The F1 Mexico Grand Prix 2022 just ended as new tension surfaced on social media. Sky Sports and Max Verstappen seem to be at odds, and it has been going on for a while. Racing Trend tried to stay far from it, but our personal experiences as a motor racing journalist led us to the very heart of buzing.
What was happening?
Everything appeared to be going according to plan ahead of the Mexico GP. Max Verstappen was happy to join fiesta with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, making friendly comments to the press. But it came clear step by step that his joy and openness weren’t for every journalist.
Max Verstappen will no longer conduct interviews with Sky Sports. That was public boycot. Almost the entire Red Bull team joined Max Verstappen in this position even before the race started in Mexico City. There was a serious hit to Sky Sports, which is one of the biggest news organizations with many famous experts in motorsports.
Ex Formula 1 driver, F1 commenntary Martin Brundle is on their respect list. Damon Hill, Anthony Davidson, and David Croft are very famous. So, there was no reason to hesitate in the professionals of Sky. That is what we thought. But we mistaken.
Why does Max Verstappen boycott Sky Sports?
There has actually been a case, a reason for it for a long time, even before the race in Mexico. In Austin, the point of no return had already been reached. Sky’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz crossed the line. Kravitz spoke about “what a script” it would have been had Hamilton beaten Verstappen at the Circuit of The Americas.
Several times, he used the word “robbed” when referring to the conclusion of Lewis Hamilton’s ultimately unsuccessful 2021 title battle with Verstappen.
Red Bull’s driver was not upset, but decided it was better to stop spreading toxic thoughts and comments. In this way Max Verstappen boycotted Sky Sports.
You may say let by-gones be by-gones, but nothing is as simple as it seems.
The Formula 1 season 2022 wasn’t easy for Max Verstappen as he was racing like a lion against Lewis Hamilton. It ois fact. The race in Abu Dhabi, the last five laps were crucial. Today, talking about the past, especially the non-ending storyline between Mercedes and Michael Masi, makes no sense, since it is already in the past.
What makes sense, you may ask? To recall Lewis Hamilton’s robbed title is equivalent to claiming Max Verstappen isn’t worth his title today. The judges were fired and the dots were placed
And here is what Max Verstappen told to The Telegraph
“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.”Max Verstappen
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has confirmed that Red Bull will return to Sky Sports media duties as of the next round in Brazil.
But let’s be honest, this is not the first time that Verstappen has snubbed interview duties. Previously he refused to give interviews to Netflix for their ‘Drive to Survive’ series. Verstappen had a reason since they added drama to ‘Drive to Survive’ in order to increase interest. It would be a mistake to classify the drama as bad, since we cannot stop watching each episode.
There should be a point to this conflict, but we allow ourselves to go too far. In addition, this isn’t the first time Sky Sports experts have neglected their professional duties.
To reveal old wounds.
Thus, as journalists we felt badly, when Martin Brundle in fact pointed out Sebastian Vettel’s time went and the most logical option for him after leaving Ferrari is to leave Formula 1. Actually, it would be better if he kept quiet instead of trying to talk to the public. Sebastien Vettell was already mentally wrecked after spending years with Scuderia Ferrari. Brundle was being unprofessional, since Vettell isn’t just a Formula 1 driver, he is a human at first and feels different emotions.
In all fairness, after a year Sebastien Vettell won Baku Grand Prix in 2021, he was like reborn, he was smiling to all these toxic public spechees.
Martin Brundle had positive relations with another driver, Fernand Alonso. As soon as Brundle began to criticize Alonso for his decision to continue racing in Formula 1, it was like I would get a facepalm every time he brought up the age issue in public.
But let’s get back to Max Verstappen and Sky Sports.
Who is right?
In terms of journalistic rule, Ted Kravitz needs to turn off his personal thoughts, turn on his professional independence. He is not the blogger nor the vlogger, but an employee of Sky Sports. The golden rule of sports journalism is independence, no matter what is happening. To increase people’s interest or create clickbait, you can add tension, power and emotions, but keep in mind that the golden rule is not to switch sides. Sky Sports is keeping the line, whereas Kravitz did not.
That is unprofessional, that is toxic but one positive thing is everyone knows Ted Kravitz is a real F1 fan and what’s more he is clearly Lewis Hamilton’s fan. He was so overcome with emotion that he was doing his job.
All relations aside, the situation isn’t worth talking about. However, Max Verstappen pointed this out today. The best thing that he can do is apologize, but not for his words or his expression. Because he was so fair with us as one of Lewis Hamilton’s fans. Sky Sport’s reporter has to apologize for expressing a personal stance, which is unprofessional in terms of his job.
Although, who are we to judge?