F1’s Tuscan Grand Prix coverage prompts 133 complaints to Ofcom

Coverage of the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix across Channel 4 and Sky Sports has generated 133 complaints, statistics released by the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom reveal.

Although their weekly bulletin does not outline what the complaints relate to, it is likely a result of Lewis Hamilton’s decision to wear a t-shirt related to the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Hamilton’s t-shirt contained the words “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front, with the words “Say her name” on the back.

Viewers logged 75 of the complaints against Channel 4’s highlights programme, with 55 complaints for Sky Sports’ live offering. For the week, F1 attracted the second highest number of complaints.

Britain’s Got Talent led the chart, due to a Black Lives Matters routine from Diversity on September 5th, which has attracted over 20,000 complaints.

Ofcom have yet to confirm if they plan to investigate the F1 matter further.

How often do people complain about F1 races?
Whilst the number of complaints recorded here is far higher than usual for Formula 1, it still only comprises of around 0.004 percent of the three million viewers that watch each Grand Prix.

Two other races in the past 15 years have recorded over 10 complaints.

126 people complained to Ofcom about ITV’s coverage of the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, where the broadcaster took a commercial break in the closing stages of the Grand Prix, in the middle of a close contest between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.

Three years later, Ofcom received 14 complaints about the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, as Martin Brundle used the word ‘pikey’ to describe those relaying the tarmac prior to the start of the race.

Ofcom considered the grid walk matter resolved, whilst they deemed ITV to be in breach regarding the ad-break situation.

Other complaints in recent year have primarily surrounding swearing over the team radio, as well as before and after the race. The most recent complaint however came because of a superimposed Rolex clock during coverage of the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix qualifying session.

Although Imola 2005 and Mugello 2020 currently have a similar level of complaints, it is likely that will change over the coming days.

Outside of the Ofcom spectrum, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) slapped Sky with a warning for misleading advertising following their 2019 pre-season promotional campaign.


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7 thoughts on “F1’s Tuscan Grand Prix coverage prompts 133 complaints to Ofcom

  1. Doesn’t surprise me at all unfortunately if it does end up because of Lewis’s attire, when you bear in mind it came in the same week as the hundreds of complaints Ofcom received for Diversity’s Britain’s Got Talent performance

  2. Sport should not be brought into sport. Hamilton runs the show intimidating fellow drivers. End racisem yes. But bending the knee is USA. Let’s progress move forward.

    • “Sport should not be brought into sport. Hamilton runs the show intimidating fellow drivers. End racisem yes. But bending the knee is USA. Let’s progress move forward.”

      Really Eve?
      What is it you are attempting to say ?
      It’s not a good look to make so many mistakes in a missive which purports to ‘move forward ‘

  3. If Guilty:

    Say to Sky and C4, guilty but no punishment as they take the world feed.
    Fine the world feed hosts (Formula One Management) as they produce the world feed for them and other international broadcasters.

    • Exactly, who would you sanction? Same question for if this were MotoGP. Would you fine Dornier, Quest or BT Sport….World Rally, would it be WRC, BT Sport or ITV4….I could go on.

      I’d be surprised if this goes anywhere.

    • The Rolex clock example above probably set a precedent (although I’m not sure that Hamilton’s shirt was in breach of anything): Sky is live so effectively has carte blanche; C4 could have edited it out.

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