Max Verstappen has revealed he is refusing to take part in the upcoming series of Netflix’s hit Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive.
The series offers fans a behind-the-scenes look at the F1 season via exclusive interviews with drivers, team principals and other key figures in the sport, and has proven extremely popular with audiences since its debut back in 2018.
Drive to Survive is credited with an explosion of popularity in Formula 1 around the world, particularly in the United States, where Grand Prix rights-holder ESPN says the sport’s viewership had grown from around 547,000 people in 2018 to almost 1 million in 2021.
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo believes the show has had a positive influence, saying: “I definitely feel F1 is becoming much more of a thing here in the States. Drive to Survive put it on the map.”
Drivers Championship leader Verstappen, though, feels the way the show is produced and edited is disingenuous and values manufactured drama over reality. “They faked a few rivalries which don’t really exist,” the Red Bull driver explained ahead of this weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. “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.
He added: “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 currently leads Lewis Hamilton by six points in the standings with six races remaining.
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