Among the Red Bull cars of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel having come together on Lap 40, Hamilton was set for his first win of the season as well as McLaren’s second 1-2 finish. But, a number of bystanders noted the 2008 Champion’s seeming lack of enthusiasm on the podium.
The team radio communication – released via a race highlights video on the official Formula 1 website – appears to highlight the reason why, as Lewis Hamilton – who, like his team-mate, was saving fuel – questioned whether he would lose the leading position.
The discussion between Hamilton and Race Engineer Andy Latham is as follows:
McLaren: Lewis, we need you to save fuel. Both cars are doing the same
Hamilton: Jenson’s closing in on me, you guys
McLaren: Understood, Lewis
Hamilton: If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?
McLaren: No, Lewis…no
“Me and Jenson had a good little battle and fortunately I was able to come back into Turn 1,” Hamilton said after the race, having been initially overtaken by Button into Turn 12.
“It was definitely unexpected but a great result for the team.”