Red Bull to end Sky boycott in Brazil

Nov.1 (GMM) Red Bull and Max Verstappen will end their boycott of Sky’s Formula 1 coverage at the next grand prix in Brazil.

Boss Christian Horner said the Dutch driver and the energy drink owned team had become a “cheap target” of many critics – including Sky’s F1 broadcasters in the UK, Germany and Italy – over the 2021 title outcome and budget cap saga.

“We just don’t put up with that,” top team official Dr Helmut Marko confirmed. “Now we’re waiting for a reaction.”

Horner, though, said the boycott was actually “only” for the Mexican GP weekend.

“Normal service will resume at the next race,” he confirmed.

“Max was very angry about it and as a team we fully support him. That’s why we made the decision to take a weekend break from Sky.”

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who works for Germany’s Sky subsidiary, said he can understand why Red Bull was upset.

“All the rumours weren’t good for Red Bull, so I understand Christian Horner’s anger,” said the German. “It caused serious reputational damage.”

Schumacher also says Red Bull’s $7 million budget cap fine is a significant penalty “even if many in the paddock laugh about it”.

Marko told Osterreich newspaper: “We could have appealed, but it would have taken months if not years.

“There is a saying – on the high seas and in court, you never know what will happen. We accepted it for the sake of peace.”

Red Bull’s boycott was not the only time Formula 1 figures have given Sky the cold shoulder.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner rarely gives interviews to Sky Deutschland after a highly critical confrontation over Mick Schumacher by presenter Peter Hadernacke earlier this year.

And Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto imposed radio silence for Sky Italia over similar coverage of academy member Schumacher around the time of the Dutch GP.

Despite the boycott, Marko says world champion Verstappen and Red Bull are determined to keep performing in 2022.

“At the level at which we are performing, and with Max’s form, he is able to win 16 races this season,” said the Austrian.

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