F1 denies it put entertainment first with Grosjean crash coverage

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Formula 1 has responded to criticism by Daniel Ricciardo, insisting coverage of Romain Grosjean's crash followed protocols during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Cameras continued to follow the leaders after the Haas was seen bursting into flames upon impact with the barriers on the opening lap of Sunday's race at Sakhir, only returning to the scene once Grosjean was seen being helped into the ambulance by the medical team.

However, for the majority of the hour-long red flag which followed, the broadcast showed replay after replay of the crash and the scene as the car was recovered and the barrier replaced.

This drew the ire of Ricciardo, who was "disgusted and disappointed" by the coverage, claiming entertainment was being prioritised over the emotions of other drivers and their families.

"Firstly, at F1 this isn't about entertainment and a few procedures and protocols are in place before any decision to run a replay is made," a spokesman said, defending the broadcast.

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"Following an accident all onboards, helicopter feeds etc are cut. There is direct comms between race control and the broadcast centre.

"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.

"No replays of an accident are shown until there is approval and confirmation from race control/FIA that all persons are safe - driver, marshals and doctors. Replays then started.

"The context of what a viewer sees and hears with the commentary is important, with them talking about the safety of Romain, the halo, FIA safety improvements, and updates from the medical centre.

"There is a constant dialogue between F1, FIA, race control, and sound judgement on viewers, families and those affected."

Speaking after the race, Haas boss Guenther Steiner also defended the coverage but only because it had been established that Grosjean was OK.

"You can have two opinions here," he said. "But my opinion is if it ended lucky, and nothing bad happened, why not show it to make sure people understand?

"Yeah it was bad, but everybody is OK. That was how to deal with it.

"We wanted to get the news out as soon as possible to the people, Romain is OK, just because it's difficult to contact family, friends, people who know us, people of the team.

"If we sent one message via TV and something like this, it's much more powerful.

"I think showing it and showing him jumping out, yeah, it looks a little bit dramatic, but it ended good. So long as it ends good, I'm fine.

"For sure, if something bad happens, it shouldn't be shown," he noted. "I'm not an expert in TV ethics, but in my opinion, a good thing was shown.

"It was a bad accident, but we got lucky and everything ended OK. I wouldn't say good, because things like this don't end good. It was just OK."