Ricciardo to discuss Grosjean crash coverage with F1 as Vettel says more “respect” is needed

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel remain unhappy with Formula 1’s television coverage of Romain Grosjean’s spectacular crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Both drivers reiterated their criticism of the repeated replays shown of the crash on Formula 1’s world broadcast feed while Sunday’s race was suspended.

After the crash occured on the first lap of the race, no replays of the footage were shown until it was known Grosjean had emerged largely unscathed. However Vettel said the amount of footage shown was excessive and not respectful to drivers.

“It probably showed on Sunday that we are sitting at two different sides of the table,” said Vettel in response to a question from RaceFans. “We are the ones driving the cars and we are exposed to the risk and the limits and so on and everyone who is watching, including you, including people on the screen and so on, sometimes criticise the fact that it’s not dangerous enough, not exciting enough and so on.

“But I think a certain risk will always be there, as much as we can take it away. It’s good to see that there’s a continuous effort being made and these chances that we get with accidents taken seriously to try and improve.

Vettel urged “more respect” for the risks drivers take
“It’s a reminder of the fact, hopefully, for the other side, that it’s not just objects being in the car. We are human beings and we put our lives on the line. That’s something we are happy to do because we have a great passion for what we do.

“But still sometimes, here and there, I wish there would be a bit more respect. Showing the incidents over and over, I think was probably not the way of doing that.”

Vettel said the fact no replays were shown until Grosjean’s condition was known “doesn’t change the fact there are kids watching and so on.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I think it wasn’t a nice thing to watch in general, if you imagine that actually there’s a soul in that car who’s trying and fighting to get out,” he added.

Romain Grosjean crash, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020
Grosjean was trapped in his burning car for 28 seconds
Ricciardo said his stance on the replays “hasn’t changed” since the race. “I felt like once they showed it once, and then we’d obviously seen him jump out and get into the Medical [Car], I felt like that was all we really needed to see.”

Further replays “could have waited… until tomorrow but even until after the race” he added. “We obviously still had a race to do.”

The footage was “inconsiderate to his family” and also “a distraction” for those at the track, said Ricciardo, “because every time we’d go into the garage and try and find out what was happening, the only thing that was on, it seemed like, was endless replays.

“Trying to get the engineer’s attention or the mechanics, everyone was a little bit spaced out or rattled from it all, which is completely understandable. So I stand by it.”

Ricciardo said Grosjean’s wife Marion told him “she appreciated my comments” after he criticised the coverage. “I think that’s all the validation I needed.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

The Renault driver said the footage of Grosjean’s crash was “abused” by Formula 1, and suggested they had taken for granted that he would have no medical complications as a result of his high-speed impact with a barrier.

“It was 54G or something, the impact, and from my understanding – don’t get me wrong, I’m no doctor – but there could be further complications maybe later that evening that we don’t know about internally.

“So it just felt like it was a bit abused, I think that was it. It was obviously showed, I didn’t feel it needed to be showed as many times as it did, or at least in that moment.”

Formula 1 extended an offer to Ricciardo to discuss his views about the coverage, which he said he will take up today.

“After the race I was still not only a bit heated, but then had to dissect my own race and I didn’t feel it was the right time. So I will hear them out today and obviously hear the reasons and go from there. I’m happy to hear, I’m happy to be educated.”

“I guess everyone will have their own view,” he added. “For me, I was never really into crashes. Like [when] you get sent clips like ‘did you see the crash at the Indy 500?’ or something. It was never really appealing to me.

“Obviously some people love it. Some people love the debris everywhere and that. I feel like I’m not 10 years old anymore, you kind of grow out of that.”

Join the RaceFans Supporters Drive!

RaceFans Supporter Drive If you've enjoyed RaceFans' motor sport coverage during 2020, please take a moment to find out more about our Supporter Drive.

We're aiming to welcome 3,000 new Supporters to help fund RaceFans so we can continue to produce quality, original, independent motorsport coverage. Here's what we're asking for and why - and how you can sign up:

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

46 comments on “Ricciardo to discuss Grosjean crash coverage with F1 as Vettel says more “respect” is needed”

  1. What did he expect them to show? The audience? Footage of the seconds of racing that had taken place at the time? Him? Asphalt?

    They didn’t show anything until it was clear that Grosjean was okay(fine, lets go with okay-ish). That should be enough. While it’s admittedly a bit macabre to see a crash like that again and again, it is also of interest to most to see what took place.

    I’d maybe understand if Grosjean himself complained, but the other drivers can decide not to look, and ask their own garage crew to turn it off. If all drivers agree, turn off the footage on screens pointing to the pitlane.

    1. So how do they cover rain-affected qualifyingsessions for like an hour when nobody was on the track? They manage then, they could’ve managed now without a replay every 3 minutes.

      1. This is ridiculous. They can’t show anything else during rain sessions because they have NOTHING to show. Even then they do splice the live feed with slow replays of what little they managed to capture by that point.
        But in this situation I actually want to see what caused the race to stop.

        I understand that Ricciardo is planted in the car in front of the screen, so he saw every single replay. But I didn’t! I missed the first replay (because I was running around the house informing everyone of the crash) and I had no idea if they are going to replay it again. I saw Grosjean in the med car talking to the doctor, so by that point I saw that thankfully he was alive and conscious and in one piece.

        I also heard Martin say that it took something like a couple of hours to repaid barrier damage like that the last time something similar happened. So basically Dan believes that if you missed it during the couple initial replays – tough luck. Just sit there patiently for two hours and watch people talk in the paddock. Moreover, he says we should wait until after the race or TOMORROW to see the replays, which makes zero sense – you either show them or you don’t.

        But I still don’t get what is so disrespectful in seeing your hero escape a perilous situation. When the accident happened we immediately cut away from it and were not shown what happened until after they showed us that the driver was basically OK. In these agonizing minutes I actually assumed the worst – because that’s what they train us to believe – no replays mean bad things.

    2. the other drivers can decide not to look

      I didn’t want to see it that often, but couldn’t look away. I’m pretty sure that, even as a spectator, I was in shock. It was horrific, and every replay hit home again how horrific it was.

      That’s from my own, safe sofa watching on TV hundreds of miles away, not stood on the same track waiting to get back in a car to drive on the same circuit where the same could happen to me, and not watching a friend or family member waiting to do so.

      After a few replays from each angle, there was little left to show and the commentators were just repeating themselves. I can understand why they kept showing it, but I agree with the drivers that it was excessive and disrespectful.

      1. Note I am not criticising showing the replays. Once it was known that neither Grosjean nor anyone else was seriously hurt, I think it was right to show the audience what happened, and to analyse multiple times from multiple angles. I do, however, feel they went overboard

  2. It was a shocking incident to me, yet I wanted to see what happened. And I wanted to see it multiple times, from all possible angles. It is part of racing and it has much more value seeing it immediately and not days after the event. I would be angry not having the chance to see what happened.

    Where would you draw the line between showing and not showing an accident? Should they have not replayed Albon’s crash? The car just broke apart.

    1. Lots of sense being showed in this thread (90% in favor of the replays and w/good reasons), but it’s already too late. Due to SV and DR, I can guarantee you they’ll never show a big crash more than twice in replay in the future.

    2. It takes many views of an incident to see every last little factor at play. Most fans care as much about the drivers’ safety as they do and want to understand what occurred. It’s not snuff porn.

  3. I can appreciate their point of view but personally I think crashing is a key part of the sport, without it we wouldn’t appreciate how close to the limit they are, so it should be shown.

    Obviously they did the right thing by checking Grosjean was ok before showing it and I felt the repeated replays were justified as they were showing his escape and they had to show something while the barrier was fixed.

    Of course that’s all easy for me to say when I’m not personally involved. It wasn’t nice to watch the initial crash on tv and being there and knowing him would be much worse.

    1. Also both Grosjean and his wife shared the footage which I think is an important factor.

    2. I think crashing is a key part of the sport

      Sorry to say, but you´re wrong. Crashing is not part the sport, its only a relational fact to the way the sport works.

      European motor sport always distanced itself to the way american racing explored horrendous crashes and deaths to serve a famine tv audience craving more for a show than for a sport.

      Now, we’re here, with a lot of people criticising the way drivers are trying to save their mental health while competing.

      It´s a shame that F1 audience morphed into this, a crowd that don’t care about the way FOM are trying to sell cheap F1, exploring crashes and easy entertainment.

      Shame.

      1. @becken-lima You might not agree but I wouldn’t say crashes mattering is wrong. Since the start of F1 drivers have been respected because of the risks they take, and that risk is ultimately that they can have a crash. Thankfully over the years the risk of serious injury or death has reduced so in general we don’t need to worry so much about crashing.

        I don’t think there’s been a change in audience either and European motorsport isn’t that different, highlights have always been mostly crashes and the bigger ones tend to make mainstream news more than the results.

        From a sporting point of view crashes/contact also matter as they’re the only way of seeing the limit of these cars and without the chance of them there would be much less tension in close overtakes and similar situations.

      2. F1 is a world sport last I checked.

      3. F1 audience morphed into this

        Why do you think Spa 98 is an absolute fan favourite? Crashes are part of F1 and crashes with no injuries are one of the best things about motorsports.

  4. I think F1 did a good job of waiting to see how Grosjean was doing before showing the replays and I don’t think they were played just for the sake of showing a big crash. Perhaps the issue is that there were TV’s throughout the pitlane so no matter where he went, Ricciardo was seeing the replays.

    1. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way it was handled. Vettel and Ricciardo are sportsmen and their enormous salaries are able to be paid because of sponsor and manufacturer’s exposure to fans and the general public. Imagine the poopstorm from the fans and general public that would have happened if it wasn’t shown because they didn’t want some drivers to have their feelings hurt. I think these two need to accept their chosen sport and understand why they are paid so much, or pursue safe, normal careers like the rest of us, with about 1% of the salary. There are plenty of junior drivers who will step into their shoes and not complain.

      1. Neither Vettel or Ric have complained about the accident being shown, They have complained about the number of replays that the production crew thought was necessary at a time when the severity of Romains injuries could not be known by anyone.

  5. F1 made a 11-minute video of it on YT.

    But I think, we just wanted to understand. No bad thought involved.

  6. Interestingly the cycling world is praising F1s handling of this as they waited until it was known Grosjean was OK before broadcasting the images.

    Replays of the crash have often been broadcast before we know whether the rider has suffered serious injury or death.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2020/11/stop-broadcasting-crash-replays-before-we-know-the-fate-of-the-rider/

    1. They didn’t know he was ok though… they knew he was conscious, they could’ve had no idea about the severity of any internal injuries.

      1. Romaine wasn’t just “conscious”: he got himself out of the car, jumped a guardrail, walked, with support, to the medical car, and was talking to the medical team, all before the replays were shown. At the point the TV director opted to show the replays it was clear to all with eyes and brain cells that Romaine’s injuries were not severe and not even remotely life-threatening. Don’t be a triggered drama queen.

        1. I think this is really downplaying the seriousness of the incident, and how bad it could have been.

          Yes, Grosjean escaped with only minor injuries. However, I am pretty sure that being in a fireball and having to extricate yourself like that is a nightmare for both drivers and their family and friends. It would only have taken Grosjean to have been knocked unconscious for us to all be talking about an absolute tragedy. To show it over and over again, especially in the pit lane where drivers were waiting to put themselves at risk of being in the same situation… I can certainly see why some drivers are unhappy.

          And to dismiss the possibility of unknown internal injuries which could be serious when there has just been a crash involving, IIRC, a 53G impact is not very sensible. It is not being a “triggered drama queen” to recognise the severity of the incident and the possibility of there being more to it than meets the eye.

        2. I suggest reading into the Ronnie Peterson incident. He was also conscious, albeit with serious leg fractures. He did die afterwards in the hospital due to an embolism. After such a crash, you always have to be carefull.

          Or what about the Schumacher skiing accident. Michael was conscious when they airlifted him. Grosjean would have been full of adrenaline moments after the crash, it’s clearly not certain that he didn’t have any serious injury’s until a serious medical examination.

  7. Er.. you also get paid millions upon millions and it really is your choice to do it, or you could get a boring regular job like most of us :)
    I kind of get it on some level, but Grosjean surviving is a great story, but one to learn from. It being in the public eye is a good thing, so long as he’s ok of course. I thought they did the right thing in terms of broadcast personally.

    1. They don’t get paid millions to watch their friends die. At the moment that Ric & Vettel are commenting about the actual condition of Romain could not have been known. They are also not complaining about the accident and his escape being televised, they are complaining about the number of times the incident was replayed.

      1. He didn’t die. Of course had he been seriously injured they wouldn’t have replayed it. Stop being ridiculous Ross.

  8. As for news to show incidents over and over and over is normal and accepted for the most part. The news was massive and the world attention to it surprised me. Not that it wasn’t expected but it was as significant as it was.
    When we Humans crave to see live coverage of all the current Covid Crap, it comes in waves with each media source out doing the next source. So for F1 to repeatedly show the crash then fire is what Humans want to see. The worse the better for that news companies fortunes. We crave bad news whether you admit or not. So So much Covid coverage all the time, all day long.
    So the disturbing news last Sunday was the very awful thing humans want to see.
    Sebs and Dannys criticisms are valid but the world wants to see all the blood and guts they can because it sells papers as was once said. Today it’s beat the competition to the big story or lose the almighty dollar Bill which means you are unemployed. Humans want to see the misery of others even though we say we don’t.
    Again I happen to agree with Seb and Danny. Aren’t we getting enough from the media without the constant repetition??
    Yet at the same time aren’t we curious about car crashes, fires and the latest news about the very incident you witness.
    We are because that’s the truth.
    I wonder if their ages now are impacting their viewpoints. You don’t care as a kid. But with a wife and kids this horrible moment does start to crack through walls long held up. It’s life and I think RGs crash has helped many of us to just see what happened and see how it was dealt with.
    It was one of the biggest moments in Grand Prix in the past decade. The FIA handled the situation as well as trained for. It’s future needs adjusting a bit for facing a worse situation but a driver trapped in a destroyed and massively burning Racecar gets press.

  9. I felt sick when it happened, feared the worst and was extremely relieved to see him in the medical car. The initial absence of any replay had me even more worried.

    Once I knew he was ok, then yes I was interested to see the replays, and I was watching the wrong car the first time so was eager to see it again. As has been said time and time again it’s incredible he walked (ran) away from it, which is an engineering feat in itself.

    I’ve never seen Marc Simoncelli’s accident, fortunately for me I wasn’t watching that race live and never intend to. Some friends tried to get me to watch it, but I had (and have) absolutely no desire to do so. If RG had died in this crash, I would feel the same.

    The race was red flagged at T3/T4 depending which end of the pack you were in. What are the broadcasters supposed to show? There was probably 30s of action to pick from and fill over an hour of live coverage, and I’m sure most of us were watching and waiting on more updates of RG’s condition.

  10. Daniel isn’t even a regular watcher of the live broadcast. If he doesn’t like it, nobody is forcing him to watch it.

  11. I think Danny is projecting his own shock here. F1’s coverage was the perfect balance. Nothing to complain about at all. It was however an incredibly violent impact and I’m sure other drivers will have been quite taken back by how it happened.

    1. Exactly my thoughts, though I’m slightly surprised that it’s Danny Ric (usually a bright and optimistic person, in contrast to the more balanced senior Seb Vettel is these days) who’s so vocal about it. I guess every human being responds to these things in their own way and that’s their right.

  12. respectable opinion, and interesting to hear it so loud and clear. I’m not sold on it, but still. It’s less unreasonable than it sounded the first time out

  13. Tommy Scragend
    3rd December 2020, 23:25

    What would Ricciardo and Vettel have made of Imola 1994, when the TV helicopter hovered over Senna’s body while the medical team were trying to save his life?

    The BBC switched to their own camera in the pit lane so as not to show the pictures from the crash scene but the world feed carried on showing them. Lessons were learned from that and I think the way Grosjean’s accident was handled last weekend was fine.

    Has Grosjean said what he thinks? Or is it another case of someone being offended on behalf of someone else, when the someone else isn’t actually offended at all?

    1. Did you even listen to the interview? Ricciardo was not offended on Grosjean’s behalf. He was clearly stating that family and friends and the drivers have to view the images (they can’t turn off like 500 tv’s in the pitlane). Apart from the drivers, the marshalls at the scene of the accident were very lucky as well. They had to see the pictures over and over, knowing the same could happen in an hour.

  14. I get what he’s saying. Why should the logic behind whether graphic footage is shown be whether or not that person in the crash has died?

    Whether or not a person dies I only need to see crash footage a couple of times at most to evaluate what has happened, not shown on repeat ad nauseam. There are those youtube videos or social media forums where people just watch crashes over and over and personally I find that disgusting, and the broadcast at the time was essentially that. Glorifying disaster for entertainment.

    That so many people are attacking this opinion and saying it’s part of the sport etc just goes to prove that you guys just want carnage, waiting for that moment when something does go wrong rather than watching for the racing.

    1. I also get the point, but still see it somewhat differently @skipgamer.

      Sure, maybe it was played a bit too much (i think they could have left out a couple of repeats myself). On the other hand, with a race that was red flagged and is waiting for a restart, people tune in during that time – they might have just been late, or get in at the halfway point, or just wanted to see the finish, or whatever.

      And the broadcaster wants to show those newly tuning in people why they aren’t seeing cars racing, doing pitstops, or finishing yet but instead an empty track. I think that is a big part of why they repeated footage of the crash and of Grosjean getting out of the fire several times during that 90 minute wait.

    2. Firstly it matters out of respect @skipgamer. Obviously if he was seriously hurt it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

      Secondly, you seem to think it is just some sort of morbid thing. For me I found it an amazing escape story, and admittedly wanted to see the replays to unpick myself exactly what happened and then be able to discuss how things could improve in future. That’s human nature, we analyse as a survival instinct.

  15. Come on everyone. Most of the driver comments are along the lines of they thought Grosjean had died or had suffered life-threatening injuries. The fact he jumped free was a relief, sure, but the adrenaline, fear and imagination of the worst don’t just subside immediately for those most closely involved. Those emotions and physiological reactions must have still been affecting the drivers as they watched the countless replays. Why were they shown? Because Formula 1 had time to fill, an hour, and has to provide a ‘TV product’ for its advertising spaces. So commercial interests overrode any respect or due care for either the drivers or their families and so on. Is that real justification? I don’t think so. As Ricciardo says, showing graphic replays only the next day, or even just after the race, should have been a minimum. The fact that two experienced and (off the track) very level-headed drivers are making the same complaint should be taken seriously. Again it’s not an issue of showing crashes per se, it’s about when they’re shown (and who’s seeing them). Basically, not while there was still a race to finish.

  16. If it wasn’t bad enough that F1 continually try to kill the sport, now some of the drivers are.

  17. Perhaps instead of showing replays of the accident, so that fans can analyse the cause, the impact and aftermath, i.e. to engage with the sport, F1 could have showed a Formula e car recharging it’s batteries for 45 minutes.

    I’m a big SV fan, but I don’t agree with him on this.

  18. Once again, nothing wrong with how the situation was handled, so a bit of an overreaction by both Dan and Seb.

    1. I can agree that it may be seen as an overreaction.

      However, how would you react if you were seeing replays over and over again of a car just like the one you are about to get back into, which was doing the same thing you are just about to do again, being ripped in half, going through a barrier, and being engulfed in a fireball big and strong enough to stop anyone getting anywhere near it?

      If the house across the road burned down, even if the occupants managed to escape without serious injury, I wouldn’t want videos of it replayed on a big screen right next to my house dozens of times.

  19. It just terrified him a lot.

  20. Wow, but Aussie men have become soft.
    It’s always an Aussie sports star in tears on the news …

  21. Maybe they need to set up a second feed for this situation?

    In the case of a major accident and red flag, the pit lane feed gets only live images whilst the world feed can see the replays.

    Then the drivers don’t see it, and the engineers do t get distracted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.