Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo has met with the Formula 1 organisation to discuss the TV coverage of Romain Grosjean’s accident last weekend, and he says that the chat was “productive”.
After the Bahrain GP Ricciardo called the extensive replays of Grosjean’s accident and escape “disgusting”, pointing out how hard it was for drivers to watch while preparing for the restart.
F1 offered to talk to him about his concerns, and this week he met with director of marketing and communications, Ellie Norman.
“I spoke with Ellie on Thursday evening,” he said. “To be honest I think already after Sunday they offered to come and chat. But, obviously, last Sunday there was a lot going on, so I wanted to postpone it.
“I think it was certainly worthwhile, hearing them out. And obviously I don’t want to just blast in the media and then run away from them, so to speak. I chatted for probably half an hour with Ellie, and she went through a lot of the stuff, and I gave my feedback. There was nothing, like, confronting.
“I think she was very understanding and appreciative, and I think also accepted my concerns as well. She didn’t push back, I think she was trying to listen and learn as well, how they could maybe do things differently. But she also talked me through the reasons why they broadcast what they did.”
Ricciardo said one issue discussed was warning viewers before such dramatic images are replayed.
“I’m sure there’s some things we can take from it,” said Ricciardo. “One thing was, and actually some broadcasters do it, kind of like a bit of a warning to prepare the audience. Like, ‘Okay, there’s going to be some maybe graphic images’ – and that way maybe if you’ve got younger kids you’ve got a bit of time to pull them away from the TV or something.
“Then the feedback afterwards, I think Ross Brawn mentioned there is something like that, or there is a bit of a context in place. It was productive, they didn’t attack me or anything like that!
“It was quite a worthwhile thing, and they deserved for me to hear them out.”
Ricciardo wasn’t the only driver to make comments about the coverage – Sebastian Vettel also expressed concerns – but he noted that most had opted not to.
Ricciardo added: “I feel like some drivers are a bit, I don’t want to say too proud, or too brave, they’re kind of like… I’m sure a lot of us felt it. Did I question getting back in the car? The answer’s no.
“But I guess I just wanted them [F1] to consider what we have to go through as well.”
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