Is Max Verstappen’s F1 Drive to Survive Criticism Fair?

Published 10/22/2021, 5:35 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Formula 1, having primarily originated from Europe, has managed to rise up as one of the most popular racing series in the entire world. And part of the credit goes to the owners, Liberty Media, who were the crucial factor in bringing Netflix into the paddock. But, recently, Max Verstappen, expressed disinterest in the streaming platform.

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How it all started: Purpose of Drive to Survive

Back in 2018, Netflix created a documentary series – Formula1: Drive to Survive – exclusively dedicated to the sport itself. In season 1, it was all about how F1 worked, including the concept of rivalries, and other in-depth technical content.

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This certainly gave fans, especially the ones in and around the United States, a reason to watch Formula 1, which was often overshadowed by other sports like NFL, NBA, Indy Series, and NASCAR. However, moving into the follow-up seasons, there was visible desperation; The show started finding ways to make the sport even more appealing.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

And the only way of accomplishing that is by adding elements that are hardly true. One of them is triggering a rivalry between Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. The duo has been inseparable ever since McLaren teamed them together in 2019. And their bromance will likely remain unaffected in years to come.

Hence, creating such false stories led to Max Verstappen showing resentment towards the series. And he further revealed that he would no longer be a part of the DTS team.

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Is the Max Verstappen claim reasonable?

The Dutchman had two different reasons for opting out of DTS; One, creating fake rivalries, and the other, lack of real facts. Well, there are two ways to look at this.

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An F1 fan would certainly be unhappy with the fact that DTS is adding non-existent elements into the show, creating hype, which to the naked eye, isn’t even worth it. However, there is another perspective to this.

Although the main theme is Formula 1, DTS is still a TV show, and the primary target of Netflix is to garner enough audience which leads to bigger financial turnover. And it has obviously worked with the 3 seasons. Hence, laying accusations against the streaming platform for creating false stories might seem a bit stale.

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Even though it is a documentary series, blending fiction into the story is part of the game. So, Netflix are definitely not going to give up on their style of scripting the upcoming seasons of DTS. And if that is indeed the case, will Verstappen stay away from Netflix forever?

Watch Story: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

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Rohit Kumar

1426 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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