Red Bull has blocked Sky Sports’ access to driver Max Verstappen and team principal Christian Horner across all its territories in response to the network’s coverage of the team this year.
The decision impacts Sky UK’s coverage — that is taken by ESPN in the United States — as well as Sky Italy and Sky Germany, and relates to the way the broadcaster has referenced the finale of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi last year, as well as recent budget cap topics.
Red Bull is understood to have been unhappy with the coverage for a number of months, but comments from Sky reporter Ted Kravitz (pictured above interviewing Horner earlier this year) during the United States Grand Prix weekend in Austin were the final trigger for the team to choose to prevent Sky from speaking to Verstappen or Horner on air at this weekend’s Mexico City GP. Sergio Perez is still being made available to Sky outlets as it his home event.
The block is indefinite but RACER understands it will be reviewed ahead of the next race in Brazil.
After the USGP, Kravitz referenced actor Brad Pitt’s presence at the race while planning a Formula 1 film, and claimed the race nearly provided an interesting script itself.
“Today’s script…” Kravitz said. “Seven-time world champion goes into final race trying to be greatest of all time and win championship, gets robbed, comes back, his next year’s car is rubbish — in the movie sense — doesn’t win a race all year and then finally comes back to a track where he could win a race, is battling with the same guy who won the race that he was robbed in in the previous year, and manages to finish ahead of him. What a script and a story that would’ve been. So Brad, if you’re listening, that’s not a bad one.
“But that’s not the way the script turned out today, was it? Because the guy that beat him, after being robbed — the seven-time world champion — actually overtook him because he’s got a quicker car, because of engineering and Formula 1 and design and pretty much because of (Adrian Newey).
“So the romanticism of the movie that may or may not be with Lewis Hamilton and Brad Pitt wasn’t actually today. It would have been had Lewis Hamilton won but he didn’t, it was Max Verstappen, and with it we should celebrate Red Bull winning their fifth world constructors’ championship.”