Daniel Ricciardo was left extremely angry by Formula 1’s broadcasting of Romain Grosjean’s crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying it was “cold-blooded” to replay it so many times.
Grosjean hit a barrier at around 140mph head-on, with the front half of his car going through the barrier and the rear being ripped off, causing a massive fire that engulfed the scene. Grosjean somehow managed to climb out of the flames and jump the barrier to safety, suffering only minor burns, and the incident was replayed multiple times during a near 90-minute red flag delay, something that Ricciardo was livid about.
“To be honest I don’t really want comment too much on the race, I just want to express how angry I am at Formula 1,” Ricciardo told MBC Action. “The way they chose to broadcast Romain’s incident over and over and over again — all that we need to see is that he’s OK. We don’t need to see every screen we look at, a ball of fire and all of this. His family has to keep watching that. Our families, knowing that we’re getting in the car in an hour had to watch it, watch it…
“I want to use harsher words but it’s so inconsiderate and I was just disgusted with the way they chose to play that. It felt like it was a game — it felt like it was entertainment, and it was all for the wrong reasons. I felt like they could all go f- themselves, to be honest.”
With all of the drivers seeing replays of the incident before having to get back in their cars to restart the race, Ricciardo said it had an impact on him while he was trying to refocus on the job at hand.
“Yeah, everywhere you look it’s there. Initially we’re waiting to hear that he’s OK; once we got word of that obviously that was a little bit easier to handle but then everywhere you look there’s the replays. Everyone you look at, their eyes are staring at the screen, so nobody’s focused on the race, no one’s focused on what we’ve got to do the next hour and a half.
“Show it tomorrow, show it in a week’s time, I don’t know, but don’t do it now. Show something else. We’ve all got families, we’ve all got people that care about us and it was violent, it was graphic and it was cold-blooded for them to show it how they did.”
While frustrated with the broadcasting of the incident, Ricciardo says he was satisfied with the concrete blocks that were put in place of the wrecked barrier in order to resume racing, adding: “I wasn’t going to stay inside so I was comfortable enough.”
Ricciardo went on to finish seventh in the race, moving him up to fourth in the drivers’ championship after Sergio Perez’s late retirement.