The Red Bull and Sky Sports dispute has been raging on for a few weeks now and in light of this, Mercedes driver George Russell couldn’t help himself from a cheeky joke aimed at presenter David Croft.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had recently announced a decision to boycott Sky Sports after he felt that they were being disrespectful of him and his achievements in the sport.
Major events have now overshadowed both of Verstappen’s world championships.
First, it was Michael Masi’s dubious decision-making during the 2021 season.
This year, while Verstappen has been well ahead of his competitors on the track, Red Bull overspending its budget has been given far more limelight.
However, what finally made Verstappen lose patience with Sky Sports was the manner in which the broadcasting company’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz said that Hamilton was “robbed” of what would have been his eighth world championship.
Both Verstappen and Red Bull felt this was not an impartial assessment, rather a personal bias that had crept into Kravitz’s presentation.
“Seven-time World Champion – I almost said eight-time World Champion – seven-time World Champion goes into the final race trying to be the greatest of all time, and win [the] championship,” Kravitz had said.
“He gets robbed, comes back, his next year’s car is rubbish… 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, 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 design guru] over there.”
Taking a strong stance against this, the entire Sky broadcasting network was not allowed access to any Red Bull members during the Mexican Grand Prix.
Perez speaks with Croft
This seems to have continued into the Las Vegas Grand Prix launch party, where David Croft didn’t seem to have the regular sort of access to Red Bull members either, although he was joined on stage by Sergio Perez.
Croft was on the stage with Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez as well as George Russell, and the youngster just couldn’t resist the chance to have a cheeky swipe amidst the ongoing chaos.
George: “Are you allowed to ask red bull drivers questions Crofty?” 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/UI30NgaQP5— Sir Lewis Hamilton Updates (@SirLewisUpdates) November 6, 2022
“So…are you allowed to ask Red Bull drivers questions, Crofty?” Russell said with a smile.
“Yes,” Croft replied. “I am tonight. I’ve got special permission tonight so don’t start on me!”
Crofty then looked over to Perez. “Are you allowed to answer?”
Perez also let out a wry smile. “They [his Red Bull team] are not here!”
While it had been speculated that the Red Bull and Sky Sports dilemma would continue throughout the season, this boycott is likely to end soon, with F1 reportedly intervening in an attempt to set things right.