2022 Formula One World Champion Max Verstappen has confessed that he hopes his well-publicised dispute with Netflix over the Drive to Survive documentary series is now over.
At the end of 2021, The Dutch driver revealed that he had declined to be involved in the last season of Drive to Survive. He said he would not be participating in any interviews with the crew. Notably, this was a major blow for the series, which relies on exclusive access to teams, drivers and executives throughout a Formula One season.
Verstappen pulled out of the show after accusing it of falsifying storylines and being “over the top” in displaying clashes between drivers. However, he has reneged on this position and agreed to an interview for the new series.
Speaking at the Red Bull team launch in New York City last week, Verstappen explained what had unfolded. He maintained that he had “always wanted to be part” of the series but that “it needs to be realistic”. Additionally, he sought confirmation that the production team appreciated this point.
“I’m positive of course, because I know it’s also very important for F1,” he said. “I know that it’s important to Formula 1 as well for growing the sport in general.”
“I know that especially being a world champion, that you have to be part of something like that.”
“That’s why we had to talk about it first, and they understood my side of it,” Verstappen continued. “Of course, I understand when you create a show, there needs to be drama, it needs to be exciting.
“But I’m a guy who finds it’s also very important that you’re portrayed well, and that they do not start to copy comments on the different kinds of footage when it didn’t happen like that.”
“I had to explain it to them that that was my view, otherwise I didn’t want to be part of it,” the driver revealed. “But yes, they understood. Let’s see once it comes out what they made of it.
“I think I gave them like 30 minutes or one hour of an interview, and I hope of course they’re going to use it well,” he concluded. “I don’t know when I’m going to watch it, but I hope they’re happy.”
Drive to Survive season five debuts on Netflix on February 24th.