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Formula One to discuss “faked” drama on Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’

Netflix’s Drive to Survive season four recorded the turbulent events of the 2021 Formula One season. However, after the show was accused of promoting “faked” drama, Formula One is set to have a meeting with Netflix to discuss the future of the show. 

Drive to Survive has been celebrated in the racing circuit for piquing a global interest in the F1 events. Every year, a new season records the previous season’s events, with the fourth season recording the events of the Abu Dhabi race. 

The 2021 F1 season was a relatively controversial one as Max Verstappen had defeated the reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton, in the race’s final lap. This left the bosses at Mercedes fuming, who accused the race director of deliberately trying to “manufacture drama”. 

Later, Verstappen spoke up about the same and accused the streaming service of manipulating footage to present untrue narratives that also lead to “faking rivalries”. Verstappen, an integral part of Red Bull, refused to partake in the events of the series.  

The CEO of Formula One, Stefano Domenicali, believes that while the show is indeed quite beneficial in boosting the sport’s popularity, they need to ensure “a dialogue” to keep the drivers and the streamer happy. Domenicali recognised the “tone” often employed to dramatise the story. According to him, while “it’s an opportunity”, the idea needs to be conveyed and understood. 

The F1 team had a meeting in Bahrain with the teams to discuss the issue. He referred to Verstappen’s comments by saying, “A driver who refuses to participate because he feels he is not being represented in the right way is not being constructive; so a dialogue is needed to understand how he can be included in a format that he feels is correct.”

The CEO has said that they would have a discussion with Netflix and “address [it] together with the drivers” to ensure “the story does not move away from reality.” 

Since the show’s inception, there has been a steep 40 per cent increase in US viewership for the 2021 race. The upcoming season will be upholding the 2022 Grand Prix. 

Watch the four seasons of Drive to Survive on Netflix now.