While the racing world celebrated the safety protocols and good fortune that allowed Romain Grosjean to leave his car unscathed after a terrifying crash in Bahrain, Australian Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo expressed his “disgust and disappointment” with Formula 1.
Grosjean’s car rammed into the barriers as he braked hard from around 250 km/h (155 mph), the front part hammering into the steel guardrails which buckled.
The 34-year-old, trapped in his cockpit, flew under the barrier as it gave way and as his Haas car burst into flames, splitting in two on impact.
Incredibly, Grosjean was able to get out of the car and walk away, with only light burns and reports of a suspected broken rib.
Speaking after the race, Ricciardo was quick to shut down talk of his 7th place finish, choosing to focus on Formula 1 itself.
“I want to express my disgust and disappointment with Formula 1,” Ricciardo 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 [and] for all of our families watching.
“We’re going to go race again in an hour and every time we look at the TV it’s a ball of fire, and his car is cut in half. 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. I thought it was pretty disgusting.
“Hopefully some other drivers have spoken up — if that’s not how we all really feel I’d be very surprised.”
While most other drivers focused on the crash, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas suggested there should be a “limit” on how many replays are shown after an incident as serious as that.
“When there is a crash, when it ends up being OK for the drivers, they like to repeat those,” Bottas said, via autosport.com.
“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.”