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Verstappen explains Sky 'boycott'


World champion, Max Verstappen has explained the reason for his boycott of Sky TV over the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend.

Other than the dreaded budget cap saga, a couple of other stories have gathered pace over the Mexico weekend, one being a social media 'spat' involving Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso and the other a so-called boycott of Sky by the Red Bull team.

Speaking at today's post-race press conference, race-winner Max Verstappen was asked about the boycott.

"It had nothing to do with this weekend," he told reporters. "But this year, it's been a constant… kind of like digging, being disrespectful, especially one particular person.

"And at one point it's enough you know? I don't accept it.

"You can't live in the past, you just have to move on," he added. "At the moment, 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 in the world. You keep being… You keep disrespecting me, and one point I'm not tolerating it anymore, so that's why I decided to stop answering."

Verstappen is understood to be referring to comments made over the United States Grand Prix weekend, when Ted Kravitz said that Lewis Hamilton was "robbed" of the 2021 title.

While Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez spoke to journalists, including Sky representatives, in the post-race press conference and in the pen, there were none of the usual one-on-ones, surprising when one considers that Christian Horner is a regular go-to for the broadcaster.

"We were obviously disappointed with a series of derogatory comments that have been made on Sky," said Horner, who was keen to make clear that he wasn't referring solely to the British Sky channel but those in Germany and Italy also. "So we felt that this weekend we'd just take a break and that it wouldn't do Sky any harm us taking a break this weekend.

"There needs to be balance in commentary," he added. "Some of the commentary's excellent but some of the pieces there's too much sensationalism being done. And we stand together as a team.

"We've been very clear it's not just been Sky UK," he insisted, "it's been across all of the Sky channels, Germany, Italy. It was just for this weekend, but it was just to register our discontent in sometimes some of the less impartial comments that are made or accusations that are sometimes made as TV seems to becoming ever more sensationalised."

Asked to expand his comments on the toxicity of social media, Verstappen said: "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.

"It's not great that they are allowed to write these kinds of things," he continued, "so I hope we can come up with a kind of algorithm that stops people from being keyboard warriors, because these kind of people… they will never come up to you and say these things in front of your face, because they're 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 you to. That can be really damaging and hurtful to some people and it's not how it should be."

"I think social media is getting more and more toxic as the years go on," agreed Lewis Hamilton. "I think we should probably get off it, ultimately.

"So many people… mental health is such a prominent thing right now. I know so many people reading their comments and the stuff that people say and it is hurtful.

"Fortunately, I don't read that stuff but the media platforms definitely need to do more to protect people, particularly young kids and women. But at the moment, they're not doing that so I think it will just continue."

"It's a shame how these people can feel how they feel, because you are just a public figure and they feel they can insult you, insult your family," said Sergio Perez. "They don't understand that we are also human beings.

"I think this has got to stop," he added. "Obviously, as a sport, we need to also be responsible of what we post, by ourselves. We all have a lot of followers so it's very important that we try to get the sport in the right way because Formula 1, it's a great sport and has great values, but has to do more in that regard. And just in general, the social media world is getting far too toxic."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico City here.


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1. Posted by elsiebc, 07/11/2022 15:29

""It's a shame how these people can feel how they feel, because you are just a public figure and they feel they can insult you..." But as a public figure you use your platform to insult and lecture my country on how it has to have open borders and that's fine. Sorry, bucko. Being a public figure does not allow you to lecture us without consequence."

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2. Posted by kenji, 02/11/2022 12:13

"@ Chester...good one hahaha"

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3. Posted by Chester, 02/11/2022 12:10

"You are correct, Kenji. Firing Kravitz is excessive. I got carried away because every time I hear Kravitz speak his biases smack me in the face. "

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4. Posted by kenji, 01/11/2022 23:32

"@ Chester...That's a bit excessive isn't it? By all means chastise him by way of a public apology and put him on notice but termination should be kept in the bank as a reserve to be used if there are any further transgressions. That would be a better solution all round...but that's just my opinion. "

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5. Posted by Chester, 01/11/2022 12:35

"Ted Kravitz is the ultimate 'homer' (a fan who will call black white when it comes to defending his home team).
Fire him."

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6. Posted by kenji, 01/11/2022 12:23

"@ MadMatt...thanks for the response. Regards Kravitz. likewise. I do listen to him sometimes in pre and post segments and at times he can be entertaining. At least he's not as sickenlingly jingoistic ,like Lazenby and Hill & Herbert. Unexpectedly enjoyed Danica Patrick for the last two. Knowledgeable and articulate with a pleasant demeanour. As for RB and there presence in F1...well from the very beginning they were tagged and bagged as a bunch of 'chancers' and endlessly demeaned because they were owned by a 'fizzy drinks' company therefore they didn't have the requisite 'chops' to be taken seriously! How wrong 'they' were. RB's success only helped to build the antagonism and it is still prevalent, evidenced by the everyday chatter across many chanels of social media. They like to enjoy themselves as well and on top of that they have most likely done more for 'action sport' in general than any of the so called major conglomerates. I don't necessarily follow them but I do admire their 'go and get 'em' attitude. I also don't believe that F1 would be what it is today without Red Bull..."

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7. Posted by Mad Matt, 01/11/2022 9:34

"@Kenji I have watched the Sky coverage for the last half of this season but I can't say that it's terribly biased... on the other hand I don't watch the build up or 'after party'. I did think Martin was being a bit biased against Carlos after George hit him but he did eventually correct himself and agree that Carlos 'checked up' due to Max slowing in front of him.

Fernando seems to be one of their favourites too... at least at the moment.

As for Ted Kravitz, I've always found him reasonably interesting, with the proviso that I mostly only listen to him during the race but I have watched some of his notebook stuff in previous seasons. Perhaps he said some things about Max that I didn't listen to... I can only judge based on what I hear.

RBR with Christian and Marko do seem to like to play the spin doctors more than nearly all the other teams put together (excluding Mercedes) and that puts me off the team. There are times when I've found Max's driving questionable but at other times he's shown a lot of maturity and in all cases there's no doubt he's a top notch driver.

I mention this last bit so you can see my point of view (or bias if you like :-) ).

I did try the F1 TV coverage at the beginning of the season and that wasn't too bad (they provide both Sky and their own coverage), might be worth giving it a try if it's available in your area and you fancy a break from Sky."

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8. Posted by kenji, 01/11/2022 0:52

"@ Mad Matt...The British media, in this case Sky, are being called out and I fully support this. They are 'in your face relentlessly' pushing their favoured drivers and teams. There is certainly a limit and when the likes of Kravitz overstep the mark then a dose of alternative reality can do no harm. It may temper his loose comments. I do find Verstappen, like Alonso, not prone to 'love you'se alls' but are refreshingly candid. Humility is not a personal attribute exhibited frequently no matter how hard some try to fox us....."

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9. Posted by Mad Matt, 31/10/2022 18:06

"Does seem that RBR are trying to turn attention away from getting caught breaching the spending cap.

They were happy to play the social media game when it suited them but don't like it now (to be fair Mercedes played the game last year too).

RBR should take it on the chin, show a little humility and let it die a natural death."

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10. Posted by dejan, 31/10/2022 17:05

"@jcr - I did read the article and it is very obvious Red Bull and Max are sore winners. After you win and you are the beneficiary of good circumstances (lucky or not for someone else) or have leniency when you did something wrong (like spend over the cap) you acknowledge your luck apologize for taking advantage of the circumstances and move on - don't try and push it even more in people's faces - they get angry at that and you win no allies this way.

And media is always trying to rattle participants in any sport - I'd just recommend to anyone that cares for their own sanity to ignore comments and move on. You can never make everyone happy."

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11. Posted by Pavlo, 31/10/2022 11:24

"Sky just was unprofessional and should at minimum apologise. They are (like all of F1 recently) looking for sensations: this may bring them money in short term but this is not proper journalism, and I hope this strategy loses in the long term.
Professional journalists need to tell the facts and leave the viewer make the opinion. Or leave it to evening talk show. But not project their opinion (even if in some cases I could agree with it) to the interviews."

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12. Posted by jcr, 31/10/2022 9:28

"Re dejan.
Did you actually read the above article

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13. Posted by f1khun, 31/10/2022 6:41

"Sky should be much more professional. The case of Abu Dhabi 2021 was, at the moment that it happened, against the regulations. Why this decision was made by Michael Masi is unknown to all of us. But Max won and the FIA accepted the win. This is not cheating.
Then the budget cap. RBR and their employees were branded cheaters and liars. Based on sketchy inside information and bias. If this is where F1 is heading, then we're all doomed. Budget cap is budget cap, RBR has been penalized and the verdict and punishment has been made public.
If Sky has an issue with one team over the others, then they should remove themselves from the sport. If this is only Ted who holds a grudge, then he should be fired. This is as bad reporting as it gets. Sorry Ted. I always liked you but you are supposed to be a professional. But you're not a professional any more for F1. I won't watch Sky no more.

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14. Posted by kenji, 31/10/2022 6:25

"@ Equater...sound logic there. It could also be a great base for a 'Fawlty Towers' ep. Epecially a reprise of ' Whatever you do don't mention the war'!!!"

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15. Posted by equator180, 31/10/2022 5:53

"If only the Monty Python troop were still together and performing, I would love to see them do the UK Sky team. Some of there great, Twit of the Year, The Norwegian Blue, The Four Yorkshire men to name a few could be prime examples and as for Ted's character, Twit of the Year fits perfectly!"

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