Lewis Hamilton has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after accusing McLaren team-mate Jenson Button of disrespecting him on Twitter.
Hamilton, who is to leave McLaren for Mercedes at the end of the year, was taking his cue from a tweet by a journalist suggesting Button had unfollowed him on the social networking site.
It led Hamilton to heavily criticise the 2009 world champion.
In a series of tweets on his official feed, Hamilton first accused Button of unfollowing him, before realising he had never been following in the first place.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 7, 2012
Just noticed @jensonbutton unfollowed, thats a shame. After 3 years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn't.
Funny thing is, we are STILL teammates! All good tho, I plan on giving this team & fans all I got til I cross the finish line in brazil!!!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 7, 2012
But the 27-year-old was left red-faced when he realised Button did not follow his Twitter account in the first place.
My bad, just found out Jenson never followed me. Don't blame him! Need to be on Twitter more!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 7, 2012
Hamilton had a disappointing fifth-place finish at in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, as Sebastian Vettel took victory, leaving him still 42 points adrift of points leader Fernando Alonso