Max Verstappen is not fond of the Netflix Drive to Survive show and will feature less in terms of interviews this year, but fellow F1 drivers are more receptive and positive.
The US GP is back this year in Texas with Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen leading the championship. The recent growth of the popularity of the sport in the American shores is down to Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” show – made by Box to Box films.
While there are positives from the show, but the dramatised episodes which Netflix showcases to add some flavour, does not sit well with some of the personnel in the paddock (whether drivers of team bosses) and even the hardcore or old-school F1 fans.
Verstappen has had a limited presence, even though Red Bull is all about marketing. The Dutchman has previously mentioned about his lack of enthusiasm when it comes to being a part of the show or give extra bytes all across the F1 races.
The exaggeration and theatrics of Drive to Survive is something Verstappen is not very fond of, saying he is far from being a dramatic show type of person. “I understand that it needs to be done to boost the popularity in America,” said Verstappen in an interview to Associated Press. “But from my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it.
“They faked a few rivalries which they don’t really exist, so I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show. I am not really a dramatic show kind of person, I just want facts and real things to happen,” summed up Verstappen, who when asked to elaborate during the press conference, did not wish to explain why he thinks so.
“I literally explained it in the article, so I would recommend people to read the article, I don’t want to explain it again,” he added. While Verstappen has his opinion, his fellow F1 drivers seem to have differentiating opinions to his own regarding the filming of Drive to Survive and its effect on the sport and those on the grid.
Even teammate Sergio Perez very much backed the series, while most others had positive to say about the show in a larger context. Here’s few of them who shared positive remarks about the show:
Lando Norris: “I’m fine with it, you can choose a lot of things which almost go in and don’t go in. So I’m happy. I think it’s a cool thing, especially coming to America, there’s so many people which are now into F1 just because of watching Drive to Survive. I think I’ve come across on it. I hope I don’t come across it in a bad way or an idiot or anything. But no, I think they do a good job. I watch it every now and then, I’ve not actually watched the whole thing or even one episode. But from my side it’s fine. I can’t really speak on behalf of Max.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “For sure there’s times where you want a little bit of space or privacy. But I think if you let them know ‘no cameras in this room’ then they’re pretty good with that. It’s been okay. I guess we have a bit of a different relationship with them.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I don’t watch it, so I have no idea what they’ve done. But I said it even to them when they were filming, as minimum as I can be a part, I’m happy about it.”
Sergio Perez: “Firstly, I really respect Drive to Survive because I think what it has done to Formula 1 is tremendous. It’s really something that I appreciate. Honestly, at the beginning, I thought it was not big or important for our sport. And then secondly I think it creates some drama, probably. The way they sell the sport is bit of a drama because I can imagine that it’s a show. But at the end of the day it’s good for the sport and it’s good for the fans. So I’m happy with it.”
Esteban Ocon: “I think Netflix has changed a lot of my life, not just the public stuff, but also in my career. It has made the perception of me in difficult times where I didn’t have a seat, that came out and people could actually see that I was desperate to have a drive again. That probably helped for my career to come back. Of course it’s a big difference since Netflix has come to Formula 1 and opened it to the fans which are not the hardcore fans, but more general public that didn’t know so much about motorsport or F1. From the outside, before, we could look quite robotic and it was a repetitive sport and we couldn’t see the characters that are inside this paddock. I just think it’s fantastic that we can see all of that now.”
The story was written by Selena Aburas
Here’s Top 50 Most Marketable list