The new Formula 1: Drive to Survive series will be available to watch on Netflix in 2022, but it won’t be featuring the current World Championship leader Max Verstappen
The new series of Formula 1: Drive to Survive may well not feature its reigning world champion when it airs on Netflix.
A fourth season of the documentary series, covering the current 2021 campaign, is set to be hit our screens in early 2022. Again, it’ s being produced via collaboration between the American pay TV giants and F1, with the aim of giving fans behind-the-scenes insight into the drivers and their teams at races.
It won’t, however, include any backstage scenes with Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver currently leads Lewis Hamilton by six points in the drivers’ standings with just six races of the season to go – and has every chance of landing a maiden F1 title.
But Verstappen has decided not to take part in the new series, saying the show is ‘fake’.
“They faked a few rivalries which don’t really exist,” the Red Bull driver explained. “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.
“The problem is they will always position you in a way they want, so whatever you say, they will try to make you look reckless or trying to make you… whatever fits the story of the series,” he said at the time.
“So I never really liked that. I prefer to just have a one-on-one interview with the person who would like to know me.”
Verstappen’s absence, not to mention the apparent dig at the producers, marks a sizeable blow to the series, which despite its popularity has received criticism before for staging scenes and using fake commentaries.
Indeed, many F1 fans seemed to support Verstappen’s decision, with @TilkeTracks referring to a previous series which highlighted tension between the driver and then teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
“When DTS straight-up lies and portrays him as a villain and Daniel (Ricciardo) as his bitter rival, he is absolutely well within his right to opt-out. DTS is entertaining but often lies through its teeth to create a story.”
@_DaddyBezos agreed, writing: “Don’t blame him, if they just kept it real and didn’t try to add drama for no reason maybe he’d stay.”
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Some however, voiced their disappointment and credited the programmes for broadening the appeal of F1.
@sglick42 said: “I only started following/watching F1 because of the Netflix series. The drama and all-access to the teams is what makes it compelling.”
Undoubtedly, the news will deflate many who would have been relishing insight to the flash points that have occurred this season between Verstappen and seven-time world champion Hamilton, 36.
The enthralling battle between the pair resumes this weekend at the American Grand Prix in Austin.