Ted Kravitz explains reason behind celebrating Max Verstappen’s defeat at Australian Grand Prix

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen suffered a rear brake issue on his Red Bull RB20 in the Australian Grand Prix.

Celebrating Carlos Sainz’s Australian Grand Prix, Ted Kravitz made it clear his joy is not that Max Verstappen “didn’t win”, rather it’s because F1 had a “different winner”.

Two years ago Kravitz courted controversy with Red Bull, leading to a boycott of Sky Sports after he spoke of Hamilton being “robbed” of the 2021 World title in his post-American GP Notebook.

‘Max Verstappen didn’t win! Wahoo!’

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 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] over there.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner instigated a boycott of Sky Sports, saying: “There were some derogatory comments made so we took a break from Sky for this race. Max was upset. We were upset and we made the decision to stand together as a team.

“Some of the commentary is fair but some pieces are sensationalist, and saying we robbed anyone of the championship, as was said in Austin, is going too far. It is not impartial or fair or balanced. We have said our piece and will go back to normal next race.”

Kravitz, though, was once again skirting the line when he celebrated Sainz’s Australian Grand Prix victory in his Melbourne Notebook.

However, the Briton was quick to point out that wasn’t because Verstappen had lost, he was just happy that Formula 1 had a different winner after the Dutchman’s back-to-back victories in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“Max Verstappen didn’t win! Wahoo!” he celebrated. “For the first time… I think he was going for 10 in a row. For the first time in nine races we had a different winner.

“That’s what I’ve been dreaming about. Not necessarily that Max Verstappen doesn’t win but that we had a different winner.”

On a day when Verstappen retired, Sainz, who had earlier overtaken the reigning World Champion on lap 2, capitalised on the Dutchman’s misfortune to win a Grand Prix to race unchallenged to the victory.

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But before anyone gets up in arms about Kravitz being biased, it should be noted he told Sky Sports earlier this year that he was “fine” with Verstappen romping to 24 from 24 as he was looking forward to the tussle over P2.

“I feel differently in a sense about any Red Bull domination and hopes or fears for a competitive season this year,” he said.

“They often say it’s the hope that kills you, and while last year I thought the second year of a new rules generation, maybe it’s going to be a bit different and Ferrari will get there. But no it isn’t, that’s a dominant car.

“So I hold out very little hope for anyone catching Red Bull this year. And that’s fine because as long as you know that going in, then you reassess where you’re going to see the interesting fight.”

“It’s all credit to them,” he added, “they deserve what they’re going to achieve.”

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