Christian Horner has joined Max Verstappen’s Sky Sports F1 snub after suggestions Lewis Hamilton was “robbed” of the title last season. The Dutchman is said to be refusing to appear on the network’s channels in a blow to their coverage of the Mexican Grand Prix.
It is understood Vertsappen’s boycott of the popular channel is “indefinite”, meaning the reigning champion may not appear again this season. The ban is also expected to impact Sky Germany and Sky Italia’s coverage of the weekend’s race.
Sky Sports host Ted Kravitz made the remarks about last season’s title decider in his post-race ‘Ted’s Notebook’ after last week’s United States Grand Prix.
He said: “[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.
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“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.”
Kravitz also made another swipe at Vertsappen’s title win last weekend in a blow to Red Bull. The Sky Sports host added: “Verstappen is around the [Austin] paddock, he seems very happy with himself. He doesn’t seem to be a driver capable of winning a championship in a normal way.”
Verstappen spoke to Kravitz in the media pen on Thursday but was noticeably absent form their post-qualifying show yesterday evening. Kravitz’s comments came after Verstappen secured last year’s championship in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi.
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The Red Bull driver was able to stop for fresh tyres after a Nicholas Latifi crash brought out the safety car. He was then able to close up on Hamilton with new softs with the race restarting before all lapped cars reached the back of the pack.
Verstappen passed Hamilton for the lead within a handful of corners and went on to secure his first world title. The FIA have since pointed the finger at former race director Michael Masi who was axed ahead of the new season.