The F1 Netflix Drive to Survive producer James Gay-Rees speaks up on Season 3 and overall success of the show, among other things.
The Australian GP’s official podcast, In the Fast Lane, had F1 Drive to Survive producer Gay-Rees, as its guest, who spoke on the success of the Netflix show, which has not only helped the sport, but also the OTT platform with wide range of shows.
Gay-Rees opened the podcast talking about the cancelled 2020 Australian GP, where Box to Box Films’ Paul Martin phoned him to abstain from traveling for the grand prix. He answers why the docu-series didn’t focus much on COVID-19 in Season 3.
Moving on to the people they did show, there was more light on Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll in Season 3, who complimented the usual people like Christian Horner, Guenther Steiner, Daniel Ricciardo, etc, where Lando Norris joined the fray too.
He admitted to it being challenging with the likes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. But added, they are getting more comfortable now with the F1 teams. Talking about 2020 Bahrain GP, the idea was to cover Sergio Perez but Romain Grosjean’s accident changed it.
They still managed to get the things required with Perez, but the increased relationship with F1 teams, helped them to switch to Haas very quickly. On a general level, Gay-Rees is hugely satisfied that Drive to Survive has helped both F1 and Netflix.
He admits that the hardcore fans are the show’s biggest critics, but he understands their point of view. Going back to the initial idea, Gay-Rees revealed that they first had an idea to create a Red Bull related series, when they met couple of times in Abu Dhabi.
But they took the idea to Liberty Media, who readily agreed, where even the current boss Stefano Domenicali is happy with the step. Gay-Rees also talked why the series has worked, as it presents the human element of the sport in a big manner.
He notes about the 2020 Russian GP won by Valtteri Bottas, but no one from Mercedes celebrated it as much, because they were at the stewards room discussing Lewis Hamilton’s penalty call. That sort of human element is refreshing for any type of fan.
When asked of old times, Gay-Rees – who also co-produced Senna documentary – immediately thought of covering the Brazilian then, along with James Hunt. He revealed that his father worked at a time when Senna’s Lotus was sponsored by John Players.
Answering some fan questions, Gay-Rees revealed of shooting a seat fit of Grosjean, which hinted on the Frenchman getting ready for his farewell F1 test. Mercedes had offered him and talks were on behind the scenes and it looks to be happening certainly.
He also answered why George Russell was missed out in Season 3, citing lack of time, while talking about the future, he noted of how the 2021 F1 season will play out and also the 2022 changes. He revealed of the crew filming Red Bull and McLaren in Bahrain.
Here’s the podcast:
Here’s all the In the Fast Lane podcast: https://www.grandprix.com.au/fan-zone/podcast#:~:text=In%20the%20Fast%20Lane%20is,racing%20news%20and%20talking%20points.
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