Martin Brundle has backed Sky Sports colleague Ted Kravitz after Red Bull boycotted the broadcaster over comments made by the journalist about Max Verstappen’s 2021 world championship success. Kravitz angered Red Bull after claiming Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton had been “robbed” of the title in the aftermath of the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale.
Red Bull refused to conduct interviews with Sky Sports at the Mexican Grand Prix as Verstappen won for the 14th time this season. It was insisted that the blanket ban on the broadcaster was not solely down to Kravitz’s comments but it appeared they played a significant part in the decision.
Sky presenter Brundle has now backed Kravitz, with Red Bull saying the boycott will be lifted for next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Brundle urged all parties to come together to resolve the issue.
Brundle tweeted: “For the avoidance of doubt my friend and colleague for the past 26 years @tedkravitz has my full support. Face to face dialogue is the only way to sort out issues and disputes in the relentless crucible of the F1 paddock. We all have opinions and different jobs to do, that’s life.”
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Red Bull and star driver Verstappen were apparently infuriated by Kravitz claiming the Dutchman’s 2021 title rival Hamilton had been “robbed” of an eighth world championship. The comments made reference to the contentious final lap at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which had been restarted following the deployment of a safety car – with Verstappen overtaking Hamilton.
Kravitz had said at the US Grand Prix that it would have been a fairytale had Hamilton won, given that it was a significant race in Verstappen’s win the year prior. He remarked: “[Hamilton] doesn’t win a race all year, and then finally comes back at a track where he could win the first race all year, 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’s chief technical officer] over there.”
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Verstappen hit out at the increasingly ‘toxic’ nature in which the sport is debated. “I think it’s just the sport is more popular so there are more people watching, so more people are writing. I think it’s just that,” the world champion-elect said in Mexico.
“It’s not great that they are allowed to write these kinds of things, so I hope we can come up with a kind of algorithm that stops people from being keyboard warriors.
“These kind of people will never come up to you and say these things in front of your face because they are sitting in front of their desk or whatever at home, being upset, being frustrated, and they can write whatever they like because the platform allows you to. That can be really damaging and hurtful to some people and it’s not how it should be.”