By Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent, Mexico City
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team will refuse to speak to Sky Sports indefinitely, starting at Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, the PA news agency understands.
Verstappen refused to address the broadcaster when he put his Red Bull on pole position for Sunday’s race after he was made aware of Sky Sports’ pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz saying Lewis Hamilton was last year “robbed” of an eighth world championship.
But PA understands the entire team – including Christian Horner – will now subject Sky to a boycott after growing increasingly frustrated with its coverage.
Sky Sports declined to comment when contacted by PA.
Hamilton finished runner-up to Verstappen at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin after he was passed by the Red Bull driver with six laps remaining.
Following the race, Kravitz said: “(Hamilton) doesn’t win a race all year, and then finally comes back at a track where he could win the first race, battling the same guy who won the race he was robbed in the previous year, and manages to finish ahead of him.
“What a script and a story that would have been. But that’s not the way the script turned out today, was it?
“Because the guy that beat him after being robbed actually overtook him, because he’s got a quicker car, because of engineering and Formula One and design, and pretty much because of (Adrian Newey, Red Bull technical chief) over there.”
It is understood that Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport adviser, was due to speak to Sky Italia and Sky Germany ahead of today’s race, but the interview has been cancelled.
Verstappen claimed his maiden world championship in a hotly disputed season finale in Abu Dhabi last year after race director Michael Masi incorrectly applied the safety car rules in the closing laps.
Although Masi was removed from his position, an FIA investigation said the Australian acted in “good faith” but made a “human error”.