Max Verstappen has revealed he is boycotting Sky Sports F1 indefinitely. His initial issue revealed to De Telegraaf has now been extended to what he believes is the British channel being “consistently disrespectful”. TJ13 commentators do regularly suggest Sky Sports F1 disproportionately laud the actions of Lewis Hamilton and seemingly diminish the achievements of the Dutch Double World Champion.
Unlike Hamilton, Verstappen persistently downplays the provocative questions the media deploy in an attempt to trip him up into a paddock row. Lewis by comparison during his career has persistently taken highly controversial and even aggressive stances on both F1 matters and wider political issues in society.
Sky F1 ‘too woke’
Sky F1 appear to have bowed to the current ‘woke’ agenda promoting certain individuals to their main broadcasts for reasons other than their global recognition for sporting achievement or even for competence to add anything other than the obvious to the current debate in hand.
That said, British observers have for years been frustrated with the perpetual use of white male Johnny Herbert in a quasi expert commentator/quasi clown role in their F1 broadcasts. Herbert adds very little usually restating the leading question and merely agreeing to the consensus.
Sky F1 are being boycotted by Verstappen and apparently Red Bull Racing indefinitely for their perpetual slights against Verstappen’s achievements.
Kravitz polemic over Abu Dhabi unacceptable
Kravitz in his ‘tongue in cheek’ broadcast called “Ted’s Notebook” queried whether Verstappen could ever win an F1 championship without it being controversial.
Of course Max first title was won when F1 race director Michael Massi ensured the teams’ persistent demands to “go racing” and ‘not finish races under a red flag’ were followed.
Massi cleared the cars between the two race title contenders under the safety car, to allow a one lap shoot out for the title and the race. The regular protocol would have been to allow all the lapped cars to pass the leaders. Yet this protocol can take several laps and has been criticised by the teams for years.
Given the race directors’ decision is final in these matters, the FIA refused to overturn the decision.
Sky F1 demean Max Vertsappen
However, Kravitz mocked these events in an imaginary movie script proposal while discussing the potential content of the upcoming Brad Pitt F1 movie.
Kravitz described the events in Abu Dhabi 2021 as Lewis being “robbed.”
Max second title was hardly controversial but because the teams and the F1 broadcasters didn’t know the rules for a restarted race failed to understand Verstappen had won the Japanese GP and the world title simultaneously.
Rules which apportion only a percentage of the points for a race finishing under a red flag were believed to apply for Japan when in fact it was a race where the finish did require full points to be awarded.
British F1 broadcaster buries its head in the sand
Sky F1 have known about this boycott through the Mexican GP, yet Kravitz made light of the fact he shouldn’t interrupt Verstappen during his “qualifying Notebook”.
During the 4 hours of Sky F1 race day broadcast Sky F1 failed to address this issue and apparently have decided to enter a stand off with Verstappen and Red Bull over the matter.
Max Vertstappen states his treatment by Sky F1 “has been a constant kind of digging and being disrespectful, especially from one particular person. At one point it is enough, and I don’t accept it. You cannot live in the past and you have to move on.”
“It had nothing to do with this weekend but this year it has been a constant digging, being disrespectful and particularly one particular person,” said Verstappen.
“At one point it is enough and I don’t accept it. You can’t live in the past, you just have to move on.”
Sky F1 fail to emphasis the big issues
One of the massive issues over the cost cap debate was how the paddock was leaked the information that Red Bull Racing had leaked the cost cap limits during the Singapore GP, over 2 weeks before an official announcement was made. Accusations of cheating followed, yet Sky F1 never called on the FIA to answer the question as to how this information was divulged.
Such lazy reporting and a failure to follow the real story which is the repeated failures of the FIA this season merely reveals that most of the Sky F1 presenters have no proper journalistic training and appear at times just hacks making it up as they go along.
The serious question arising form this years F1 season is around the chaos the new FIA under Mohammed Ben Sulayem have found themselves within, particularly where neither F1 race directors have the respect of the paddock.
Sky F1 poisons social media debate
Online trolls have issued vile death threats against both Nicholas Latifi and former F1 race director Michael Massi and Verstappen believes consistent sniping which has been prevalent again with the cost cap saga merely feeds this unwanted division and venom.
“You know at the moment that social media is a very toxic place, and if you are constantly being like that live on TV, you make it only worse,” Verstappen added.
“Instead of trying to make it better in the world, you keep disrespecting me. At one point, I am not tolerating it anymore, so that’s why I decided to stop answering.”
Sky F1 were only available to broadcast interviews from Vertsappen and Perez from a third party media thought to be Channel 4.
The usual media friendly Christian Horner was not available for Sky F1 comment either prior of following the race. The boycott is believed to be extended to Sky Italia and German Sky F1.
Sky F1 spurn their favourite team boss
Christian Horner is a disproportionately regular team boss who does “pit wall” interviews during Sky F1’s on track action and so the broadcaster will suffer until the matter is resolved. By the way of contrast Toto Wolff never does pit wall broadcast for the British broadcaster.
F1 drivers must do their media pen interviews at certain times during the weekend, but are not bound to speak to every media association.
It was embarrassingly obvious that Sky F1 failed to claim an interview with either the winner or P3 driver of the Mexican GP.
The broadcaster may at present be stubborn in their defence of their presentation, but given the accusations Red Bull have recently encountered over “cheating accusations” and seen off all comers, there will only be one winner in this spat. In fact Sky F1 have been naive to not resolve this matter during the weekend of the Mexican GP.
Sky F1 embarrassed in Mexico
Sky F1’s broadcast in Mexico without the usual race winner joining them in celebration of his victory was just embarrassing and an indictment of their ability to comment on the sport in a respectful and impartial manner.
Of course Kravitz comical and fictitious comments about a potential Brad Pitt script was in no way intended to be political, yet Sky F1 need to drop the persistent rhetoric that sees Lewis Hamilton as “robbed” of an 8th title and demeaning Max Verstappen’s achievements in the past two seasons.
This change in polemic required includes the regulation of the gushing opinions fanboys of Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and Jenson Button who persistently refuse to criticise Lewis Hamilton whenever he may be in the wrong, whilst casting aspersions on the next great driver Formula One has spawned.
By way of contrast, Sky’s Paul De Resta below appears to understand the achievements and potential of Formula One’s next great champion Max Verstappen.
Sky present Formula One in a kind of chatty, matey fashion where all the team are just one big family. Yet whether this is the best approach to covering the world’s most watched sport is questionable. Maybe a more professional and proper analytical approach should be the future direction of the broadcast.
Much missed is their previous presenter Jake Humphries.
"You cannot deny what Max is able to do" 💪
Just how good has Max Verstappen been this season? 💭 pic.twitter.com/bONHIXfEqI
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) October 30, 2022