Mattia Binotto has revealed that the discussions within Ferrari is ongoing regarding the participation in ESports and Netflix.
The 2019 season will be the third year for F1 to host the ESports series. The first season in 2017, it didn’t run as a team game but mostly individual and last year, every team – barring Ferrari – fielded their own esports racers after selecting them through Pro Draft.
The same is to take place in 2019 as well with the qualifiers already on since April. Majority of the teams already have set racers but they have the opportunity to take in more in the upcoming Pro Draft to compete in an expanded season.
Ferrari has stayed away largely but Binotto sounds positive about their participation – it isn’t certain if they can make it in 2019 even if they decided to open up a team. Alongside ESports, the Netflix ‘Drive To Survive’ programme is another discussion topic.
Both Ferrari and Mercedes stayed away from the largely successful debut season which showcased things outside the Top 2 teams. While the shooting seems to be on for the 2019 F1 season but it is not certain if the deal is already in place.
“I think e-sports and Netflix – both of them are certainly great programmes,” said Binotto. “E-sport is increasing in terms of interest and certainly as Ferrari we are looking seriously into it. We are not yet fully committed to the programme.
“But it’s something where the discussions are ongoing and we will very soon make our own decision.” At the same time, Mercedes hasn’t said no to it either for the second season as Liberty Media wants to have the two big teams in the show.
Meanwhile, Haas’ Guenther Steiner, who received the maximum points for his part, said if the show is helping F1 to gain popularity then it should continue on and the team would continue to be part of it in the future.
“I didn’t see it,” he said to media in Barcelona. “I don’t know how successful it is because there were no ratings, so I’m told and Netflix never gives them, but I think everybody was positive about it, so I guess it helps.
“It should help to bring people in who don’t normally watch the races, who see this. There are more people watching Netflix than F1. If the people watch it and then get interested in F1, that should help us. That should help us all, and it’s a good thing in my opinion.”