Verstappen explains Sky snub: ‘Disrespecting me… Especially one person'

Max Verstappen says he is refusing to talk to Sky Sports after "constant" disrespect from the British F1 broadcaster. 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid.

It emerged at the Mexico City Grand Prix that Verstappen and his Red Bull team are refusing to grant interviews to Sky because the double world champion is unhappy at recent comments made by Ted Kravitz

Kravitz made several references to Lewis Hamilton being “robbed” of last year’s title at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix during his post-race “Ted’s Notebook” show in Austin last weekend. 

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Verstappen was asked about his decision to boycott Sky Sports after breaking the record for most wins in an F1 season with a comfortable victory in Mexico City. 

“It had nothing to do with this weekend, but this year it’s been a constant kind of like digging, being disrespectful, especially one particular person - and at one point it is enough, I don’t accept it.” the Dutchman explained. 

“You can’t live in the past, you just have to move on. At the moment social media is a very toxic place and if you are constantly being like that live on TV, you make it constantly worse, instead of trying to make it better in the world.

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

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed the boycott extends across all Sky channels.

“We’re obviously just disappointed with a series of derogatory comments that have been made on Sky so we felt that this weekend we’d just take a break and that it wouldn’t do Sky any harm," he said. 

“There needs to be balance in commentary. Some of the commentary is excellent, but some of the pieces… there’s too much sensationalising and we stand together as a team.

“It’s not just been Sky UK, it’s been across all of the Sky channels – Germany, Italy. It was just for this weekend, it was just to register our discontent in sometimes some of the less impartial comments or accusations that are sometimes made as TV seems to be becoming ever more sensationalised.

“There has been no direct interaction with Sky from any team member this weekend.”

Verstappen, Hamilton critical of social media platforms 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post qualifying FIA Press…

Verstappen hit out at social media companies for allowing “keyboard warriors” to amplify toxic views.

“I think it’s just the sport is more popular, so there are more people watching, so more people are writing - I think it’s just that,” Verstappen said. 

“It’s not great that they are allowed to write these kind of things. I hope we can kind of come up with an algorithm that stops people being keyboard warriors, because these kind of people would never come up to you and say these kind of things in front of your face. 

“It’s because they are sitting in front of their desk or whatever at home, being upset, being frustrated and they can write whatever they like because the platform allows them to. That can be really damaging and hurtful to some people and it’s not how it should be.” 

Hamilton, who was subjected to awkward boos in Mexico, also called on social media platforms to do more to prevent online abuse. 

“I think social media is getting more and more toxic as the years go on,” said the seven-time world champion. “I think we should probably get off it ultimately. 

“Mental health is such a prominent thing right now. I know so many people are reading the comments and the stuff people say and it is hurtful. Fortunately I don’t read that stuff. 

“The media platforms definitely need to do more, to protect people, particularly young kids and woman. But at the moment, they are not doing that, so I think this will just continue.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20,…

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