F1 officials fire back at 'disgusting' Daniel Ricciardo claims

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here speaking to F1 journalists.
Daniel Ricciardo criticised F1 for showing replays of Romain Grosjean's crash. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Formula One officials have rejected criticism from Daniel Ricciardo about the decision to broadcast replays of Romain Grosjean’s crash.

Grosjean miraculously escaped a fiery inferno at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday after his car was ripped in half in a horror first-lap crash.

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The Frenchman’s car smashed through a trackside guard rail before bursting into flames, with Grosjean scrambling from the wreckage to safety.

While the Formula One world was left over the moon that Grosjean escaped with just burns to the back of his hands, Ricciardo was filthy.

The Aussie driver lashed out at F1 for showing replays of the horror crash during a 90-minute delay to Sunday’s race.

“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.”

Romain Grosjean's car, pictured here in flames after he crashed at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean's car burst into flames after he crashed at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Image: AAP

F1 hits back at Daniel Ricciardo criticism

However Formula One has since hit back at Ricciardo, defending their broadcast decision.

A spokesman told motorsport.com that no replays were shown until it was clear that Grosjean was alright.

“Firstly, at F1 this isn’t about entertainment and a few procedures and protocols are in place before any decision to run a replay is made,” the spokesman said.

“Following an accident, all onboards, helicopter feeds etc are cut. There are direct comms between race control and the broadcast centre.

“No footage is shown until there is confirmation that the driver is OK. On this occasion at this point F1 showed Romain with the ambulance, helmet off and walking with aid.

“No replays of an accident are shown until there is approval and confirmation from race control/FIA that all persons are safe. Replays then started.

“The context of what a viewer sees and hears with the commentary is important, with them talking about the safety of Romain, the halo, FIA safety improvements, and updates from the medical centre.

“There is constant dialogue between F1, FIA /race control, and sound judgment on viewers, families and those affected.”

Officials, pictured here clearing debris from the track after Romain Grosjean's scary crash.
Officials clear debris from the track after Romain Grosjean's scary crash. Image: AAP

Gunther Steiner, Grosjean’s boss at Hass, also disagreed with Ricciardo’s comments.

“You can have two opinions here, but my opinion is if it ended lucky, and nothing bad happened, why not show it to make sure people understand?” Steiner said.

“Yeah it was bad, but everybody is OK. That was how to deal with it. We wanted to get the news out as soon as possible to the people, Romain is OK guys, just because it’s difficult to contact family, friends, people who know us, people of the team.

“If we sent one message via TV and something like this, it’s much more powerful.

“I think showing it and showing him jumping out, yeah, it looks a little bit and it is dramatic, but it ended good. So long as it ends good, I’m fine.

“For sure, if something bad happens, it shouldn’t be shown. I’m not an expert in TV ethics, but in my opinion, a good thing was shown.”

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