The BBC have today revealed that they received complaints about the swearing during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium procedure. Out of the 4.5 million people that watched the podium procedure, BBC received 22 phone calls about the incident, 21 of them complained with one person commenting on it.
It should be noted however that more complaints were received about the late upload of the race to BBC iPlayer due to the incident than the incident itself. 30 people contacted the BBC about the late iPlayer upload, 28 people complained with a further two commenting about it. I think the fact that more people complained about the late iPlayer upload than the swearing incident itself says it all here in that it was not a major incident to viewers, although it will be interesting to see if Ofcom received further complaints.
Furthermore, the BBC article reveals that a letter has been sent by FIA director of communications Norman Howell to every team on behalf of FIA president Jean Todt. Howell sais “”Since it happened twice on the same weekend, I thought I’d send a friendly note. We need to remind the drivers they are professionals. If you’re a racing driver at that level you have to realise that part of your job description is to talk to the media, and to do so in a way that is acceptable.”
As I talked about earlier today, I do hope Formula One Management (alongside FIA) do not take a knee-jerk reaction and drop the new podium procedure. As always, time will tell.