Formula 1 fans may be disappointed to hear Max Verstappen, the current leader in the 2021 drivers championship, won't be participating much in the upcoming season of Netflix's Drive to Survive.
Verstappen told the Associated Press that in past seasons he's done interviews for the show and quotes were used for other situations and topics. He is certainly not the first person in F1 to critique the show's artistic license when it comes to drumming up storylines between drivers and management. The show, however, has led to bigger ratings and increased popularity among Americans in 2021.
“I understand that it needs to be done to boost the popularity in America,” Verstappen told the AP ahead of Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin. “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,” he added. “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.”
Verstappen, 24, has seven wins this season and is seeking his first championship title. He leads seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton by six points (262.5 to 256.5) with six races remaining on the schedule. A win by Verstappen would snap Hamilton's current championship streak that dates back to 2016.
In July, Hamilton collided with Verstappen at the British Grand Prix, which knocked him out of the race as Hamilton cruised to his eighth win at Silverstone. Verstappen went to the hospital to be checked out after his car hit the tire barriers and broke the seat in his Red Bull car.
The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton came to a head at the Italian Grand Prix in September when the two crashed into each other, taking them both out of the race. Verstappen drew criticism for walking away from the incident without checking to see if Hamilton was OK since the Red Bull car was on top of Hamilton's Mercedes.
Verstappen was asked by the AP whether he considers Hamilton a rival.
“Probably in the Netflix show we will be,” he said. “We one time bumped into each other walking, so probably that will be in there.”
The fourth season of Drive to Survive is expected to be released on Netflix in early 2022.
Hamilton goes for his sixth U.S. Grand Prix win at 3 p.m. Sunday. The race will be broadcast on ABC.