The Lotus team have requested an urgent meeting with the BBC following an onscreen graphic that appeared in the Austrian Grand Prix highlights on Sunday.
The BBC alternate between live and recorded races, and the Austrian GP was one of their recorded races. During the screening of in-car footage from Pastor Maldonado’s car an inappropriate graphic appeared at the top of the screen: “Clangers extra”
In 2015 the BBC F1 website has often referred to the Maldonado-mocking website ‘Has Maldonado Crashed Yet’ and the Lotus team allege that this was just another attempt to undermine their driver. “As it was a recorded programme, they couldn’t blame a live slip-up” said one source. “And let’s face it, they don’t advertise any other CBeebies programmes during the F1 coverage.”
Top level talks are slated with BBC Sport before the British GP.
OffonF1.com’s Andrew Davies is a big supporter of the new, reformed Maldo : “Having railed against Pastor in the days when he crashed into Lewis Hamilton at Valencia, the new Pastor is a much more considerate driver. What was deeply impressive about him was the way he accepted his move away from Williams just as the team became competitive. This season he has been bounced into by many drivers and lost results because of it, yet he’s still getting a load of negative comments.”