their teams and they can't trust their team mates. The only way they can win is by beating everyone else."

    Amen :)

  • Comment number 90.

    @70 BrewerHorse, I don't give a fig where a driver happened to be born - I support them for who they are. I support Hamilton and greatly dislike Button. I also won't be supporting the England side in the World Cup - nationalism is pathetic!

  • Comment number 91.

    @76 Julian, well said: Jenson "at the moment all we have is a guy that was able to win when his team had a double diffuser and unable to win after everyone else got theirs. It is now clear that the Austrailian win was engineered to his benefit and he was trying to steal Turkey with the help of the Boss once again."

    Lewis is racing 23 guys and his team boss.

  • Comment number 92.

    This endlessly boring and mean-spirited battle between the hardcore Button & Hamilton fans is one of the worst things about F1 at the moment.

    At least you can laugh at the clumsy Vettel-Webber-Red Bull ineptitude in trying to pretend to be whiter-than-white.

  • Comment number 93.

    @83. milominderbinder, yeah, what an achievement! Button overtook Hamilton when he was told to slow down and not defend. Wooo hooo, Button must be so proud. Shame Lewis showed him what happens when racing is fair.

  • Comment number 94.

    For those who are curious as to why Webber would sign another contract with Red Bull I would ask you what options you think he has. Firstly, for most of his career he’s outperformed his teammate but had nothing to show for it. Leaving the only team that has given him a chance to prove his worth wouldn’t be an easy decision to make despite any perceived injustices. Should he leave, the only option with a competitive team would be to go to Ferrari. There’s no guarantee they would want him and is ultimately is Alonso going to be any easier as a teammate than Vettel? Certainly not to the extent that would justify the move to what is currently a clearly inferior car.

    Unfortunately for Webber he’s stuck with a team that isn’t treating him well but at his age it’s probably his best (only?) bet for a world title. One would hope Red Bull would look at the standings and the fact that the advantage over McLaren has all but disappeared and support Webber who is now the title favourite ahead of Hamilton. They can then apply their bias next year.

  • Comment number 95.

    @Tom Hicks: Come off it, man. It is obvious that Button was trying the unthinkable - and Whitmarsh was in on it with him.
    What a shame.

  • Comment number 96.

    If this paragraph is true

    'But not, sadly, perhaps the most telling conversation that appears to have happened in their team during that race - that, as Hughes reported in Autosport last week, of team principal Christian Horner telling Mark Webber's race engineer Ciaran Pilbeam to order the Australian to let Sebastian Vettel pass, a message Pilbeam did not pass on.'

    Why has Christian Horner not been charged with attempting to engineer a race win for Vettel.

    If this had been any other team except Ferrari they would have been jumped on from a great height.

  • Comment number 97.

    They will say they believed their best hope of doing so was to have their faster driver on the day - Vettel - lead and pull out a gap, and leave their slower one - Webber - to hold back the McLarens.
    -----------

    Except it isn't is it?

    The best way to ensure the position would have been for the faster car (Vettel if that's true) to back off and hold up the McLarens, probably on the approach to turn 8. A couple of laps of this could have creatd a 4-6 second gap which would then allow Vettel to use his supposedly superior speed to pull away from the McLarens.



    Personally I do not believe either team was trying to engineer a result. I'm sure that RBR would prefer Vettel to win the title because he offers the greater commercial benefit as champion but I doubt they are intereted in annoying either driver this early in the year.

    The key to both incidents ias in how the race was run. Vettel and Button ran quite smooth and untroubled races in 3rd and 4th as both appeared happy enough to sit and wait. This enabled them to take best lines, maybe aero brakeing, short shifting and engine tuning to save fuel in the pre-pit stop laps. Hamilton and Webber were instead racing each other quite intensely, taking defensive/attacking lines, breaking later, ducking and diving, overall driving much less efficiently.

    Later in the race then Vettel and Button had more fuel left and needed to do less saving to make the end, resulting in them being faster at the point of their respective incidents. This is a perfectly valid tactic and there should be no question over the validity of the drivers making the attempted passes under those circumstances. Tactically they were in the right.

    Of course Webber had every right to hold his ground and Vettel no right to turn into him, which is the marked difference between the two incidents and hence why Vettel is deemed to be wrong by most viewers. I see Horner's point of view that Webber could see that the position was probably lost provided Vettel breaks properly and makes the corner, but there was still plenty of chance for Vettel to outbreak himself and Webber cut inside again so holding station was the correct thing to do.

    In the end it's simple, if both drivers take their lines as stand into the corner Vettel probably gets the place and they finish 1-2. If Vettel outbreaks himself there is a small hance of collision but judging by his position compared to Webber it's more likely he would overshoot and Webber regains the place, Vettel probably losing 2nd, maybe 3rd.

  • Comment number 98.

    Ah, life was so much simpler when drivers just had pit-boards to give them information...

  • Comment number 99.

    @51 - I totally disagree. Whilst I am a fan of both JB & LH, I do not think that JB can beat LH in a straight fight on the track, and I think Turkey proved it. I can agree that JB can keep similar lap times as LH, and has more tuned tactical skills, but put them in a 'race' and LH is superior.

    My general view on the Mclaren saga agrees with AB that neither driver was the villain, that LH was told to slow down and that JB would not overtake, and that JB was just told to just slow down.
    In response to the theories that Mclaren now favour JB, rubbish, why would they do that so early in the season? I think that the fuel issue may have been an exaggerated issue by the pit wall, but perhaps it was their way of trying to get their cars to take it easy to the finish (which obviously almost backfired).

    Regarding RB, I am on Webber's side 100%. If he had moved over earlier, then it would clearly make it look like team orders, which is not allowed, and SV did not give him the chance to give him room, he got alongside, and barged him out of the way, I don't get what anyone expected MW to do, put on his indicator and pull to the side of the road?

    I think the RB's will not be as dominant at the next meet, with a track with such a reliance on top speed, the Mclaren's (and maybe the Mercedes - Schumi podium anyone?) will be strong, and as LH has a great record there, I think he will be the man to watch.
    I do predict though that after this weekend, that pundits will take the strong Mclaren performance that I think will happen and say that is backs up their theory that Turkey was a turning point in the season, which will then be disproved at the next high downforce circuit (unless big upgrade packages come in) as the RB downforce is, in my opinion, still a massive difference for them.

  • Comment number 100.

    Re: Post 67, well with regards to Turkey Button overtook Schumacher and no one else (except Hamilton) whereas Hamilton didn't overtake anyone (except Button). This was because no one else except the Redbulls were in front of them! The Mercedes is clearly a better car than the Force India, yet Hamilton couldn't pass Sutil in Malaysia. From what I recall Button made an art of overtaking last year in a car which may have been the class of the field at the start of the season, but was not by the end of it. Hamilton too drove well last year, but that doesn't detract from the achievements of Button.

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.