In an interview with UK lifestyle magazine Square Mile, Ricciardo said F1 has been too eager to use crashes in its promotional content and urged it to put a stronger emphasis on actual highlights instead.
“I think last year, F1 put on their social channels, like a top 10 moments of the year or something, and eight of the 10 were crashes,” he said.
“I was just like, you guys are f***ing idiots.
“Maybe 12-year-old kids want to see that kind of content, and that’s cool because they don’t know any better, but we’re not kids. Just do better, guys. Do better than that.”
Speaking at Thursday’s FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Ricciardo said he regretted the harsh rhetoric he used.
“I’ve certainly got to be better with my choice of words,” he said.
“I certainly, if I could, take that quote back. It was too aggressive.
“I should know better as well being in the sport probably as long as I have. And even if I feel at the time, it might be out of context, I know that it’s going to get pushed, and so I should do better with that.
“I’m not denying I said it but the tone doesn’t always get shown as maybe it was in that moment.
“And it could just be me as well. Sometimes I might just get too comfortable with whoever is conducting the interview and I might just take it a little lightly.”
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
While Ricciardo apologised for his choice of words, his opinion on the F1’s promotional policies remains the same.
The Australian first brought up his misgivings in a meeting with F1 in the wake of Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain crash last year, which a ‘disgusted’ Ricciardo felt was repeated excessively during the TV broadcast.
Ricciardo said after the meeting that the talks had been “productive”.
“I felt last year was such an amazing year for F1”, he explained.
“There were so many different podium getters, there was a lot of exciting races, I certainly wouldn’t put it under a boring season.
“And I just felt like there was probably more room to expose the highs of the sport and the great achievements of a lot of individual drivers and individual performances. Whether some spectacular overtakes or you know; I felt like there was better stories to be told, as opposed to just crashes.
“This is obviously my opinion, but I feel our sport is better than that, I feel like we’re better than just showing crashes.
“I feel like we are the most talented drivers in the world and we’re driving these amazing cars. So normally, a crash is showing less of our talents. We absolutely make mistakes but I would probably highlight the highs more if I had creative control.
“I’ve apologised, I would obviously take back, let’s say, at least the language from those comments, but that was overall my opinion of what I would do if I had a chance to direct it a little bit.”