Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel are once more criticizing F1’s extensive coverage of Romain Grosjean’s upsetting Bahrain crash.
The former of the two was an outspoken detractor of Formula 1’s repeated display of replays in last Sunday’s race coverage, saying at the time that it was “inconsiderate,” and “disrespectful” in the circumstances given the distressing imagery.
Renault’s Ricciardo said after last Sunday’s events, “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. We were gonna go race in an hour, and every time we look on the TV it’s a ball of fire and his car’s cut in half.
“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 will speak up; if that’s not how we all really feel I’ll be very surprised.”
The Australian reiterated this prior to the Sakhir GP weekend, saying his stance has yet to change and promising to express his grievances with the sport’s sanctioning body. “There was the offer [to talk] and I will take that offer up,” Ricciardo pledged on Thursday, speaking to permanent media including Motorsport Network, F1, BBC, Racefans.net, The Race, AMuS, Sky Sports and more.
“Obviously after the race I was still, let’s say, not only a bit heated but then had to dissect my own race, and I didn’t feel it was the right time [last week],” he said, explaining why he hadn’t taken up the offer when it was first raised to him upon his initial complaints.
“So I will hear them out and obviously hear the reasons and go from there. So I’m happy to hear. I’m happy to be educated,” Ricciardo said. “I guess my stance hasn’t changed. I felt like once they showed it once and then we’d obviously seen him jump out and get into the medical car, I felt like that was all we really needed to see.
“I felt like it was inconsiderate to his family, but also it was a distraction because every time we’d go into the garage and try and find out what was happening, the only thing that was on was it seemed like endless replays.”
Ricciardo says he had the support of Grosjean’s wife, Marion, in his criticism, and that this is “all the validation” he needs to be confident in his beliefs. “Everyone was a little bit spaced out or rattled from it all, which is completely understandable. I bumped into Romain’s wife, Marion and she appreciated my comments and I think that’s all the validation I needed.”
The 31-year-old driver says many grow out of an interest in dramatic crashes, and argues that possible complications in the wake of an accident of the size of that the Haas F1 driver suffered also mean that there was some degree of irresponsibility associated with showing the crash repeatedly.
“For me I was never really into crashes,” said Ricciardo. “You get sent clips and, ‘oh, did you see the crashes at the Indy 500 or something?’ It was never really appealing to me, obviously. Some people love it. Some people love the debris everywhere, but I feel like I’m not 10 years old any more. You know, you kind of grow out of that.
“I think as well, it was a 54g impact and from my understanding – don’t get me wrong I’m no doctor – but there could be further complications maybe later that evening that we don’t know about internally. So it just felt like it was a bit abused,” Ricciardo said.
Ferrari’s Vettel backed Ricciardo’s criticisms as he had in Bahrain, and detailed a conflict of interest between spectators and drivers in this regard, similar to the one Ricciardo described. “It probably showed on Sunday that we are sitting at two different sides of the table,” he said.
“We are the ones driving the cars and we are exposed to the risk and the limits and so on and everyone who is watching, including you, including people on the screen and so on, sometimes criticise the fact that it’s not dangerous enough, not exciting enough and so on.
“But I think a certain risk will always be there, as much as we can take it away. It’s good to see that there’s a continuous effort being made and these chances that we get with accidents taken seriously to try and improve. It’s a reminder of the fact, hopefully, for the other side, that it’s not just objects being in the car.
“We are human beings and we put our lives on the line. That’s something we are happy to do because we have a great passion for what we do. But still sometimes, here and there, I wish there would be a bit more respect.
“Showing the incidents over and over, I think was probably not the way of doing that,” Vettel said, continuing to blast the response from F1 despite counterarguments that their hesitance to show replays while his condition was unknown, in an act of forbearance, meant that they handled the alarming incident tastefully.
Here’s Romain Grosjean returning to Sakhir track
Here’s details on how FIA will investigate the incident
Here’s last from Romain Grosjean on crash, return