New footage of the Turkish Grand Prix posted on the official F1 website reveals Hamilton asked the team “If I back off is Jenson going to pass me or not?”
He was told “No Lewis, no.” This audio clip is shown before the footage of Button overtaking Hamilton, suggesting the exchange took place before the pass was made.
The exchange – which was not aired during the race broadcast – is as follows:
Lewis Hamilton: Jenson’s closing in me you guys.
McLaren: Understood, Lewis.
Lewis Hamilton: If I back off is Jenson going to pass me or not?
McLaren: No Lewis, no
After the race Hamilton said he was “surprised” Button had passed him. Now we know why.
The question now is, was Button ordered to hand the place back?
The following radio exchanges from McLaren were broadcast during the race. We do not know what the time gap was between them being said to the drivers and being broadcast on television:
Lap 44: Hamilton told to “save fuel” and advised that both cars received the same instruction.
Lap 50: BBC reported that Martin Whitmarsh and Phil Prew were on the radio to both drivers.
Lap 52: Button told “We need more fuel saving. Fuel is critical. Save tyres in turn eight.”
Button passed Hamilton at the end of lap 48 and Hamilton re-passed him at the start of lap 49.