Drive to Survive chief details how Netflix will ‘tread that line’ on Christian Horner Red Bull saga

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen creates a shower of sparks after running over the kerb in 2024 Australian Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen creates a shower of sparks after running over the kerb in 2024 Australian Grand Prix practice

Drive to Survive executive producer James Gay-Rees knows he faces a delicate balancing act to ensure everyone is satisfied with how the show documents the off-track turmoil which Red Bull faced.

While Red Bull began the F1 2024 campaign in dominant fashion with comfortable back-to-back 1-2 finishes, off the track tensions were high in the aftermath of Red Bull GmbH dismissing a case brought against Horner by a fellow employee.

Drive to Survive will ‘tread that line’ on Red Bull saga

With Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull’s three-time World Champion Max Verstappen, at one stage calling for Horner to leave his position as Red Bull team principal, the futures of Verstappen and the team’s senior advisor Helmut Marko also became in doubt, though the unrest has settled in recent times, Verstappen saying Red Bull are no longer “afraid” he will leave.

And as Formula 1’s fly-on-the-wall docuseries, Drive to Survive will need to “in some capacity” reference what went down for its next series in 2025, though it is wary of doing that in a way which will appease all parties.

“It will have to be referenced in some capacity, yeah,” the show’s executive producer James Gay-Rees told The Telegraph.

“And they will all want it to be told in a particular way, so it’s about treading that line to keep everybody happy, and to keep Netflix happy, and us – so we can sleep at night with the decisions we’ve made.

“I don’t know what he [Horner] got up to – and I genuinely don’t have an opinion on it, but he’s been through it and you wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

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Horner, speaking to media ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, would open up on the toll that this ordeal had taken on him and his family.

“Obviously there’s been an awful lot of coverage surrounding this,” he said. “But one has to go back to the basics of a grievance was raised, it was fully investigated and it was dismissed. And from there, we move onwards.

“I think an awful lot has been made out of this. Obviously, it has been of great interest in different elements of the media for different reasons. I think the time now is to look forward and to draw a line under it. We’re here to go racing.

“It’s obviously been a very trying period. I’m married and have three children and when that intrusion includes your children and the scrutiny that is placed on my marriage…

“I’m very fortunate that I have a beautiful family and a very supportive wife. I’m the only one that has been named in this so of course, it’s, it’s very trying, it’s very challenging.

“Because when there’s children involved, when there’s families, parents, etc, involved, it’s not pretty.

“And the reality is there was a grievance that was raised. It was dealt with in the most professional manner by the group, not by Red Bull Racing, but by the owners of Red Bull Racing, Red Bull GmbH. They appointed an independent KC, that is one of the most reputable KCs in the land. He took time to investigate fully all of the facts. He interviewed all of the people involved together with others of interest. He looked at everything, he had all of the facts and he came to a conclusion where he dismissed the grievance.

“As far as I’m concerned, as far as Red Bull is concerned, we move on and we look to the future.

“And you know, my wife has been phenomenally supportive throughout this, as has my family, but the intrusion on my family is now enough.

“And we need to move forward and to focus on what we’re here for.”

Netflix released its latest series of Drive to Survive in February, which takes a look back at the events of the 2023 season.

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