A light-hearted moment between Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz during practice for the Las Vegas Grand Prix led to an unexpected on-air apology from Sky commentator David Croft.
Practice for the Las Vegas GP was already an unusual event, with sessions running into the early hours of the morning after a series of delays, including the cancellation of the first session and a lengthy postponement of the second due to a loose manhole cover causing damage to two cars. A light-hearted exchange then takes a comical turn live on-air.
Christian Horner’s birthday banter with Ted Kravitz
As the session continued late into the night, Kravitz engaged Horner in a bit of pitlane banter, mentioning Horner’s recent 50th birthday celebrations and poking fun at the need for glasses when approaching the half-century mark.
Kravitz himself wore glasses during the broadcast, poking fun at his own situation.
“I think he’s wearing his natty new glasses on the pit wall… and who can blame him?” said Kravitz.
“Who, approaching 50 years old, would wear their glasses in the pit lane, wanting to pretend that the actually don’t need them? Who would do that?”
The middle finger salute
Sky’s Karun Chandhok pointed out that Horner, who did not have his glasses on at the time, had turned. The camera then zoomed in on Kravitz and the Red Bull pit wall, and the team boss gave Kravitz the not-so-subtle middle finger, smiling.
Kravitz, initially unaware of Horner’s reaction, continued to joke about the need for glasses, prompting Horner to put on his own in a playful acknowledgement of the reporter’s comments.
“Christian, where are the glasses? Put the glasses back on!” shouted Kravitz
“Oh, he’s giving me a happy little greeting there. Honestly, every time I keep putting a compliment Christian’s way, he doesn’t like it. He’s 50 and I’m approaching 50 and we both need the glasses now…
“And the glasses are on!”
Quick apology from Sky F1
The light-hearted interaction took an awkward turn when Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft found himself in the position of having to apologise to viewers for Horner’s impromptu gesture. Croft quickly addressed the crowd and apologised for any offence caused by the hand signals from the Red Bull pit wall.
“He finally put the glasses on, thank you Christian. And I apologise if you were offended by the hand signals from the Red Bull pit wall,” he said.
The farce of delayed practice
The humorous episode provided a brief moment of levity in an otherwise chaotic day for the newest addition to the Formula One calendar. Earlier incidents involving a loose manhole cover, most notably involving Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, had led to significant delays and eventually to the practice session being held without the fans in attendance.
Indeed the absurdity of the Las Vegas Grand Prix has already achieved a peak on it’s first day with Ferrari’s Carlo Sainz getting a major grid penalty from the damage by the manhole cover, despite the stewards highlighting that they wouldn’t have issued it, but for the fact there’s no rule in place to mitigate such an unfortunately occurrence.
Indeed it seems that Mercedes themselves could’ve lobbied for Ferrari to have their penalty from being revoked – READ MORE ON THIS STORY
Toto Wolff deflects criticism
The day’s events drew criticism, with some suggesting that the practice problems were an embarrassment to the sport. However, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff was quick to play down the situation, claiming that the problem with the drain covers was a minor hiccup that would soon be forgotten, and rejecting the notion that it was a ‘black eye’ for F1.
MORE NEWS: High drama as Vegas F1 practice cancelled after just 9 minutes
The hype was finally over and the F1 cars hit the track come 08:30pm local time in Las Vegas. George Russell was the first to call the team over team radio reporting “the grip os very low,” and this despite the entire 6km of the race track having been re-asphalted with a high grip surface.
The bright neon of ‘the strip’ was dimmed as the temporary lights hung from their gantries turned the Nevada night into day. It was quickly obvious that the Red Bull cars were…READ MORE ON THIS STORY