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.