2019 German GP Humiliation Changed Attitude to Drive to Survive Crew: Mercedes

February 21, 2021 1:40 pm

Netflix’s Drive to Survive series is a huge hit among the F1 cars. It takes us in-depth with what goes on behind the scenes in the paddock. For certain race weekends, they will earmark a specific team to exclusively cover, like they did with Mercedes at the 2019 German GP.

And we all know how that went for them! Celebrating their 125th anniversary in motorsports, the Silver Arrows unveiled a special livery. But the race went horribly wrong; Valtteri Bottas crashed out in wet conditions while Lewis Hamilton could only muster a ninth-place finish.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Since they are usually so flawless over a race weekend, it begs the question of whether the crews’ behavior changes in the garage when Netflix is filming. Mercedes’ technology director Mike Elliott is on hand to answer this question.

“I am gonna have to tell you this story now, and anybody that’s in the factory will know about this. When the directors go to the racetrack, they write a report to the factory and say what’s going on.

“And on the Thursday of the German Grand Prix, that was the Grand Prix of Netflix where we’re all dressed up in funny outfits because it was the anniversary of Mercedes, the first thing I sent out that weekend, the last paragraph of the thing (report) to the factory said, ‘We have Netflix here, we’re wearing silly uniforms since the anniversary, what could possibly go wrong.’ And then we had a disaster of a weekend!,” Elliot continued.

“It’s inevitable people’s behaviors change when you’ve got campers shoved in their faces and you know where it’s going.”

Netflix accompanied Mercedes at the 2020 Russian GP

Understandably, when Netflix decided to film them at last season‘s race in Sochi, they were afraid of the curse striking once again. Credit to them, they took it all in a sporting manner.

In some ways, the curse did strike again as the stewards handed Hamilton a 10-second time penalty, even though Bottas took the checkered flag. So, it will make for interesting viewing once again, uncovering all the drama behind the scenes in Russia.

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Bharat Aggarwal

Bharat Aggarwal works as a multi-sports author for EssentiallySports. His interests in sports include but are not limited to NBA and Formula 1. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of commerce, Delhi University. He has previously worked as a sports copywriter and social media handler for Multiple Cricket gaming apps.

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