F1 News: Carlos Sainz Blasts Netflix's Drive to Survive For 'Exaggerated' Rivalries

Carlos Sainz criticized Netflix's "Drive to Survive" for exaggerating rivalries among Formula 1 drivers, misrepresenting their real relationships for entertainment purposes.
Jun 7, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ferrari driver driver Carlos Sainz (ESP) in the pit lane during the practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ferrari driver driver Carlos Sainz (ESP) in the pit lane during the practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Sainz has openly accused the popular Netflix series "Drive to Survive" of manipulating footage to amplify rivalries among Formula 1 drivers, potentially misrepresenting their true relationships. The series, which has significantly boosted F1’s global viewership over its six seasons, often portrays these sportsmen in heightened states of conflict. Sainz shared these insights on the Nude Project podcast, where he discussed the discrepancies between the series' dramatic narratives and the real dynamics among drivers.

Specifically, Sainz pointed to the portrayal of his relationship with former McLaren teammate Lando Norris. He argued that "Drive to Survive" depicted them more as fierce adversaries than the friendly colleagues they actually are. This misrepresentation, he suggests, serves the series' aim to deliver a gripping, entertainment-focused storyline at the expense of factual accuracy. He explained:

“In F1 we get along well with each other among the drivers.

“Now maybe we are in a trend in all sports where there is more respect and sportsmanship than before in the time of [Valentino] Rossi, [Jorge] Lorenzo, [Marc] Marquez, or in football with [Zinedine] Zidane and [Marco] Materazzi. There is more harmony.

“But thanks to Netflix, battles or characters have been created that don’t really exist in some cases. Netflix has been in charge of dramatising this and giving it a Hollywood touch. It’s true that the duels exist, but they’ve been exaggerated. It’s Hollywood.

“Lando Norris and I are colleagues. Rivals and colleagues. They did an episode in Season 4 where we looked like archenemies. We were team-mates and we seemed to get on terribly.

“In Australia at the start of the new F1 season we met and I said to him: ‘Have you watched Netflix?’ He said yes and we were laughing about it for a while. Even a fan who has been following F1 for a long time and knows the details laughs at that episode. They take one line there, one line there, to try and create that rivalry.”


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Lydia Mee

LYDIA MEE

Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.