F1 drivers speak on their portrayal on Netflix Drive to Survive and react to comments from Stefano Domenicali about lessening the drama.

Since Drive to Survive launched, it became an instant hit all over the world, both with current fans along with garnering a whole generation of new fans of the sport. The fourth season launched last month and as it stands, fifth season may happen.

However, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has advised that he will cutting down on the drama resulting from Drive To Survive. Separately, there has been criticism in some quarters advising that there has been a sense of over-dramatisation and exaggeration.

The drivers have been very vocal about how they are presented with the likes of Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Mick Schumacher, Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen sharing their view on what can be changed going forward.

Liberty Media chief Greg Maffei also revealed that the fourth season has already overtaken the numbers from third year.  “We’re happy to report, and I think our Netflix friends would be happy to report, that it was the number one show in 33 countries around the world already,” he said. “The season four audience is already larger than the season three audience. So it’s a huge success. I think there are a lot of other factors that have helped drive our popularity, but that is certainly one that we don’t discount.”

Here’s what the F1 drivers said:

Gasly: “I must say, I haven’t seen the whole series, so I haven’t seen like [more than] pretty much the first two episodes. You can clearly see that some scenes are kind of made up for the show. It’s difficult to speak for the drivers, I’m not in their position. I don’t know how they [Netflix] get on with other guys. I think on our side with Yuki, which is what I can compare, it was kind of normal. But obviously as a driver you don’t want to be portrayed differently than the person you are in reality.

“I think that’s the main thing that we ask for, you know. We’re happy to play our part in the show but as long as it kind of reflects who we are personally. On my side, I never had any issue. I never felt like they were kind of changing or adding more drama than we had. I think we had enough drama over the last three years. Didn’t need more. But I understand Stefano. I think it makes sense for us as well.”

Ocon: “I think I will join Pierre on the comments. I think, of course, it’s good to have an opening, you know, from the outside world of Formula 1. I think it has been a big benefit to have Netflix on board. Just to show how it works from the inside as well. But it’s important, I think, to stick to how we are in reality. But yeah, for me it has been has been positive.”

Schumacher: “Obviously, the first part of Drive to Survive, the first seasons, are quite interesting, and quite dramatic. And I think that brings a lot of people to the sport. But I guess as the show progresses it’s important to become more accurate with some of the things and maybe don’t mix up some of the comments or radio messages and stay true to how it actually was on track. I think that that would make more sense. And maybe chronological order could also make more sense. But again, I’m not the producer of the show, so it’s just an opinion.”

Verstappen: “I’m sure we’ll talk about it with Stefano. But at the moment, I’m not really interested to take part in it. It’s also just taking more time. And we’re already doing so many things. And I don’t really… I saw the benefit initially, of course, to get more popularity. But for me, now, I think you reach a stage where it’s a bit more like keeping up with the Formula 1 world, if you know my reference… I think it shouldn’t be like that. It’s better just to make a season review by F1 itself. I think that’s way nicer to look at. But that’s my opinion, nobody needs to share my opinion. I just don’t like to be a part of it.  I’m always happy to talk. I’m not against that. And you know, Stefano is a great guy and you can talk to him about anything.

“I watched a few episodes of the last one and I was surprised as I suddenly found myself talking in it. And it’s probably stuff from like, 2018 or something they picked up and used again, about fighting and what I like to do. But that already is not correct. I could hear that my voice was a bit different. And I realised also, actually, a lot of times I was saying stuff, and they were with this beam around, and they pick up a lot of stuff. So I have to be a bit more careful with that as well. It’s just not my thing. And then of course, they all tried to pick, throughout the whole season, they tried to pick moments and fabricate in a way.

“And for me personally, what I didn’t like and it’s not even about me, it was about Lando and Daniel, who I think are two great guys. They’re really nice, first of all, and made it look like Lando was a bit of a dick, which he isn’t at all. And again, you know, I think… I know Lando and I think many people know Lando as a funny guy, a great guy. He has a great character. And actually when you look at that episode, you really think who is this guy? What the hell is going on?

“And I think when you’re new to the sport you don’t like you’ve never seen a racing car or a Formula 1 car in general, they don’t like him. And why should that be? Because he is a great guy. And you just immediately get a wrong picture of a person. And that’s exactly what I think happened to me in the beginning. And then I think I’m someone who, when you ruin it from the start, you don’t fix it. That’s it, you ruined it. So that’s my stance. And that’s how I’ll go forward.”

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