• Turkish Grand Prix

McLaren orders were 'not clear' - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
May 31, 2010 « Force India vows to solve Liuzzi's problems | »
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button go wheel-to-wheel © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton said McLaren's orders for him to save fuel during the Turkish Grand Prix resulted in Jenson Button being able to attack him for the lead towards the end of the race.

The two Red Bull drivers took each other out in similar circumstances and Hamilton, who had to fight hard to re-pass Button, revealed that the requests from the McLaren pit wall had been a little confusing.

"The communication wasn't clear for me," he said. "When they suggested 'save this much fuel' it was not easy unless I went ridiculously slowly. I tried to reach that target and in doing so Jenson all of a sudden appeared from nowhere."

However, he acknowledged that McLaren had not ordered him to stop racing.

"I had a great battle with him, and was happy to get past because it was quite a surprise," he added. "We're allowed to race out there, but we have to be sensible. At the end of the day we're a team: we both want to win the constructors' title and we both want to win the drivers' title. But we're not stupid. I wouldn't do anything dangerous to touch Jenson - and vice versa - and that's the great thing about racing each other. "

Button confirmed that he had also been asked to save fuel before the battle and said his situation became even more critical afterwards.

"We were then both told to conserve fuel - although I'd already been conserving fuel for about 30 laps at that point actually - and we never imagined the pace of the race would be so fast," he said. "At the end, I had a run on Lewis out of Turn Eight. I don't know why he was a bit slow, but I got a good run into Turn 12 and managed to get past him. We had a good little battle and we were wheel-to-wheel for three corners, but it positioned me wrong for the final corner, I got a poor exit and he was able to get back past me along the pits straight and on the inside into Turn One. After that, I was told to save even more fuel because I was pretty close to critical. It was a tough battle, but we didn't touch and we still finished first and second, so that's how you do it."