F1 Drivers Debate Merits of Showing Grosjean Crash Video … Over and Over and Over

Formula 1 is facing some criticism for the way the sport handled the television replays of Romain Grosjean’s horrific fiery crash in the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo called the multiple replays of the fiery incident “completely disrespectful and inconsiderate” as the drivers prepared for the race restart.

“It was entertainment and they are playing with all of our emotions,” said Ricciardo, whose views were backed by Sebastian Vettel and others.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas also agreed that the multiple replays were a bit much.

“I look at it once because I wanted to see what happened, but then I didn’t want to see it anymore but it was being shown again everywhere,” the Mercedes driver told Ilta Sanomat newspaper.

And four-time world champion Vettel said, “I went to my room. I didn’t want to look at the accident very much. I know a lot of people like to see footage of fire like that, but this is about people. I think we shouldn’t show such accidents so much on TV.”

However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff supported F1’s decision to show the replays, on the grounds of “transparency.”

A heart-stopping moment on Lap 1 in Bahrain

We are all incredibly grateful that @RGrosjean walked away from this incident#BahrainGP 🇧🇭 #F1 pic.twitter.com/6ZztuxOLhw

“If Romain had been more seriously injured, we would have withdrawn our cars,” said Wolff. “Life is more important than racing. But we should show the replays of the accident. We need transparency. Otherwise, someone would have filmed it on a phone camera and put it on the internet.

“Either way, you can watch the recordings of what happened,” said Wolff.

Grosjean escaped with serious burns to the backs of both hands.

An FIA spokesperson said, “No footage is shown until there is confirmation that the driver is OK. On this occasion, at this point, F1 showed Romain with the ambulance, helmet off, and walking with aid.”

Grosjean’s boss, Haas team principal Gunther Steiner, also backs Formula 1.

“There can be two opinions here, but in the end no one was seriously hurt,” Steiner said. “We wanted to tell everyone the news as soon as possible—to his family, his friends, the guys in the team. And it’s much easier to do this by simply reporting everything on TV.

“Of course, if something really bad happens, you don’t need to show it. I’m certainly no expert on ethical issues on what needs to be on TV, but in my opinion it’s good that the TV people showed it. Yes, the incident was unpleasant, but we were lucky and in the end everything ended fine.”

OK, now’s your chance to weigh in. Was it in poor taste for the F1 broadcast to show the Grosjean crash and aftermath multiple times during Sunday’s broadcast? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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