Daniel Ricciardo has criticised the “disgusting” response from TV broadcasters to keep showing Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Grosjean miraculously escaped a fiery inferno after his car burst into flames at 225 km/h on the opening lap of the race.
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The 34-year-old Frenchman’s car was ripped in half and exploded in flames in a shocking accident that halted Sunday’s race.
Grosjean, who was able to free himself from the wreckage and jump clear of the fire after the car penetrated the barriers, was taken to a nearby military hospital for checks.
His team said he would remain in hospital overnight for treatment to burns on the back of both hands, but X-rays showed no fractures.
Speaking after the crash, Aussie star Ricciardo condemned broadcasters for their ‘disgusting’ decision not to cut away from the fiery scenes.
“I want to express my disgust and disappointment with Formula 1,” Ricciardo told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo.
“The way the incident of Grosjean was broadcast over and over, the replays over and over, it was completely disrespectful and inconsiderate for his family, for all of our families watching.
“We’re going to go race again in an hour and every time we look on the TV it’s a ball of fire and his car’s cut in half.
“I mean we can see that tomorrow, we don’t need to see it today.
“For me, it was entertainment and they’re playing with all of our emotions and I thought it was pretty disgusting.
“So hopefully some other drivers have spoken up. But if that’s not how we all really feel then I’d be very surprised.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said F1 bosses were caught between a rock and hard place.
“Those images were frightening and graphic, but if you’re not transparent as an organisation, you’re just taking the risk that somebody else shows stuff that is beyond your control,” he said.
F1 world in disbelief over Grosjean crash ‘miracle’
Britain’s 1996 world champion Damon Hill, expressing his “absolute shock and horror” at the images on Sky television, said it was a “miracle” Grosjean was alive.
Replays showed the Frenchman, whose Formula One career already looked to be coming to an end with Haas having announced the departure of both their drivers at the end of the year, jumping out of the flames as marshals set off extinguishers.
Lewis Hamilton, who has already won a record-equalling seventh title and was leading from pole position when the red flags came out, shook his head in disbelief as he watched replays.
“I'm so grateful Romain is safe. Wow... the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do,” said Hamilton on Twitter.
“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we've taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”
The death last year of Formula Two racer Anthoine Hubert at the Belgian Grand Prix was the first fatality at an F1 race weekend since Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Jules Bianchi suffered serious head injuries in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2014, succumbing to them in July the following year.
Hill said the halo head protection device, introduced in 2018, appeared to have saved the Frenchman from serious injury and Haas principal Guenther Steiner agreed.
“When you see what is going on out there, if you see the barrier that is torn down, it's unbelievable,” said Steiner.
“I think we were lucky by being unlucky ... we got away with it, I think.”
Grosjean posted a video from his hospital bed on Sunday evening, expressing his gratitude for the introduction of the halo and thanking medical staff.
“Hello everyone. Just wanted to say I am OK, well, sort of OK,” he said, as he waggled his bandaged hands. “Thank you very much for all the messages.
“I wasn't for the halo some years ago but I think it's the greatest thing that we've brought into Formula One. Without it I wouldn't be able to speak to you today.
“Thanks to all the medical staff at the scene and the hospital.
“Hopefully I can write to you soon some messages and tell you how it's going.”
An update from Romain himself. Pleased to see you’re in good spirits! We hope you make a speedy recovery 🙏 pic.twitter.com/njnjjH4GBi
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) November 29, 2020
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