As a two-time world champion, Max Verstappen seems to be the perfect candidate to appear in the Drive To Survive docuseries but until season 5, the driver had famously boycotted the show and refused to take part in interviews.
Since Netflix released Drive To Survive in 2019, the series has helped Formula 1 grow exponentially, bringing in new fans with its behind-the-scenes look at the pinnacle of motorsport.
However, the series has not been loved by all with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen famously refusing to take part in Drive To Survive until the upcoming fifth season but why exactly did the Dutch driver boycott the documentary in the past?
WHY DID MAX VERSTAPPEN BOYCOTT DRIVE TO SURVIVE?
Max Verstappen previously boycotted Drive To Survive due to claims that the series misrepresented drivers and team members by over-dramatizing certain elements of the sport, such as playing up rivalries that weren’t as fierce in reality.
Speaking to Next-Gen Auto, the Dutch driver explained his motivations for not wanting to feature in the documentary series.
“I understand they want to bring more fans to F1 – and it works,” the driver began. “But a lot of scenes are literally copied and pasted, even with sentences, things that have been said and that I know were not said at the time wanted by the editors.”
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to someone who doesn’t understand Formula 1, they discover the sport and will quickly forget about it,” he added. “But if you’re a diehard fan, DTS is not realistic. You’re looking to see the season from another angle and some of the montages have shocked.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN TO FEATURE IN DRIVE TO SURVIVE SEASON 5
With Red Bull becoming the dominant force in Formula 1 during the 2022 season, it was almost essential for the Netflix docuseries to include the now two-time world champion.
Luckily for both fans and producers alike, Verstappen and the show’s creators have reached an agreement to “keep it real” this time around.
“It’s good to have found solutions, to see what we expect from each other,” Verstappen said. “And I think the interview I gave them was good. I just wanted to keep it real. You know, no fake stuff. No overhyped things. Because I’m not like that. I just want it to be consistent, to be my opinion and how I see the things that we will see in the upcoming DTS season.”
“Of course, we still need to see the final product but all this looks good,” he continued. “I know it’s important for Formula 1 that the champion participates. So we reached an agreement and I’m very happy about that.”
F1 CEO SAYS CHANGES ARE COMING
While Drive To Survive has been a huge success for Formula 1, even the sport’s CEO has admitted that elements of the series needed to be changed for future seasons.
Speaking to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport in March 2022, F1 CEO and former Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali, said that adjustments will be made to address the concerns of faking rivalries or over-dramatizing certain moments.
“It is to be understood that the dramatization is part of the path to ignite interest, but in this sense, there are themes that need to be redefined,” said the Italian.
“If a driver refuses to participate because he is not being presented as he wants, we will talk about it constructively,” Domenicali added. “‘Tell us how you want to be presented and we’ll find a way.’”
“Netflix managers are already meeting with the teams, but we are on the topic of culture and language. If you want to be in touch with the US market, you have to speak that language – we need to adjust,” he concluded.