It is not a secret what Max Verstappen has thought of Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive in the past, but times could be changing.
The Red Bull driver told reporters, per Reuters, “I just sat together with them and I explained how I thought about it and what I thought went wrong in the past and it was actually a very good, quick little chat and we’ll try to improve from there.”
“You have a bit more of a say in how you are going to be portrayed, instead of giving an interview and not being sure what is going to be done with it and the way they put it into the show,” Verstappen continued. “That’s all I’m asking for, that it’s more realistic, at least from my side. I cannot control what they do with other drivers. But I want to be in control with what I’m releasing.”
Verstappen told the Associated Press in October 2021 that he would not be participating in the hit docuseries, adding that in past seasons he’s done interviews for the show and quotes were used for other situations and topics. Now the 24-year-old stood by his previous comments in a March interview with BBC Sport ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying that the show was “faking rivalries.”
During Season 4, a supposed rivalry between McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo played out on the screen, which was the foundation of the second episode.
“I watched two episodes, but I was not very impressed,” Verstappen said to BBC Sport. “It’s just not my thing, faking rivalries.
“Lando and Daniel are two great people I know—they have really great characters and immediately at the second episode it looks like they are not very friendly to each other, and for me that’s not correct and that’s why I’m also not a part of it.”
Verstappen said, per motorsport.com, ahead of the British Grand Prix that his possible return to the series “needs to be more on my terms, otherwise there’s no point to participate.”
The Netflix show has greatly helped build F1’s popularity in the United States, bringing in a wave of new fans across the world. Drive to Survive provides a behind-the-scenes look at the circuit that uses the world as its playground, highlighting the action and providing context to storylines that emerge both on and off the course. There are harrowing moments (like Romain Grosjean’s fiery wreck that almost cost the Switzerland-born driver his life) and complicated decisions displayed (like Pierre Gasly getting sacked by Red Bull and bouncing back to win at Monza with AlphaTauri).
Filming is ongoing throughout the 2022 season with season five expected to be released next spring, and a sixth season is already set for ’24.
More Formula One Coverage: