Grosjean crash: Ricciardo disgusted by ‘disrespectful’ replays

Daniel Ricciardo said he was “disgusted” by Formula 1 showing replays of Romain Grosjean’s Bahrain Grand Prix accident during the lengthy red flag period, which he said was “completely disrespectful”.

Grosjean’s Haas was fired into the barrier on the exit of Turn 3 on the opening lap following contact with Daniel Kvyat’s AlphaTauri, and the car was split in half upon impact, with the survival cell engulfed in flames.

The Frenchman was able to extract himself before being taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs and minor burns to his hands and ankles.

The race was halted while repairs were carried out to the barriers, and several drivers could be seen watching footage of the incident during the delay.

But speaking after the race to Ziggo TV, Ricciardo was critical of F1 repeatedly showing footage of Grosjean’s crash, explaining that it was “inconsiderate” to his family.

“I want to express my disgust and disappointment with Formula 1,” the Renault driver said. “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 spoke up. But if that’s not how we all really feel then I’d be very surprised.”

Ricciardo’s comments echoed discontentment expressed by MotoGP riders following the dramatic crash involving Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli at the Austrian Grand Prix in August.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said there should be “a limit” on how replays of serious accidents are broadcast.

“When there is a crash, when it ends up being OK for the drivers, they like to repeat those,” Bottas said. “I feel like people, spectators want to see it. But there’s a limit as well.

“It could have been a fraction different, the shunt, and there would have been no way for him to get out of the car. So yeah, there’s a limit on it.

“I was watching the screen because I wanted to see what happened. Once I saw it, I was trying to avoid it, but it was playing on replay everywhere.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a question for people watching, the fans, if they want to see 20 repeats of that or not.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added that it was important that FOM was “transparent” in showing the images.

“If FOM is not showing it, then somebody else is going to have a mobile phone there and film, and you need to be transparent,” he said.

“Those images were frightening and graphic, but if you’re not transparent as an organisation, you’re just taking the risk that somebody else shows stuff that is beyond your control.”

Additional reporting by Luke Smith and Erwin Jaeggi

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