Daniel Ricciardo blasted the “Hollywood” coverage of Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash on Sunday and said he was disgusted by Formula One showing endless replays while drivers were waiting for the race to restart.
Grosjean was lucky to escape with his life after his Haas car speared through metal barriers, splitting in two and bursting into flames.
“I’m disgusted and disappointed with Formula One for showing or choosing the way to show it as they did, and broadcast replays after replays after replays of the fire, and his car split in half,” said Renault’s Ricciardo.
“And then, like that’s not enough, they go to his onboard,” added the Australian.
“Why do we need to see this? We’re competing again in an hour. His family has to keep watching that. All our families have to keep watching that … It’s really unfair. It’s not entertainment.”
Ricciardo said Formula One, whose commercial rights are owned by U.S.-based Liberty Media, was lucky it was not having to deal with a very different story.
“To show it like it’s something from Hollywood, it’s not cool. Choose to do that tomorrow, but not today,” added the Renault driver.
Asked to comment, a Formula One spokesman pointed to established procedures and protocols whereby replays of any serious accident are run only once race control has confirmed the driver is safe.
If that is not the case, then nothing is shown.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas agreed the replays had been disconcerting.
“I feel like people, spectators want to see it. But there’s a limit as well,” said the Finn. “It could have been a fraction different, the shunt, and there would have been no way for him to get out of the car.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the images were frightening but “if you’re not transparent as an organization, you’re just taking the risk that somebody else shows stuff that is beyond your control.”
The race at Sakhir was halted and delayed for an hour and 20 minutes after the first lap crash with track workers having to remove the metal barrier and replace it.
Haas said Grosjean was staying in hospital overnight after suffering burns on the back of his hands.