West Australian Daniel Ricciardo has blasted the “Hollywood” coverage of Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash, saying 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 on Sunday 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,” Renault’s Ricciardo said.
“And then, like that’s not enough, they go to his onboard.
“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.
“To show it like it’s something from Hollywood, it’s not cool. Choose to do that tomorrow, but not today.”
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.”
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.
Grosjean miraculously suffered only burns on the back of his hands and is recovering in hospital.
Grosjean clambered out with the fire roaring behind him and his race helmet singed after hitting the barriers at an estimated speed of at least 200km/h. He was conscious and stable and then taken by helicopter to a military hospital.
Late on Sunday, F1 posted a video of a smiling Grosjean speaking from his hospital bed.
“Just wanted to say I am OK,” Grosjean said. “Thank you very much for all the messages.”