How Red Bull’s belief they are a “cheap target” led to their Sky boycott in Mexico

2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s refusal to co-operate with Formula 1 broadcaster Sky during the Mexican Grand Prix is the latest example of the world champions demonstrating their dissatisfaction with how their successes are being reported.

The team said this was not the first time this year they’d had cause to complain about Sky’s coverage. Nor were their concerns limited to Sky’s English-language service – which broadcasts in the UK, USA and elsewhere – but some of its other channels too.

Red Bull said their decision to pull their team staff from interviews with the broadcaster was triggered by the “accusations of championships being ‘robbed’” in their coverage of the United States Grand Prix the week before. This appears to refer to Ted Kravitz’s Notebook feature from that weekend.

During his regular post-race segment, which takes the form of a monologue to camera interspersed with ad-hoc interviews, Kravitz referred to Brad Pitt’s appearance in the paddock and his plans to produce a film with Lewis Hamilton. This followed a race in which Hamilton was passed for victory by Verstappen, who beat him to last year’s world championship in deeply controversial circumstances.

Sky’s US GP coverage triggered Red Bull row
The race at the Circuit of the Americas seemed a better plot for a film than the one Pitt is pushing, Kravitz opined. “We know, pretty much, the script,” he began. “Because it seems to be the same script everyone’s doing in F1, which is old driver in retirement, ‘oh, I can’t drive any more’, comes out of retirement to help troubled young driver deliver in F1. That old trope.

“But I liked today’s script that eight, seven-time world champion – I almost said eight-time world champion – seven-time world champion goes into a final race trying to be the greatest of all time and win the championship, gets robbed, comes back, his next year’s car is rubbish – rubbish in a movie sense – his next year’s car is rubbish, doesn’t win a race all year and then finally comes back at a track where he could win the first race all year is battling with the same guy who won the race that he was robbed in the previous year, and manages to finish ahead of him. What a script and a story that would have been.”

Verstappen did not specify what prompted Red Bull’s boycott, but explained why he’d become increasingly frustrated with Sky’s coverage over the year.

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“It’s been a constant kind of like digging, being disrespectful,” he said. “Especially one particular person.

Verstappen was “very upset” at claim Hamilton was “robbed”
“At one point it’s enough, I don’t accept it. You can’t live in the past. You just have to move on.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner indicated it was the description of Hamilton being “robbed” that had caused particular offence.

“Accusations of championships being ‘robbed’ is something that we don’t feel is an impartial commentary,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “So obviously that, we don’t feel, [is] in any way fair or balanced.”

“Max was very upset about it,” he added. “As a team we support him fully and we were equally upset about it. So as a team, we took the decision this weekend – I took the decision – that we’ll have a weekend off.”

Red Bull clearly felt slighted by Sky’s coverage. Verstappen called their language “disrespectful” and Horner described it as “derogatory”. Whether or not you agree with them likely depends on your interpretation of ‘robbed’ in this context: Was the intention to insinuate Red Bull ‘robbed’ Hamilton of the title? Or is the team taking offence at the suggestion Hamilton was ‘robbed’ by someone else and they indirectly benefited?

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The expression ‘we was robbed’ is typically used to refer to a competitor losing because of bad refereeing. Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff used the same word in the aftermath of last year’s notorious title-decider to point his finger at the man they believed “robbed” Hamilton: FIA F1 race director Michael Masi.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2021
Report: Red Bull explains how budget cap breach happened and why it accepted penalty
“The decisions that have been taken in the last four minutes of this race have robbed Lewis Hamilton of a deserved world championship,” said Wolff, adding: “Robbing him in the last lap of the race is unacceptable.”

Masi lost his job as race director after breaking F1’s rules in arranging a last-lap restart in which Verstappen passed Hamilton to win the world championship. The fact of his error is widely acknowledged – even Horner has since admitted Masi made a “mistake”.

But the suggestion that Hamilton deserved to beat Verstappen in a race because he previously lost a championship to him due to someone else’s mistake crossed a line for Red Bull. And as recent examples have shown, both team and driver have no qualms about taking a stance over how broadcasters describe them if they feel it is warranted.

Verstappen refused to co-operate with the producers of Netflix series Drive to Survive for three seasons, accusing them of ‘faking rivalries’. He has since changed his position, revealing in June this year he will appear more heavily in upcoming editions of the popular documentary.

Red Bull previously clashed with Sky in 2021, prompting the broadcaster to replace one of its F1 channel idents which featured footage of Verstappen’s high-speed crash at Silverstone last year. Red Bull said it was in “very poor taste indeed”.

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Horner also signalled his displeasure with how some in the press treat Red Bull when news of the team’s cost cap infringement first came to light during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. As other teams urged the FIA to take action against anyone found to have overspent, Horner accused them of peddling “fictitious” and “hugely defamatory” claims about his team.

One journalist put it to Horner that neither Ferrari nor Mercedes had specifically named Red Bull in relation to those comments. Horner disagreed and questioned the writer’s impartiality, pointing out he should “remain absolutely neutral”. (Horner’s exact words were: “I know you have impartiality for certain teams, but it should remain absolutely neutral”, though from the context it appears he meant “partiality”).

Horner feels Red Bull are a “cheap target”. In Singapore he suggested the claims they exceeded the cost cap were being whipped up to distract attention from Verstappen’s expected coronation as champion. That eventually followed one week on in Japan where, 90 minutes later, Horner was told the FIA had found Red Bull to be in breach of the cap.

Since their run of consecutive championship at the end of the V8 era was halted by Mercedes’ mastery of the V6 hybrid turbo rules, it’s been a long route back to the top for Red Bull. They’ve finally scaled that summit, and now both championships belong to team and driver.

But whether it’s Masi last year or the budget cap this year, controversies have taken attention away from those successes. That is clearly a source of deep frustration for the team and likely explains why a Sky segment which referred back to the events of last year, however jokingly it may have been intended, hit a nerve and provoked such a strong reaction.

Whether Sky’s viewers will sympathise with Red Bull, or conclude the whole thing was a stunt intended to deflect attention from the cost cap debate, remains to be seen. Or, for that matter, how swiftly Horner will transition back into his familiar place as a regular figure in Sky’s F1 coverage.

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2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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124 comments on “How Red Bull’s belief they are a “cheap target” led to their Sky boycott in Mexico”

  1. They really like whinging don’t they?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st November 2022, 18:29

      Look on the bright side – they could whinge as much as fans of a certain driver do. Then they’d really be unbearable!

      1. I know, those people who crowbar grievances into unrelated conversations are so tiring!

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          1st November 2022, 19:09

          Nice name. Are you my… Australian long lost cousin?

          1. @petebaldwin nah Betepaldwin is way too subtle & clever to be one of my mob. I almost terminally guffawed myself at such originality. To be fair though he? may be in “beta mode”.

      2. There is another driver whose fans whinge just as much. They to are unbearable.

        1. You guys are talking about bottas and norris, right???

    2. The real question is… had Ted not inadvertently given RB the “Sky boycott” excuse to fill media time instead of the cost cap overspend, what would they have jumped on instead to create headlines that deflect attention?

      It’s extremely clear this has been an exercise in deflection and they’re very sensitive about the real topic at the heart of all this.

  2. I think the point with Ted Kravitz in particular is that it’s not the first time he has thrown shade at Red Bull. The conspiracy theory that Yuki Tsunoda’s retirement at Zandvoort was engineered to help Verstappen win – and led to abuse and threats directed at Red Bull’s chief strategist – was voiced by Kravitz early on, without evidence, in a Sky broadcast.

    I don’t think it’s a Red Bull thing in particular, I think Ted just likes the drama – he was also an advocate of the equally baseless conspiracy theory that Charles Leclerc deliberately crashed in qualifying for Monaco last year to guarantee himself pole position.

    1. Yeah, Ted can really get carried away with those kind of things @red-andy.

      Actually in this case – the context of bringing up this as a more interesting movie script than what Pitt and Lewis came up with – I think it’s pretty much fine (surely in the movie the driver would have actually been robbed of that title win!) what he said.

    2. To be fair, the championship was rigged in Verstappen’s favor. It was objectively rigged. It’s hard not to start looking at other events earlier in the season. It’s kind of crazy how thin-skinned these guys are. It’s the obvious reaction to knowing you didn’t win the ’21 title with out help from the FIA.

      1. It was rigged the moment Masi changed rules mid-race in the first race of the calender.

        1. Yes, it’s really hard to take a comment suggesting they were favouring verstappen across the whole 2021 year seriously, since on balance mercedes had more questionable decisions in their favour.

    3. That’s what the media do. Ted is like South Park: an equal opportunity offender. He will voice rumours and speak about controversies no matter who they are aimed at. I don’t think there’s any malice towards anyone, he’s just trying to be entertaining.

      To be honest, part of what I like about F1 is that the competitors are held to account. All the reporters and commentators will ask the awkward questions, and they don’t let them get away with wearing their way out of it. It doesn’t matter which nationality, which team, which driver, they keep digging.

      While the suggestion that a driver deserves to win one race because of the circumstances of another, RBR should get used to comments about both Abu Dhabi and their breach of the cost cap. They’ll be cropping up for a while. Abu Dhabi wasn’t their fault, but they’ve absolutely flaunted their lucky break and barely acknowledged the controversy. As for the cost cap, they breached the rules, barely got a slap on the wrist, yet still act like the injured party. People still haven’t forgotten the SpyGate or CrashGate scandals and still bring them up on occasion, the same with Ferrari’s engine. To expect the fall out from one controversy to fade in a few months is naive at best, and when that’s compounded by revelations they actually broke the regulations significantly that season it’s laughable that they can sweep it under the carpet.

      That said, I doubt they are actually as upset as they claim. I suspect it’s just an attempt to divert attention from their rule breaking and to censor information which could make them look bad.

      If Verstappen really is that upset by comments about Masi’s rule breaking, he needs to either develop a thicker skin or accept that there have been controversies which have benefited him in his last two championships. People are much more forgiving of someone who accept the truth, and all it would take is a sincere-sounding admission that he has benefited from these circumstances, through no fault of his own, for people to start to drop it.

    4. I saw Ted notebook and his comment on Brad film it started not too bad but (as a non English speaker) it’s how he said it it came over as Max robbed Lewis which isn’t true he was just overtaken on track (and we heard Max by accident as he didn’t want to overtake Lewis there) So i think Max correct here if i hear it that max would understand the same way.

  3. Thank you Keith for filling in the missing context of what Ted actually said – so far I had seen only the part about the “scenario” alternative he proposed (posted by a fan who was telling how much “hate” Sky was spewing on Red Bull and Verstappen), not the important context of “scenario idea” that would be more interesting than what the actual idea is for that movie.

    In this context, it makes me feel even more that RBR is behaving like a petulant teenager here. I guess neither Horner, Max nor anyone else on the team really saw the complete thing either.

    Because in the context of a victious movie scenario, using the word robbed perfectly fits (since they would surely add in fictional elements that make this clear was the case in the movie) to give a more dramatic context to the end of the movie with the “glorious” win.

    I know that the Sky team, and Ted especially have been quite clearly riding on a bit of a Hamilton /UK driver biassed motive in recent years, but I just think Horner and the team show what happens when Mateschitz isn’t there to keep the kids from running the playground.

    1. Now you should ask to Keith to check if other teams have boycotted Sky before red bull did.

  4. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    1st November 2022, 18:29

    It does feel like they’re trying to dig themselves out of a hole, they just keep on digging.

  5. Sky Sports – Christmas advert 2021

    ’nuff said

    1. Nothing at all out of line about that. Max was fine and they’ve done the same for crashed that drivers went to hospital for and were even injured. But this time it was suddenly an issue. No surprise given it was red bull

  6. Not so much a ‘cheap’ target as an ‘overbudget’ target.

    1. This. They painted a massive ($2.1 million) target on their own back. Ted just took the easy shot.

      1. More like 0,5 to be precise…

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd November 2022, 11:53

          Not really… Red Bull submitted a budget that was 4 million under the cap. They lied.

          The FIA came up with an adjustment of 5.8 million and that was probably a very generous adjustment. Most likely it was 10 million under.

          They they forgave 1.4 million for a tax credit that Red Bull didn’t get.

          In the end, it’s impressive the FIA didn’t balance the books for Red Bull but they got 7 million in penalties and lord knows how much grease.

          1. @freelittlebirds

            According to Horner “We hadn’t excluded 1.4 million pounds-worth of tax that was an excludable item.”
            So if what he says is correct then it is about a tax payment that they could have excluded from the submission, but didn’t rather than a tax refund.

            The exact wording by FIA is:
            The FIA acknowledges that had RBR applied the correct treatment within its Full Year Reporting
            Documentation of RBR’s Notional Tax Credit within its 2021 submission of a value of £1,431,348, it would
            have been considered by the Cost Cap Administration to be in compliance with Article 4.1(b) of the
            Regulations and therefore RBR’s Relevant Costs for the 2021 Reporting Period would have in fact
            exceeded the 2021 Cost Cap by £432,652 (0.37%).

            I have no idea if what Horner said is an accurate description of the above. Maybe someone more knowledgeable on accounting practices can help us there.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st November 2022, 22:07

      @biker56 good one:-)

  7. The problem is that they make Ted very important and the issue bigger like this. And Sky Sports F1 is a Hamilton media outlet. So what else do you expect?

    1. The Streisand effect in action, live.

    2. Exactly. How many people even watch things that are broadcast at least half an hour after the finish, given all the podium, interviews, etc.? And this “script” he made up… let’s just say a creative writing class wouldn’t be superfluous. It’s fan-fiction at best, basically takes what actually happened, changing a tiny detail and then repeating earlier hits because he can’t come up with something original.

      Anyway, this is of course just a distraction from Red Bull having to pay up because they were proven to have broken the rules in 2021, the year in which they – amongst other things – developed this year’s dominant car.

  8. Sky coverage is terrible. Half the time the commentators are not even paying attention to what is on the screen. The UK can stick with Sky, but everyone else in the English speaking world needs our own coverage.

    1. The UK can stick with Sky, but everyone else in the English speaking world needs our own coverage.

      I have no wish to suffer with Sky content, I feel it rather mean spirited of you to suggest that us Brits would have to put up with it while others lead a charmed life without it.

    2. Crofty speaks way to much. Sky f1 could be bearable if he would not say half of what he says. he just speaks for the sake speaking and a gp with crofty is just 2hrs of crafty speaking non stop, it’s insane. lol
      Paying for sky f1 is just suicidal at this point.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        2nd November 2022, 16:22

        Name one commentator who doesn’t like the sound of his own voice?

      2. The audio cut out on the Sky broadcast at one point during the Mexico weekend, and I spent a couple of blissful minutes trying to figure what I would pay for a commentator free broadcast.

  9. Meh, after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, even Christian Horner called Lewis Hamilton “an eight-time World Champion”.

    I wish he would stop moaning. It was his team that benefitted from Masi’s unprecedented sc rule misapplication in AD 2021 and it was his team that got caught breaching the cost cap. The whole RB team need to stop acting like petulant school kids, playing the victims

    1. Meh, after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, even Christian Horner called Lewis Hamilton “an eight-time World Champion”.

      I suspect that was a body double, I can’t believe Hans Christian would achieve that level of honesty long enough to complete the sentence.

  10. He could boycott all media altogether for the rest of his time in F1.

    I would appreciate it a lot.

    1. Not a bad idea at all. How about no more media at F1? Just their own broadcast of the event. Then national broadcasters may take the footage and put some comments over it. At least you do not bother other nationality viewers with their subjective view on things. Its been long overdue that we stop allowing all this nonsense to be fueled just to help broadcasters get their viewer numbers and ratings. It is all revenue driven and not genuine sports interest. Liberty makes money from granting them access, they make money as long as they spread controversy. It is not meant to serve the audience anymore, but has become a game in itself. Also on this site this topic is the gift that keeps on giving. I havent counted it, but I reckon at least 40 articles have been published on this site explicitly writing down the scene of event of last season again and again and again. We are all victims of this media industry.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        2nd November 2022, 16:25

        Then national broadcasters may take the footage and put some comments over it.

        That is how I see sky and croft is absolutely awful mostly.

        I think at some GPs it is a world feed so everyone gets the same pictures and most of that is rubbish as well missing stuff to watch the countryman’s family in the garage.

  11. Davethechicken
    1st November 2022, 18:58

    It seems fairly universally accepted outside of planet red bull that the final 3 races of 2021 were a travesty.
    Why they ever thought it would be forgotten is beyond me.
    “Let’s go motor racing michael”, “it is called motor racing, Toto” lives long in the memory. As does Brazils 5 car width defence and the shameful Saudi race.
    The constant sensationalist language from RBR is now so see through.
    I watched Horner questioned on whether red bull should apologise for breaching the budget cap, his response was red bull were owed the apology!!! You couldn’t make it up.
    They are on their own little planet.
    And before the am called a Hamilton fan, I am a long standing SV fan and a previous RBR one!

    1. People can say anything they want and try to justify the outcome of the championship as being fair because Max lost points and Lewis made some mistakes, but nothing will ever justify what we saw in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton and Mercedes were wronged. The race win was denied by a rushed decision, taken under massive pressure from Redbull, which led to the SC protocol being broken, without any precedent, to the detriment of the leading car and to the others who were not allowed to unlap themselves and rejoin at the back of the queue. Horner knows very well what happened, but he’ll deny and lie in court if needed. He’ll deny in front of god if needed, and play the victim. It’s unbelievable that Masi saw it acceptable to put “going racing” above the respect to the right procedures. The only reason why Max kept his title is because the FIA didn’t want to accept the massive wrongdoing and look bad. I’m not even talking about the pressure of having a new world champion for the FOM. Lewis wasn’t beaten by Max, he was beaten by the system, by politics and money. The FIA should have apologised publicly for what happened in Abu Dhabi, not just to Hamilton and Mercedes, but also to the other teams and drivers who were not allowed to unlap themselves. Every lap affected by the disregard to the rules should have been nullified, meaning that the race would have officially ended under safety car, as it would have, had the rules being respected. And Hamilton would have become the rightful winner. Gamble or no gamble, risk or no risk with the decision to not pit for new tyres, the circumstances were leading towards a finish under the SC. And that was simply denied.

      1. Toto decided no safety car the first time around as well by telling Michael what to do.

        Both played, one got lucky.

        Stop peddling one-sided narratives.

        1. That was within the gift of the race director. Ignoring the rules wasn’t. It’s comparing apples and nuclear submarines.

      2. Except.. you’re wrong. Mercedes chose not to pit Hamilton (the disadvantage of being in front when the sc comes out) and Red bull pitted Max. With blue flags Max would have been past the back markers quickly. And if the rules had been applied better ALL lapped cars would have been let past them. Sainz was nowhere near Max’s pace so no threat. And Max STILL would have won. 3 factors the teamLH44 always leave out…

        1. @w0o0dy if the rules were applied, all lapped cars would have been let past and the safety car would have come in the FOLLOWING lap, not the same lap, therefore 44 would have won.

        2. If all cars had been allowed to unlap, there would not have been time to give the correct signals and being the safety car in before the start of the final lap. In fact, there wasn’t even as things stood, as the safety car was supposed to stay out until the end of the following lap, but Masi ignored that rule, too.

          With blue flags, Max would probably have been past the back markers quickly, but it works have taken a couple of corners say least. In that time, Lewis would likely have pulled a small gap, so it would have taken another few corners at least for Max to catch him, during which time Lewis’ tyres would be coming back up to temperature.

          Yes, Mercedes could have pitted him. However, if they had, he’d have come out behind Max as RBR world not have pitted him. If the rules had actually been followed then, Max would have won under a safety car finish, and Mercedes would have looked completely stupid having thrown the championship away. Mercedes actually made the right call in hindsight, but Masi tossed the rule book away and handed the win to Verstappen.

          Try to remember that, if you’re going to accuse others of “leaving things out”, you need to be sure you’re not doing the same or else you will look like a hypocrite…

        3. “If the rules had been better applied.”

          What, like the rule book states? I mean, who’d think the race director would elect to do that.

        4. With blue flags Max would have been past the back markers quickly.

          He’d tried that a couple of times previously in the race, and in each instance Max had ripped his tyres to a level of useless without catching Lewis.
          Watch the whole race through, and you will note that Lewis had him beaten totally, utterly and thank you, goodnight.

          And if the rules had been applied better ALL lapped cars would have been let past them.

          If the rules had been applied correctly, Max would have been free to pass Lewis at anytime between the finish line and park ferme.
          You see, if the rules had been followed the race would have finished behind the safety car(almost) with the safety car peeling off into the pit lane and no one allowed to overtake in the short distance until they passed the start/finish line (end of race).

      3. Thank you. This is one of several sensible descriptions of what occurred in Abu Dhabi. I’m not fan of just one particular driver. Like most people, I like a few drivers and teams, not only one. But what happened in Abu Dhabi broke my heart, mainly for fairness reasons, and for reactions they invoked as human beings. These are one of the reasons, I believe, people cannot yet forget. People have moved on though, Red Bull and Max have been able to enjoy their #1 positions and so on, and one should add with plenty of arrogance. For Christian and Max to then play victims cheapen F1’s fans dedication to the sport. Viewers, ardent fans or not, are one part that makes the sport. So far, the FIA, media and teams often treat fans as though they are shallow people who just “follow” blindly, with no thoughts. For Sky to feature Christian Horner so faithfully, so often, shows laziness and lack of resourcefulness to approach other teams. For the media to be lacking of conviction in telling the truth, for fear of reactions like Horner’s, disappoint. Respect has to be earned Horner and Max, and you have not earned it. But you have zillions of blind fans who think the world of you thanks to the two #1 trophies and the super car.

        1. I would rather suggest to not look at what news channels or websites bring. But to look at broadcasted imagery of F1/Liberty only. Then a return to the core is possible and one can judge drivers on what they display, rather than the story the media wants to tell you. Looking from that perspective I dare say that one that does not see the talent and exceptional performance Max brings, is simply not really a fan of the sport, but of the circus. Which is 100% fine by the way, but people mix things up quite a lot.

  12. “The decisions that have been taken in the last four minutes of this race have robbed Lewis Hamilton of a deserved world championship,” said Wolff, adding: “Robbing him in the last lap of the race is unacceptable.”

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner indicated it was the description of Hamilton being “robbed” that had caused particular offence.

    Horner seems to be implying that he was the one making the decisions at the end of that race.

    1. We’ll considering Masi pretty much just did what he was told by Horner…

      I’m joking, of course, but if I was one to believe conspiracy theories this would through more fuel on the fire!

      1. We’ll considering Masi pretty much just did what he was told by Horner…

        I’m joking, of course, but if I was one to believe conspiracy theories this would through more fuel on the fire!

        Actually, Masi did do pretty much exactly what Horner said to do.
        The only real question is why he took any notice of Horner, rather than check the actual rules.
        I’m sure the options extend beyond the obvious two:
        1. Believing Horner was right and giving an honest answer (i.e. blind stupidity)
        2. Malicious conspiracy.

        Personally, I’ve tended to go with option 1, as have a number of fair-minded Max fans, but various Ferrari fans I’ve spoken to favour option 2.

  13. I watch F1 in the US through ESPN/Sky TV. One of the guys is always talking and often even when Mercedes has not a chance to win the race they make predictions how Hamilton is going to win. They are always wrong and never apologize for their nonsense commentary. With the sound turned off it is quite enjoyable.

    1. Croft and Kravitz are like Abbott and Costello.

      But then Abbott and Costello were at least funny. They think they’re funny, but in reality they make my eyes roll so bad I can see my brain. Nothing but a constant barrage of cringey comments from them.

      1. They sure aren’t media finest. I find it rather endearing however. Let them be, everyone knows it is toddlers commenting.

    2. I still want the sounds of the cars and the crowd.

  14. Whether Sky’s viewers will sympathise with Red Bull, or conclude the whole thing was a stunt intended to deflect attention from the cost cap debate, remains to be seen

    Why sympthaize with the team who possesses the most toxic and most disgusting behavior in the sport? Anyway, Red Bull are already known with violations and cheats.

  15. Oh well another article to have the same discussion. Another Kravitz quote to make some headlines. Another comment section to be upset. So much noise that distracts from the races.

  16. I am slowely coming to the conclusion that Max is really a great driver… As long as Alonso is driving, he will be always my favorite.

    1. I am slowely coming to the conclusion that Max is really a great driver…

      That’s the cumulative effect of that herbal smoking mix…

  17. The interesting thing for me is that I’ve never heard Ted Kravitz as positive about Max as in his commentary during this years Mexican GP and in his Race Notebook. I still can’t figure out whether it was genuine, or to appease Red Bull or subtly sarcastic.

  18. At least those fictional school kids seem to have stopped being bullied now! That’s a positive result.

    Honestly can’t understand how anyone can be a genuine fan of RedBull.

    1. There is a lot of controversy around them indeed. But just the same I can not imagine why anyone would buy a Mercedes road car after last seasons events either. I guess the main thing is that we have all moved on, except for a small group that is becoming increasingly annoying since 95% of the world would like to just see races and new seasons. Liberty should work on their inclusion objectives when it comes to their media outlets.

    2. Honestly can’t understand how anyone can be a genuine fan of RedBull.

      Subtract the Hans Christian Horner / Helmut Marko BS and there’s a lot to like.
      Unfortunately, the BS element is heavily embedded.

      BTW. Bear in mind that I’m a Hamilton fan when reading the first sentence, as it helps you understand that I like good racing and, while I’d like to see Lewis win, the result, whatever it is, needs to be fair.
      Rule bending/breaking by Masi was not fair. Rule bending/breaking by Horner (budget cap) is not fair.

  19. i don’t se how thy boycotted Sky when Max and Checo gave interviews on practice days and after qualifying plus doing interviews after the final – how is that boycotting Sky? It’s no one’s fault if they now feel guilty about the overspend and can’t blame people talking about it. It’s a well known fact that Horner and Kravitz don’t get on and lets face it if you don’t want to hear things said against you – keep to the rules – simple

    1. Ted comment was after Qualifying that why they only could boycot SKY before the race and after that.
      It’s a British thing they are polite but they can be very polite rude nagging. problem is that Ted just went to far for a Dutch guy.

      1. It’s a British thing they are polite but they can be very polite rude nagging.

        You’re too kind :)
        Most nationalities don’t recognise our talents ;)

  20. The dead cat strategy attempting to get negatives riffs off the media narrative about overspending, economical with the verité RedBull. Well executed but the reaction is only cementing RedBull dodgy reputation in place.

    1. Agreed

  21. Horner is the biggest BSer in F1. Just unbearable. Full of demagogy and double standards, playing victim.

  22. Sky is only bearable with the sound turned off

  23. Ok, this sum up of all the events is very telling.

    Horner is very adamant that RB was fraudulently accused by name, which is not true. He stated it publicly at least twice: with the journalist cited in this article and with Zak Brown in Austin.

    I’m concerned that he can dismiss the reality (RB was not named) and just make his own. This can have repercussion down the line. I was reminded of the case of Pierre Van Vliet, a Belgian journalist who worked for TF1, the French broadcaster at the time of the infamous 2002 Austrian GP. Pierre criticized Ferrari for their decision to alter the on track result – which by the way was illegal at the time. Everybody was angry, absolutely everybody (well, maybe not the Ferrari fans…), and as a journalist he just voiced what we couldn’t from home. The spectators booed the podium, which was a rarity at the time.
    By the end of the year, Jean Todt had a talk with the people in charge at TF1 and got Van Vliet sacked. Will Horner do the same?

    I would rather RB still talk to SKY F1 and tell them what they think of their coverage. You know, free speech and all that. But in the end I really don’t care as I don’t watch SKY F1 – I don’t live in the UK.
    Oh, and Verspatten is often quoted saying “people can think and say what they want, I don’t care”. It looks like he cares after all.

    1. Who are you talking about but Ted could be in trouble as these are big companies. I think no care is against other drivers not reporters you know headbutting those who are bringing up things for the 39999000888899999999 time he isn’t kidding as Jos would do that very easy oh wait.

  24. Red Bull do nothing to endear themselves to anyone. So why the constant moaning that nobody likes them?
    Their popularity is hardly going to improve if they remain so dominant over the following seasons and they refuse to put a more competitive driver into their number 2 car.

    1. They didn’t refuse, they tried over and over to put a decent driver in the 2nd seat, gasly, albon, hartley, all a disaster; perez is decent, want to risk changing that? Unless you take a proven quantity like alonso or leclerc.

  25. The thing about this that kinda makes me laugh a bit is that Chritsian Horner is on Sky more than any other team principle & at various points over the years has used Sky to push whatever narrative he & Red Bull is pushing and in most instances has never really been challenged which pushing that narrative.

    There are times when Christian is on Sky after every session as well as been the team principle they speak to on the pit wall during every session.

    If anything over the years Sky have been far more favourable to Red Bull & allowed Red Bull to push there agenda’s more than they ever have Mercedes or Hamilton.

    As a British broadcaster yes they do often talk up the British drivers but when you watch Dutch TV or when you watch Italian or German TV it’s no different with them talking up the top drivers and/or teams from those countries, It’s just the way it’s always been to varying degrees.

    1. One more point.

      Christian & Max say that Sky are drumming up anti red bull/Max hate. But what about some of the language they have used which have done the same?

      After the Silverstone crash last year you had Christian pushing that Lewis could have killed Max among other somewhat inflammatory language which has done nothing but create further divisions and such in the fanbase which I think is the most divisive & divided i’ve ever seen it.

      And how many times over the years has Horner & even Max used the word ‘cheat’ when talking about other teams?

      It’s just a bit hypocritical to complain when it’s stuff been aimed at them when it’s stuff they do themselves when it suits them. At least Max is open enough to admit it though.

      1. Verstappen was more closer to a death than living after a 51g impact.

        1. It could have led to serious injuries, though he actually wasn’t “close to death”. F1 cars have incredibly effective safety structures, and it takes a freak set of circumstances for serious injuries to occur.

          Crashes happen. Hamilton made a mistake, ran a little wide in the corner, and Verstappen got some bad luck which ended his race in a spectacular manner. However, for Horner to suggest it was attempted murder was ridiculous, especially considering the number of incidents Verstappen himself caused (and the fact that he’d gone in too hot, too, and was unlikely to have made the corner without leaving the track). It also poured petrol on the flames of hatred against Hamilton, which I’m pretty sure was his intent.

          1. Max squeezed Lewis out in Imola and Spain and had every right to do so as he was ahead and on the inside. I didn’t see him do anything overboard until after the Silverstone shunt.
            Check out some of the moves Lewis has put on Rosberg during their time at Merc. I think he couldn’t take getting a taste of his own medicine and it boiled over at Copse.

        2. Davethechicken
          1st November 2022, 23:21

          Lol Roger, your a funny guy.
          You mean he was close to death in an accident in which he wasn’t hurt? He wasn’t kept in hospital even. He drove the next race, but in your world he had nearly died???

        3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          2nd November 2022, 16:32

          And yet he got out of his car and didn’t need a stretcher to get to the medical car.

        4. Verstappen was more closer to a death than living after a 51g impact

          BS. You would need to know the results of the checks and MRI at the super hospital in Coventry to even have a clue about that one.

          Staff are not permitted to reveal patient information.

  26. Was the intention to insinuate Red Bull ‘robbed’ Hamilton of the title? Or is the team taking offence at the suggestion Hamilton was ‘robbed’ by someone else and they indirectly benefited?

    It can not be the first interpretation. It has to be the second. It was the bad refereeing on that race. Unless Red Bull were thinking he was implying the cost cap breach was the thing that ultimately decided the tight 2021 championship.

    “Robbed” might be a strong but it conveys, very well, in a single word, the rivals’ feelings (and it’s perfect in a plot for a film). As a F1 fan, I also felt robbed of a fair championship finale and, to be honest, knowing they were the only team that breached the cost cap, is not helping in forgetting about it. And that is what Red Bull is trying, to drive the conversation away from that irregular championship ending, a kind of censorship on that matter and overreacting when someone is bringing it up. Facts are facts and it would be unfair if we can not discuss about them when relevant because it may hurt someone feelings (even when they are not in front).

    This is not the first time Red Bull has overreacted. They said Zak Brown accused them of cheating in a letter to the FIA they did not receive. Zak explained he did not accused them but stated any cost cap infringement should be punish as an act of cheating, enforcing them similarly to the technical regulations.

    Every brand and their representatives choose a PR strategy. In this case they have chosen to counter attack, by becoming victims or “cheap targets”, any argument implying they have benefited to some degree. I think a more cordial and sympathetic approach would have been better to move on more quickly and in a friendly way

    1. You don’t throw away words like cheating around when the FIA explicitly says that RB didn’t do anything fraudulently.

      Zak’s letter suggested punishments that were lighter than what RB got in the end. And Seidl is out there callling it fairy tales.

      Frankly McLaren’s inability to make a good car is more worrisome than Zak making himself relevant by creating controversy.

      1. Christian? Is that you?
        RB overspent the cost cap. A break of the rules. A reasonable description of that is the ‘c’ – word.
        Seidl was calling your(?) press conference ‘fairy tales’, not Zak’s letter.
        And Zak is the one ‘creating controversy’?
        You(?) really are a master at this aren’t you(?) ??

      2. However has thrown around words like that, and worse, in far more spurious circumstances in the past. He’s a typical bully: he’s happy to dish out out, but cries when he gets even a mild taste of his own medicine.

        1. “Horner”, not “However”…

      3. Agree that Zak should keep quiet. In Abu Dhabi, they pitted RIC for fresh tires, preparing for a restart with the hope of finishing in the points. Masi’s decision directly impacted their driver and Zak didn’t say a word. It’s much too late to be upset now.

  27. Here we go with the alternative facts…,It was robbed, Max. Perhaps, we could say “mistakenly” robbed, but robbed just the same.

  28. I don’t know why Keith misses out on the part where Ted says he won only because of Newey..

    Selective journalism I guess.

    1. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there has been a massive narrative among certain segments of the F1 “fan” base, including the media, that Hamilton’s success has all been down to the car he was driving. Why should Verstappen expect any different?

      I’m strongly against this myself, by the way. The best driver cannot win without a good car, and the worst drivers on the grid would still struggle in a car which is completely dominant. F1 is a team sport, but the best drivers terms to get to drive the best cars, and it’s the combination which wins championships. However, as Verstappen had made no effort to quiet his fans or the pro-Verstappen media in their “just the car” narrative, it’s hypocritical at best for him to get offended by such accusations aimed at him.

  29. If Horner, Helmut, & Max where such arrogant and entitled individuals, maybe they wouldn’t have such large targets on their backs.

  30. Before the latter part of Mexico 2022 weekend, Horner was on Sky F1 UK so often you’d think Red Bull was his second job…

    During just one recent practice session programme, Sky interviewed him (IIRC):

    Live, before the session started
    Three times (IIRC) as “our team principal on the pit wall this weekend)
    Partial repeat of the live interview
    Live, before the end of the programme

    During a recent broadcast, Simon Lazenby looked crestfallen when announcing that Christian Horner wasn’t available to talk with them 😂

    1. “our team principal on the pit wall this weekend

      I thought that was every weekend – based on people’s repeated comments about it pretty much every race weekend.
      I’ve no direct experience, as Sky stand zero chance of seeing one since penny of my cash, ever.

  31. Hey it’s working… The words budget cap pushed back to the third page. Good job guys!

  32. How about ted’s slamming Lewis and Mercedes?

  33. If I was Sky I’d call their bluff and give them zero coverage. Red Bull seem to have forgotten how much of their budget comes from marketing, sponsorship and prize money which is all a result of media coverage. One season on top and they’re back to their arrogant and entitled best.

  34. If anybody’s been watching Ted for awhile you know he was just being Ted! I saw that segment live and didn’t feel like it was a deliberate dig at all. He loves coming up with interesting and colourful theories/commentary. That’s what makes him interesting to watch compared to other presenters. So..don’t take him too seriously, he’s just a bit of “fun”.

  35. There have been threats to Masi, threats to Latifi, threats to Hannah Schmitz.

    It appears that there is controversy because Sky needs it.

    “Just asking questions” rhetoric…

  36. Christian, the team received a fine for an overspend, with no reduction in spending capacity for subsequent seasons. This has the appearance of no penalty at all. How much gain could have come from this?

    What’s that? He’s hiding?

  37. Commentators job is self promotion.

    Sound and subtitles OFF for me.Time for a cuppa or cold drink when a talking head or “celeb” appears. Wish the networks extended the some viewers may find the following scenes disturbing warning/alert prior to their appearance.

  38. randomnumber (@)
    2nd November 2022, 3:44

    I don’t think Bottas intentionally wrecked both Red Bulls in Hungary last year — but as a conspiracy it makes far more sense than Tsunoda at Zandvoort this year. I don’t remember anyone on Sky entertaining this at all. The FIA changed track limit rules halfway through Bahrain last year, which gave Lewis just enough time to hold Max off and Sky never brings that up. Silverstone last year was a far bigger problem than Abu Dhabi, as it threatened driver safety and set a precedent that led directly to the incident in Monza that nearly took Hamilton’s life, but Sky never mentions it (unless they’re advertising). Fans cheering a driver on his way to the hospital receive a fraction of the ire as those booing Hamilton.

    Fwiw I like Ted and don’t think he should be fired, but if the drivers w

    1. Davethechicken
      2nd November 2022, 16:59

      Hamilton had a 45g accident with Fernando at Spa this year. The Max fans cheered as he retired. No one squealed attempted murder though did they?

      There is a sad over reaction regards Silverstone 2021, the toxicity from which continues. It was a racing accident and both were judged to contribute, yet RBR pedalled a ridiculous narrative of attempting to I kill their driver. The British fans cheered that day only when it was clear to them Max was fine, ie when he walked away from the accident. Not before.
      All this pretence that he was nearly killed is highly disrespectful to the many drivers who have died or had life changing injuries.
      Not a trip to hospital as a precaution.

      1. The British fans cheered that day only when it was clear to them Max was fine, ie when he walked away from the accident. Not before.

        Video of the fans in the nearest stand shows large numbers cringing at the expected effect, just like the TV viewers did on every viewing.
        The Horner/RBR narrative painted a picture of attempted murder – an accusation that Horner actually voiced, repeatedly, knowing it wasn’t true.

  39. Martin Brundle has a rcaing history and has managed perfectly fine to stay neutral. Yes, he fancies Hamiltons chances, but is equally interesting to listen to when he is or when he isn’t. Kravitz and Croft are merely 2 British fans who have been given microphones.

    German broadcasters fancy German drivers, the Dutch the Dutch, French the French and Finnish the Finnish. Probably the Italians like the ITalians too (in a way, they also seem to be the most criticizing on Ferrari). The problem Sky Sports UK has is that they are also broadcasting to a wider audience because of English being the most spoken language in the F1-audience. Be it the USA or the International channel on F1TV. This means they HAVE to be more objective in their commentary. Kravitz and Croft simply aren’t up for that job it seems. For years it has been clear they fancy Hamilton and Mercedes and hold a grudge against Verstappen and Red Bull for challenging them.

    This year it was always ‘ oh but Mercedes deserves to be up there’. Why? Why not Williams or McLaren? They have a great history in F1 too!

    The biggest meme I read so far (which was always going to be used) is that Red Bull is ‘trying to strong-arm journalism’. No, they are not. They are being strong-armed and merely want what journalism is all about: objectivity. But calling Kravitz and Croft journalists would be an insult to actual journalists.

  40. Hamilton certainly wasn’t ‘robbed’ of the title. He may have been robbed of a win in AD which had nothing to do with Verstappen.
    Max was robbed off a hell of a lot more points in Silverstone and Hungary by the direct actions of a Mercedes car.
    A fully deserved title for Max, no matter what these biased clowns say.

    1. The whole season was rigged. Just to name one element: Mercedes were never in the game until they got Pirelli to change the compound (in season! for ‘safety reasons’, just like the purpoising thing when they did it again) which suddenly suited the rear end of the Mercedes to such extent they were back in the mix. Ted could have talked about that as robbing RB as well, yet he choses not to… So I guess the only way forward is to go forward. All teams incorrectly and unfairly influence the outcome. The trick here is to move on.

    2. 100% this. The whole “the 2021 title was rigged in Max’s favour” by disgruntled fanboys is very boring now, and just adds fuel to the division that currently resides amongst a lot of the sports fanbase. Yes the rules were not followed correctly, but that was clearly in the name of entertainment, not to help one driver over the other. And at the end of the day Lewis still lead that last lap, he just left the door wide open at the hairpin. If he had defended like Sergio did to him earlier on in that same race he would be an 8 time champion (and Sergio was on older tyres at that point than Lewis was at the end of the race) Its time everybody moved on from 2021, and 2022. For the sake of the sport (and my sanity)

  41. The comments in this topic who complain about sky have never watched Viaplay or Ziggo. Compared with these two I think the commentators on Sky and F1TV are always two steps forward. Also the bias is far less than used to be on dutch coverage. Countless times the last years I’ve heard Brundle praising Max. Ted notebook placed in context wasn’t that bad and I suspect Max didn’t even watch the espisode but reacted based on what he was told. I guess they are all good now so another storm in a teacup.

    1. I do respect Brundle the most out of all of them. He has racing experience and usually calls it as it is.
      His initial comments in Monza last year were that Max had every right to go for the gap Lewis had left wide open if you listen to the live commentary, yet most people on here think Max was out to kill Lewis in one of the slowest corners.
      Brundle also fully expected Lewis to have to give the place back on lap 1 Abu Dhabi. Merc got away with that decision yet didn’t have it go their way at the end yet that is never mentioned.
      The media play a powerful role in dividing fans these days.

      1. That is the sad thing fans are polarised and start booing and even misbehave because they can’t put things in perspective. Its formula1 you need a good car, you need some luck and you have to beat your teammate thats it.

  42. I get told off on Reddit everytime that Verstappen should be excused for his ill-behaviour towards fellow competitors (pushing Ocon, calling Tsunoda an ableist slur) because the Dutch are honest and direct. Apparently the Dutch don’t have much of a thick skin.

  43. I’m already looking forward to the next article about this

  44. Ultimately, the boycotting was entirely understandable & justified, something any other team would likely also do.
    BTW, surely the reference saying should be we ‘were’ robbed?

  45. Just wait until he wins a couple more and people say he’s just farming titles in the best car with weak teammates. Snowflakes.

  46. Max has excellent english, but I’m wondering if he hasn’t actually understood what Ted was saying, or didn’t actually fully watch the clip.

    This is such a nothingburger.

    I’m guessing that Max saw a partial quote and then some angry comments about it. In the drivers press conference after the race he also talked about online comments and social media being bad. It must be so hard for both Lewis and Max. I’m sure it’s best if they don’t read any comments about their rivalry, because it’s just impossible not to bump into a bad one.

  47. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    2nd November 2022, 16:42

    I like your comments drmouse. The summary for AD is as nice and respectful I have seen anywhere.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      2nd November 2022, 16:43

      As for Horner I wouldn’t ever miss hearing from him again. He can stay away from the microphone for as long as he likes.
      He is playing the victim.

    2nd November 2022, 23:36

    “Truth hurts”.
    Ben Finegold.

  49. Oh, Horner and RB, such poor victims…..

  50. Team Soda Pop IS a cheap target, especially after being busted by FIA.
    The other two top teams are actual auto makers who will still sell cars regardless of F1.
    Its easy for consumers to grab a different brand of Sugar Water.

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