Sky Sports F1 boss to visit Red Bull factory to clear the air after Mexico boycott

Thomas Maher
Christian Horner talking to Sky Sports. Brazil November 2021

Christian Horner talking to Sky Sports at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Interlagos November 2021.

Sky Sports F1’s director Billy McGinty will travel to Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory on Monday, in a bid to reconcile the two sides after tensions escalated in Mexico.

Sky F1 were left without the ability to chat with Red Bull’s leading figures and drivers after the F1 team took the decision to boycott the broadcaster and withdraw media privileges during the Mexico City Grand Prix.

While Sky were able to broadcast the collective media interviews carried out by the likes of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Sky weren’t able to carry out their usual exclusive chats with the drivers or team boss Christian Horner.

This was after the team took umbrage with what Horner deemed ‘sensationalist’ and ‘unbalanced’ reporting from the broadcaster, following a segment of Ted Kravitz’s US Grand Prix Notebook including a remark that Lewis Hamilton had been ‘robbed’ of the 2021 World Championship.

Verstappen himself weighed in on the argument, revealing he had no desire to speak to Sky as a result of feeling ‘disrespected’ by the broadcaster.

“This whole year they have been firing and disrespectful, certainly one person in particular,” said Verstappen, as per De Telegraaf reporter Erik van Haren.

“At some point, I don’t accept it anymore. The atmosphere on social media is toxic. This way you only make it worse.”

“You keep disrespecting me, and at one point, I’m not tolerating it anymore. That’s why I decided to stop answering them.”

Sky reaches out to clear the air with Red Bull

Red Bull’s boycott appeared to be a ‘one and done’ deal, with the intent of allowing Sky back in for this weekend’s Sao Paolo Grand Prix in Brazil, but Sky are making an effort to reconcile properly with the World Champion team.

Billy McGinty will head to Milton Keynes on Monday, according to the Daily Mail, in order to apologise for the comments from Sky that, according to inside reports at Red Bull, were viewed as ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.

According to Sportsmail, both Sky Sports managing director Jonathan Licht and McGinty contacted Red Bull after Mexico, with both sides willing to move on from the argument.

That didn’t stop George Russell from poking fun at the situation during F1’s launch weekend in Las Vegas, as he joked with Sky commentator David Croft about whether he was allowed to interview Sergio Perez.

The Sportsmail report suggests Horner will be part of Sky’s exclusive coverage of this weekend’s action in Brazil, while the team boss will meet with Kravitz for a conversation.

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