During the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, it emerged that Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing team in general would not be participating in any Sky Sports interviews on all of their regional channels in the UK, Germany and Italy.
It appeared to be a reaction to a clip from Sky Sports F1’s UK coverage of the United States Grand Prix, where pit reporter Ted Kravitz used the word “stolen” on multiple occasions when discussing the title loss from Lewis Hamilton against Verstappen in 2021.
Verstappen explained his decision not to speak to Sky after the race, saying: “I had nothing to do with this weekend.
“But this year it has been a constant… yes, something like disrespect every day, especially to one person in particular. And that’s enough, I don’t accept it.
“You can’t live in the past. You just have to move on. Social media is a very toxic place, and if you’re constantly like that on live TV, you make it worse instead of trying to make it better.”
“You keep disrespecting me, and at one point, I can’t tolerate it anymore. That’s why I decided to stop responding to them.”
Sky did broadcast an interview with Verstappen following his record 14th victory of the season in Mexico on Sunday, but this was provided by F1 itself, as it does for all broadcasters.
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Carl Bingham/Motorsport Images
Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner explained that the team was “disappointed with a number of disparaging comments that have been made about Sky”, prompting the decision to “take a break” this weekend.
“There has to be balance in the comments,” he said. “Some of the feedback is great, but some pieces are being sensationalized too much. We’re united as a team.”
Horner said the decision was “to record our discontent with some of the less impartial comments that are made or some of the accusations that are sometimes made” but that “service will resume” from the next race in Brazil.
“I think a championship theft accusation is something that we don’t feel is an unbiased comment,” Horner said. “I mean, we don’t feel, in any way, fair or balanced.
“Max was very upset about it and as a team we fully support him. We were equally upset about it. As a team we made the decision this weekend, I made the decision to have a weekend off.”
Asked if he thought Red Bull was treated the same as other teams by broadcasters, Horner replied: “I think Red Bull is a cheap target sometimes.