Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Ricciardo disgusted by F1’s “Hollywood” coverage of Grosjean crash

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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A furious Daniel Ricciardo criticised Formula 1’s coverage of Romain Grosjean’s crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Several replays of the Haas driver’s fiery accident were shown during the length delay between the crash and the resumption of the race almost 90 minutes later.

“I’m firstly happy that that he’s OK from it, from what I saw,” said Ricciardo. But the Renault driver vehemently criticised F1’s decision to show many replays of the crash subsequently.

“I’m disgusted and disappointed with Formula 1 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. 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. And you’re fucking with everyone’s emotions. It’s really unfair. It’s not entertainment.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020
Ricciardo was unimpressed by F1’s coverage of Grosjean’s crash
Ricciardo said he “had a lot of rage” at the time and still did after the race was over.

“It was just very, very poorly handled. It felt like a game and it’s not.

“We’re lucky he’s here but it could have been a different story and to show it like it’s something from Hollywood, it’s not cool. Choose to do that tomorrow, but not today.”

Sebastian Vettel admitted he found it difficult to get back into his car after the crash and said he chose not to watch the replay footage.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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62 comments on “Ricciardo disgusted by F1’s “Hollywood” coverage of Grosjean crash”

  1. I thought it was handled well. I saw the crash live and then didn’t see a replay at all until after we saw Grosjean leaving the medical car obviously alright.

    1. I agree – they waited quite a while to show a replay and it was only done after we saw Grosjean was OK. What were they supposed to do? Obviously people wanted to see what happened….

    2. @darryn Pretty much in agreement here. If there are limited replays then the opportunity for speculation, conjecture or even conspiracy increases as people will conclude things by themselves and it will go around unchallenged.

      They obviously did the right thing in ensuring Grosjean was OK before showing anything. However in real-time due to lack of replays I was genuinely fearing the worst so just seeing a replay perversely made me feel better in that it was a genuine accident and nothing more sinister.

      The point Ricciardo made about the on-board was lazy, it stopped well before impact and it helped people realise that there was no ill intent by anyone.

      1. @chimaera2003 Agree. I really thought something serious happened since they weren’t showing it. I had to go back up and read the article again thinking Ric was saying it was Hollywood to not show the replays, but he really had no idea what he was talking about.

        1. He has no idea what he was talking about? An actual F1 driver who had to get back into a car, similar to the one which he just saw torn in half in a ball of flame. I think it’s probably the armchair commentator that actually has no idea what they’re talking about. They could’ve shown the incident and shown him get out of the car and be taken away by paramedics, and left it at that, rather than repeatedly show the other drivers just how quickly they can be in a life or death situation before they strap themselves back in and put their lives on the line again for our entertainment.

          1. In this instance Ross, it’s the armchair commentators who know what they are talking about and Daniel Riccardo who is making an inaccurate guess into the minds of others. If you think his problem with it – despite what he said his problem was – is that it makes it difficult for him to get into the car, then my advice to him is the same as I give someone who can’t sleep because they watched a scary movie. Stop watching the thing that you don’t want to watch.

      2. @chimaera2003 And it, of course, stopped when it stopped because the T-cam got damaged in the process. Similarly to Webber’s airborne on the Valencia street circuit back in 2010.

        1. @jerejj The onboard replay I saw (I presume there are not others) stopped showing WELL before impact (at least 10m). That would have been a conscious decision on behalf of the broadcaster as there is no way the camera just broke at that point.

          The same thing was seen when they did the onboard replay of Stroll tipping over. The replay stopped with the camera at a 90° angle which would have been before impact.

          1. @chimaera2003 Yes, that’s the only onboard of Grosjean’s car that was shown on the world feed.

    3. Agree. What I didn’t like was the filler that ensued especially with the medical car driver, that was 100% Hollywood. They were brutally honest though, for a little while they just stood there, fortunately eventually someone emerged from the fiery mess.

    4. I thought the decision not to replay or show the rescue until it was clear GRO was safe was correct and justified. Afterwards, here in Brazil at least, it was basically a constant stream of replays of the crash for no other reason than to fill airtime: that I thought it was a bit tasteless. No idea if it was the same thing shown on track, though…

      I can see RIC’s point, though. Drivers are obviously more affected by this kind of crashes than fans: seeing a crash like that may be scary for us, but it’s them that have to think `what if it happens to me? what will happen to my family? my parents? my friends?`. I can see why he doesn’t want to be remind of these kind of things when he knows he will have to go back to and drive in 45 minutes…

      (And I know `it’s part of the job` and I’m sure RIC knows that too. But it’s one thing to deal with this fear on the back of your mind, and another totally different to have it repeatedly shown to you on jumbo-vision or whatever it’s called…)

    5. I also thought they handled it well. After the crash and the fire, they didn’t show it again until we knew he was okay, so I never thought he had died. If we had seen the car ripped in two and the length of time before Grosjean emerged live, rather than on replay, I am sure I would have thought he had died. The replays are not nice to watch, but they are still not too bad once we know Grosjean is not badly hurt.

    6. BowtieAssassin
      30th November 2020, 8:25

      Agreed, they made sure he was okay before showing the replays and honestly I’m disappointed they didn’t show the onboard all the way to the end not only to show exactly how dangerous this sport can be and the risk these drivers take every time they strap in but also how far the technology has come in car safety allowing Romain to walk away from that.

      Only a few short years ago we all know what the end result of a crash like this would have been and the fact that wasn’t the case says a lot about how seriously the sport takes driver safety. Kudos to F1.

    7. Indeed. They were very cautuious until they learned Romain did not sustain any major injury. RIC is being over sensitive on my book.

  2. Rubbish, I was left waiting for minutes to see if Grosjean had survived that horrific crash. Thank god he did, and now I have rethought my position on the ugliness of the halo, without it he would be dead.

    1. Exactly what I thought too. It took Grosjean less than 30 seconds to get out of the car on his own. Why did the director take so long to show this to us? Extremely incosiderate.

      1. I think they wanted to make sure no marshals were hurt either.

      2. The FIA are not interested in showing snuff videos.
        Don’t forget family members are also watching.
        I don’t know their protocols regarding such incidents, but I believe common sense would dictate that in such an accident, they have to be sure the driver is completely safe from any secondary effects of the accident that could still prove fatal, before they car go ahead to air footage of the accident.
        So even if Grosjean was out of the car, there was no way of knowing what degree of burns he had suffered or any injuries from the accident itself and these things take a fairly good amount of minutes to establish.
        You can’t just assume just because a driver’s eyes are open that he is in good condition

  3. They very deliberately cut away from the crash and didn’t show any replays until it was confirmed Grosjean was okay.

    I don’t see the problem. Imagine the complaints if people at home hadn’t been allowed to see what happened.

  4. I get what he’s saying but some drivers said they didn’t look and he could’ve also. They were quite respectful I thought, waiting till he was somehow sitting in the medical car. He’s angry and a bit scared, I know I’d be so I don’t blame him but that doesn’t mean he’s right

  5. I guess there is only so much they can do to fill a 90min gap once it was apparent he was OK. However there is definitely a difference from us watching it at home, to those guys living it. I feel like they don’t need to see the full detail on loop in the pit lane, it would definitely be distracting when you’re trying to focus.
    Imagine if the big screens on the pit straight were constantly showing a crash complication on loop while the drivers are going through the grid procedures. It would be off putting to say the least!
    No reason why home coverage and trackside coverage can’t diverge for things like this.

    1. Agreed. Track feed and world feed should diverge for these things. There should be enough people to handle two feeds when there’s no track action to be on top of.

  6. I bet he gets angry when F1 broadcasts images of him getting overtaken to his family too.

  7. Those few minutes between the crash and the shot of Romain at the back of the Medic car were some of the most horrible I’ve lived…

    Maybe Anthoine and Jules thought we can’t lose another french driver on the track.

    1. I said to my wife, “it’s taking too long to show a replay, he didn’t get out.”

      Sitting, horrified, waiting for news.
      Then the pictures of him looking very shocked, but sat in the medical car. Pure relief.

      They did the right thing waiting, though.
      Imagine seeing live images of a driver, marshall or medic dying?

  8. The number of times the crash was repeated was over the top, there was no need to show it over and over again. If a so called “fan” wants to drool over it I would think it’s on youtube or one of the other social media sites.

    1. I think in a way it was “good” advertisement of the result of numerous FIA safety policies coming together to save a drivers life.
      The fire proof overalls.
      The crash helmet
      The cockpit safety cell
      The HANS device
      The 5 point harness
      The Halo
      The wheel tethers
      The fuel bladder
      The medical car
      Plus many more
      All of these initiatives played a role in the drivers survival.
      Hiding the incident from the public and making it available to a committee will not help car safety.
      Someone out there already has an idea of additional safety devices or protocols.

      1. I said nothing about hiding the incident ‘away’ from the public Olly.

        Someone out there already has an idea of additional safety devices or protocols.

        Yes I’m sure you’re correct, some less informed than others…Olly :)

      2. excellent point,thank you

    2. Exactly. 1 replay was hard enough to watch without the need to play it over and over just to fill time.

      Yes by all means talk about safety and the incredible gear they have now but there was no need for repeat images.

  9. Danny Ric was just very emotional, I’m sure when he looks back at this he will know that he exaggerated a bit.

    I’m happy that Romain is ok and that Jules’ death lead to the introduction of the halo. His death might be the reason that Romain is still alive. I was never against the halo, I’ve seen F1 cars looking way worse without one in my years. In modern times, F1 wouldn’t be able to exist without such safety measurements.

    1. Stop being so reasonable and level headed. This is the internet.

    2. Exactly. I can totally understand his point of view despite disagreeing with it.

  10. Feel like we should be celebrating the fact that Romain walked away from such a horrific incident, but I can sympathize with the drivers – could have been any one of them and there’s no guarantee anyone would have survived that incident.

    Maybe we should turn off the screens in the pit lane? I’d be nervous to get back into a car after an hour of those replays, but then again I’m not paid millions a year to do so… also, wouldn’t you rather know the outcome than be left guessing? If (god forbid) Grosjean had not survived, nobody would have gotten into their cars again to resume.

    PS don’t think Danny Ric has ever watched a NASCAR event!

  11. Like most here I don’t see the issue. Screens cut away until it was evident that all was well. After that is evident, showing the footage for analysis is all part of the sport.

    I like Daniel, one of my favourite drivers. But this reaction just baffles me.

  12. ” His family has to keep watching that. All our families have to keep watching that.”

    i wasn’t aware their families are being forced to watch at gunpoint, unable to turn their heads and look at other things.

    1. Oh relax.

      Your family member is in F1. A crazy freak accident happens. You’re gonna turn the tv off and take a siesta? Give me a break.

    2. For a lot of family members the live feed would be their fastest source of information at that point. Most of the family will not be present at the track, especially during COVID. So they might as well have had guns pointed to theirs heads because there is no way they could switch off the footage when they are desperately waiting for every little update on the driver’s condition.

      1. Dan didn’t complain about the live feed, he complained about the constant replays of the accident.

  13. Don’t agree with Ricciardo on this, he had the option to not watch the screens. If you’re worried about your family thinking your job is dangerous then you really picked the wrong job as a F1 driver. Nothing was shown until Romain and the marshalls were confirmed as okay. He’s entitled to his opinion though.

  14. If Daniel thought this was poorly handled by F1, I’m sure he was not watching when Robert Wickens had his crash and the idiots at IndyCar made announcements on the state of the fencing and when the race would restart before saying anything about Wickens condition.
    I was in Montreal when Massa has his spectacular last lap crash in 2014. Everyone becomes incredibly quiet — probably even holding their breath as I was — just waiting for any sign the driver is okay… and as soon as there is a collective sigh of relief, just like the pitlane applauding today when it was Grosjean was shown escaping the fire.

  15. DannyRic is one of my favorite drivers but he’s wrong on this and I can’t agree with him. The driver is ok, there’s nothing wrong with showing the public what transpired. It gives me an appreciation for the halo that I didn’t have before, as well as emphasizing the dangers our heroes put themselves through, for our entertainment.

  16. We need to remember someone has to make a decision in real time on which one of many replays and actual live events before the cameras we got to see, and that person didn’t have any guidelines formulated by a committee on what we should see. A lack of replays and updates about Romain’s situation could have lead to speculation he’d died in the crash. On the other hand many replays and live coverage from all of the cameras would have become “ghoulish”. I guess it is easy as a fan to overlook that the F1 crews and drivers were watching the same or similar coverage I was, and that they would feel differently from how I did. I thought the TV director handled the situation fairly close to what I thought was right, selecting a few that weren’t too “in your face” but also showing how serious the crash was. The Sky race commentators seemed to be saying they were happy with what we got to see, but they also reminded us someone had to check all the footage to make sure it was appropriate. After all children would see this, and also people who might have trouble sleeping at night. I can understand if some of those at the track felt it was overdone. It was a miracle Romain wasn’t killed in that crash, and I felt showing what they did made it obvious it was a miracle.

  17. I think it was done right. We got no replays at all until we knew Romain had walked away safe. If he had been seriously injured or worse then I know they wouldn’t have shown any footage of it at all. But he walked away and then we saw the footage. I don’t really see the problem. Maybe Ricciardo didn’t realise that and thought they showed replays immediately before we knew about Romain?

  18. I think that he has a point. He’s not saying that they shouldn’t have shown it…it was the endless replays that he was objecting to. It’s all very well,being cavalier from the couch, but in a real life situation episodes become distorted. Then you have the gratuitous element often favoured by the networks. Ricciardo is only expressing his opinion as a driver. After the initial horror i was anxious to know how this accident occurred and what i have seen leads me to believe that [ prima facie ] it a was rash driver error. I guess we’ll find out eventually

    1. +1

      I think every comment on here disagreeing with Daniel has missed his point, he’s not upset they showed a replay of the crash, it’s with the amount of times they showed it.

      Absolutely they should show a replay and Romain escaping the wreckage so we know he’s ok. But we can’t say for sure he is 100% out of the woods just yet. I won’t be satisfied knowing he’s fully ok until he’s back in the paddock. I’m not a doctor but common sense tells me that you don’t experience a 53G deceleration without it affecting your internal organs to some degree.

      That Romain was conscious the whole time and able to escape relatively quickly is testament to the crash structures on the car in easing that deceleration force on him.

  19. Accidents are part and parcel of racing. I disagree with daniel on this 1. Not that i want to see a driver die or seriously injured. But to see a spectacular accident and the driver survives. Like alonso in the mclaren of recent years. May sounf insensitive but we hold drivers in high regard for tgis very reason. They risk their lives for our entertainment. And also for their glory.

  20. no one made him watch hamilton went to his room until the ten min call to return, not showing it would be more worrying

  21. Mark in Florida
    30th November 2020, 5:14

    Everyone watches a fire Daniel. If you were offended by it you shouldn’t have been watching it. I didn’t realize you were so easily triggered. My estimation of you just dropped quite a lot. I honestly thought Romain was dead at first until I saw the replay of him getting out and over the fence. So the replays did dispel my initial thought and to see him moving on his own was a massive relief. I’ve seen Indy Cars catch fire but never to this extent, this was a massive fire ball. This whole crash was unique with the car breaking in half to Romain going through the armco! If he had been unconscious in that inferno i don’t know if he would’ve made it.

  22. I’m all for showing videos of even the most gruesome fatal injuries and wrecks but there is a time and place. Obviously a family friendly sports broadcast is not the place for it and we don’t want to traumatize people just so we can see what happened. But at the same time I think it is good to sometimes see the harsh stuff as well. One of the most touching videos I’ve seen in motorsports must be the Roger Williamson crash where he was burned alive in his car while David Purley was helplessly watching. It really gave me a totally new perspective what it does mean that the sport is safe. It really re-aligned my ideas what is safety and what it literally means in f1.

    Safety is not something that can be taken for granted, can not be sacrificed for spectacle and can not be ignored on a whim. I think it is important to see what is the alternative so you get the facts and the emotional impact too. Modern f1 fans don’t really have the appreciation for how dangerous something like a car being on fire is. But when you have seen the aftermath of there not being enough fire extinguishers and other safety systems it hits really hard when you see grosjean’s car burning for example. And it should.

    I feel that we hide away the natural but grim part of life that is death and injury just because we have lowered the tolerance of discomfort so low that some people can not really put things into perspective anymore. We just create a new breed of humans who have no properly set compass for pain and suffering. I think this gets repeatedly highlighted by the safety discussions. When you have no properly set scale for pain and suffering it is easy to dismiss stuff like the halo for being childish or too safe. It is easy to dismiss is it as unnecessary or going too far when your pain-happiness compass goes only from discomfort of paused f1 race to a discounted happy meal. When you put the halo on that scale it just becomes a momentary minor inconvenience. When you have properly calibrated pain compass you feel physical discomfort because you have seen the alternative. There is a proper sense of scale between being slightly annoyed and very uncomfortable.

    So from that pov I just find ricciardo’s comments pretentious. It screams the idea that my feelings are the most important thing. Don’t make me uncomfortable. Hide it and pretend it was a positive thing. I don’t want to disrupt my head and weekend with that. But even more gives the impression that it is the job of others to keep him comfortable than it is for himself to protect himself from being uncomfortable. Don’t want to see it? Don’t look at it.

  23. I think the broadcast was handled well for 3 key reasons. 1) We did not see a single replay (of the start or of the crash) until we saw Romain was ok and sitting in the car. The director did that well. 2) There was no team radio broadcast of any of the drivers / engineers’ concerned discussions about Romain. 3) Even the commentators stayed away from speculating anything about that crash, no discussions on whether it was Kvyat’s mistake or Grosjean’s, no one saying out loud “is he ok?”

    Once it was clear he was fine, yes, the replays were shown! But only after it was confirmed that Romain is fine. And it is important for fans to know what drivers risk every time. It is important for the unsung heroes of F1 to be noticed and recognized during such times.

  24. Maybe a few times less, but other than this, I didn’t see any problem with showing replays for the reasons many have pointed out above.

  25. Sorry Daniel, but I feel you’re wrong on this one. We’re too sheltered from this kind of thing in this day and age. I PAY to watch ALL aspects of F1 racing and accidents are part of racing no matter how severe. If something is too much, simply look away. I think that the coverage was fair and only replayed once it was confirmed there wasn’t a fatality. To be honest, half of the argument for the salary the divers receive is based on the risk fator, so to complain when the negative consequences of racing are shown comes across as a bit “rich.”
    As a Riccardo fan, I’m a little disappointed with his perspective on this.

  26. Well they did show the crash after he was confirmed that Romain was OK so thats very fair and considerate from FOM, and to me thats the most important factor by far.
    Maybe during the red flag 1.5 hour segment they replayed a bit too much but I didnt find it over the top. I mean what else were they going to show in that lengthy stoppage.

  27. What was also very meaningful to me was the camaraderie that exists between these highly competitive sportsmen. I found it very moving to hear the concern and compassion in their voices for a fellow driver,even when they were still on track and before they came into the pit lane.This is a truly amazing sport.

  28. It’s been an emotional year for Daniel, first he scares himself from ever driving on the Nordschleife again, and now he realizes he has a dangerous job and his family is concerned about him.
    In a different era, people would have asked about the size of certain of his appendages.

  29. For reference there are protocols in place for how the director should handle obviously highly serious accidents such as this.

    If the accident is caught live & is obviously extremely serious the camera operator will be directed to zoom out & the director will then call for another shot & cut any feeds that may be getting video from the scene which broadcasters may have access to via some of the extra content feeds (Helicopters, Onboard cameras & so on).

    At this point the FOM director will be is direct communication with the FIA race control who will be in direct content with track workers & any medical team at the accident scene. They will confirm what the situation is, Not just in terms of drivers involved but also make sure no track workers, media or fans were caught up in the accident with debris going through/over a barrier or something & if they get word of injuries they will then wait until they know the severity of them.

    Once they know all involved are either OK or that any injuries are not too serious they will feel comfortable airing any available replays.

    If they don’t get the OK from the scene then no replays will be shown. Recent examples of footage been held back would be Jules Bianchi’s accident at Suzuka in 2014 (I gather they have at least 2 trackside angles) & Anthoine Hubert at Spa last year (I gather they have 3 trackside angles & an Onboard).

  30. I’m still amazed Grosjean survived, let alone walked away from it pretty much unaided. I thought the coverage was fine. As others have said, we didn’t see any replays until after it was confirmed that Grosjean was safe, and it was actually amazing to see him emerge from the flames the way he did. Seeing that AFTER seeing that he was reletively unscathed sitting in the back of the safety car, might have looked a bit hollywood, but it was just real life.

    This will have done wonders for F1, and no doubt attracted many people that might otherwise not give F1 a second thought. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but the most important thing above all else is of course that Grosjean is OK.

  31. Daniel is my favourite driver but I disagree with his comments here. They waited until they knew Romain was ok and then showed it. Yes they did many times but maybe there wasn’t much else to do while the barrier was repaired. And they didn’t force the drivers to keep watching it.

    That said Dan would have been emotional as all the drivers were. I am just happy Romain is ok and doing well. He may be back for the last race but may just hang up the helmet and be done.

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