World champion Max Verstappen has slammed the coverage of his F1 titles and has accused Sky Sports of ‘disrespect’.
The Dutchman and the entire Red Bull team refused to speak to Sky Sports at the Mexico City Grand Prix.Embed from Getty Images
The comments which sparked the outrage were made by Ted Kravitz who claimed that Hamilton was “robbed” of his championship. Kravitz also made the mistake of referring to Hamilton as the ‘eight-time world champion’.
Red Bull have made clear their frustration with Sky’s coverage since Verstappen edged Hamilton in the final race of the 2021 F1 season at Abu Dhabi.Embed from Getty Images
Verstappen broke his silence regarding the boycott and said: “It had nothing to do with this weekend but this year. It 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. Social media is a very toxic place and if you are constantly being like that live on TV that, you are making it worst instead of trying to make it better.
“You keep disrespecting me and at one point I will not tolerate it anymore and that is why I decided to stop answering.”
While Verstappen never confirmed which specific comment triggered this outrage, Christian Horner has alluded to what made the Red Bull driver upset as he said:Embed from Getty Images
“There were some derogatory comments made so we took a break from Sky for this race. Max was upset. We were upset and we made the decision to stand together as a team.
“It won’t have done Sky any harm for us to lay down a marker. Some of the commentaries is fair but some pieces are sensationalist, and saying we robbed anyone of the championship, as was said in Austin, is going too far. It is not impartial or fair or balanced.
“We have said our piece and will go back to normal next race.”
Lewis Hamilton also spoke on the issue of toxicity on social media platforms.Embed from Getty Images
The seven-time world champion said: “Yeah, I think social media is getting more and more toxic as the years go on.
“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.”
Much has been made of the issue on social media with various subsections of Twitter defending and criticising Verstappen’s decision.
The controversy which plagued discussions before the Mexico City Grand Prix did not stop Verstappen from clinching his record-breaking 14th win of the season.
The double-world champion stormed to 1st place and this win sees him overtake Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher for the most wins in a single F1 season.
“It is just an incredible season for the team,” Verstappen said. “I never thought I’d be able to win 14 races in a year.
“I was never really interested in stats. I just live in the moment. I just try to do the best I can every weekend, win the races. That for me is the most important – that I go home and can say I maximised everything.Embed from Getty Images
“But a lot of F1 depends on your package and I am just enjoying the moment. It is an amazing season, and I am very happy with winning so many races.”
With two races left this season, Verstappen could set the record even higher and truly cement this 2022 season as one of the greatest championship-winning seasons ever by a driver.
The Brazilian Grand Prix returns on the 13th of November and was won last year by Lewis Hamilton.