Formula One Broadcasters are apparently faint-hearted grandmas
One of the major topics of in F1 circles after Kimi Räikkönen’s victory in Abu Dhabi, his first during this comeback season, has been the Finnish driver’s behaviour both behind the wheel and off-track. Of course, everyone (myself included) was positively delighted when Räikkönen’s radio message, where he told the pit-crew to ‘cram it’ while being told unnecessary driving instructions, came on the air during the actual race. The British newspaper, The Guardian, even applauded Räikkönen’s frankness behind the wheel.
However, controversy has now erupted for the interview which David Coulthard conducted with the three podium finishers after the champagne (or mineral water) splashing and the national anthems. Both Räikkönen and Vettel used salty language, Kimi for the reaction he got from people the last time he won and Seb for Red Bull’s problems that weekend which made it impossible for them to compete for race victory. Coulthard apologised for the language used by these two drivers and now people in the sport are rumbling about possibly giving fines to drivers who swear on the air.
My two cents: For fuck’s sake! I can’t think of anything more ridiculous for people to get offended or angry over, to the point that they want to fine the drivers. People who watch F1 are more than likely to have heard those words before and it wasn’t like Kimi and Vettel were swearing like sailors. They used the S- and F-words once through the whole interview. If the FIA wants to keep censoring the drivers’ speeches, they can keep doing it the way they always have, through the selection of radio conversations, but if you’re surprised by the coloured idioms being thrown about on the fucking podium just seconds after the boys are done spraying everyone, then you have got to be a faint at heart grandmother. There is no other reasonable excuse for this type of over-reaction.
On a side-note: in the warm up room just before the award ceremony, Vettel gave funny encouragement to Räikkönen: “At least now the mulkut will shut up.” Mulkut is the Finnish word for “dicks” or “dickheads”. Vettel was obviously referring to Kimi’s critics who have been on his case for not winning a race before Abu Dhabi. For Finnish F1 fans, Vettel’s surprising talent in the Finnish language has been the source of much amusement and again the German delighted me with this quote.