Max Verstappen may be having a record-breaking season on the track but he’s far from happy with some of the media coverage he has been receiving lately.
The Dutchman, who has retained his world title and broke the record for most race wins in a single season, refused to speak to Sky Sports at the Mexican Grand Prix at the weekend due to what he viewed as “disrespectful” comments made by “one particular person.”
“It had nothing to do with this weekend, but this year it’s been a constant digging, being disrespectful, especially one particular person. And at one point it is enough, I don’t accept it,” Verstappen told reporters after the race.
After the previous race – the US Grand Prix – Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz said Lewis Hamilton was “robbed” of last year’s world title after Verstappen beat him in dramatic circumstances.
The Red Bull driver went into last year’s finale in Abu Dhabi level on points with Hamilton but overtook the Mercedes driver on the final lap after FIA race director Michael Masi made a controversial call about a safety-car procedure.
“You can’t live in the past, you just have to move on,” Verstappen added. “At the moment social media is a very toxic place and if you are constantly being like that live on TV, you make it only worse, instead of trying to make it better in the world.
“You keep disrespecting me and at one point I’m not tolerating it anymore. So that’s why I decided to stop answering.”
Verstappen didn’t name Kravitz but is widely reported to have been angered by the F1 pundit’s comments.
CNN reached out to Sky for comment but did not receive an immediate response. Kravitz hasn’t publicly commented on his social media channels.
Verstappen was backed up by Red Bull Racing’s team principal Christian Horner who also refused to speak to Sky Sports in Mexico.
However, Horner said the team would lift the ban at the next race in Brazil.
“Next race, service will be resumed,” Horner said, according to Reuters. “We just wanted to lay down a marker to say certain things aren’t acceptable and as a team we stand together.
“Accusations of championships being robbed is something we don’t feel is an impartial commentary. Max is very upset about it and as a team we support him fully.”
The controversy comes as the team was fined $7 million for breaching Formula 1’s cost cap rules in 2021.
The punishment also includes a 10% reduction in cost limits for the team’s aerodynamic testing for next year.
Despite the sanctions, Horner told reporters that Verstappen’s title is not tarnished in any way and the team had “zero benefit” from the overspend on the track.