‘Smart idea’: Red Bull ridiculed for boycotting Sky

Max Verstappen and Red Bull refused to speak to any of Sky's networks at the Mexican Grand Prix, following comments by Ted Kravitz.

Max Verstappen stormed to his 14th victory of the season at last weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix, to eclipse the record for most wins in a single season, which previously sat at 13.

The imperious Dutchman dominated proceedings from start to finish, after making an excellent start to the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

With tyre wear not being an issue and following being incredibly difficult, the double World Champion was able to manage his tyres all the way to the end, despite many believing that Red Bull’s Soft-Medium strategy was too aggressive.

The win actually marked his fourth in Mexico City, further adding to both his overall F1 dominance, and his superiority at the Mexican venue.

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Whilst everything was plain sailing on the circuit, the same can’t be said for off it.

It was announced during the weekend that Verstappen and the entire Red Bull team would be boycotting any interviews with Sky in Mexico, as a result of “disrespectful” behaviour.

Sky UK specifically have come under fire for biased presenting towards Lewis Hamilton, rather than Verstappen, with the broadcaster’s impartiality being questioned.

Veteran reporter and journalist Ted Kravitz has especially ruffled Verstappen’s feathers, after calling Hamilton an eight-time World Champion, as well as mentioning that former race director Michael Masi ‘robbed’ the seven-time World Champion of an unprecedented eighth crown.

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The Austrians stuck to their word and didn’t speak to any Sky network from any country across the weekend but will resume normal service at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

It meant all the Sky networks were forced to use Red Bull-based footage recorded by the official F1 feed, rather than their own original interviews.

A Mercedes fan was quick to hit out that Red Bull’s decision in hindsight meant they were actually boycotting “all of central Europe”, apart from the areas which were allowed to speak to the Dutchman.

Interestingly, Red Bull is the biggest-selling energy drink in the UK, with £255,800,000 worth of Red Bull having been purchased in convenient stores in 2021, according to Statista.

Whether Red Bull’s Sky boycott of ‘minor’ budget cap breach affects sales remains to be seen, but nevertheless, the team stood behind their 25-year-old star.

“Reminder to Red Bull that by boycotting Sky Group (UK, Italy, Deutschland) you are also boycotting coverage in pretty much all of central Europe outside of the Netherlands, as well as the United States, Canada and Australia,” said the Twitter user.

“Sounds like a smart idea for a brand…”

Verstappen personally explained after the race why he chose to boycott Sky in Mexico, after admitting that the company kept “disrespecting me”.

“It had nothing to do this weekend,” explained the Dutchman, after claiming yet another lights-to-flag victory.

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“But this year it’s been a constant… yeah, kind of like daily being disrespectful, especially one particular person. And it’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 are constantly being like that live on TV, you make it only worse instead of trying to make it better.

“You keep disrespecting me, and at one point, I’m not tolerating it anymore. That’s why I decided to stop answering them.”