Guenther Steiner on why Netflix-induced fame feels like a ‘burden’

Thomas Maher
Guenther Steiner speaking into a microphone. Baku, June 2022.

Haas' Guenther Steiner speaks into a microphone in the media pen. Baku, June 2022.

Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner has reflected on how his own star has risen as a result of the Netflix show Drive to Survive.

Steiner became one of the primary stars of the Netflix series Drive to Survive almost immediately when the show was first introduced to the world on the streaming platform.

With the show concentrating on the personalities of the sport, as opposed to purely focusing on the on-track racing, Drive to Survive quickly propelled Steiner into the limelight as more casual observers of the sport loved his no-nonsense, down-to-earth style of management.

With the show making a household name of Steiner to rival the likes of Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, he has explained that such fame has come as something of a “burden”.

“I did my job, people liked what I do,” he told the UK’s Mirror.

“Liberty Media and Netflix got the best out of it and, all of a sudden, a lot of people know you! But it’s not something that I planned years ago, thinking ‘I need to be this, that, and the other’. It just happened, and sometimes it is quite a burden as well. Everybody watches you, a lot of people know you.”

But Steiner is willing to welcome the loss of his own obscurity, as the general popularity of F1 figureheads means a stronger sport overall.

“In general, for Formula 1 it’s good,” he said.

“If a younger generation of people are interested in Formula 1, that secures our future. And it’s not only me – a lot of other people were in it as well. It’s just the modern times of Formula 1, it’s what people want to see.

“We gave them what they wanted to see and, all of a sudden, you’re in the middle of it. It’s a bit more tiring now than it was three or four years ago, but you just plan for it and live with it. I have to do more interviews now. But you can ask everybody in the team, nothing changes.”

As for why his personality has resonated so much with show viewers, Steiner believes it’s because there is no act, no falseness, to how he comes across.

“I think it’s because I don’t change – they filmed me doing my job, I didn’t act or play anything and that is the reason why I don’t watch it. I don’t want to change,” he explained.

“I don’t think I would be happy with how I see myself or how I act, so the best is not to look and then we stay who we are and we do the same job. If people like it, fine. If they don’t like it, fine with me as well, I’m not getting upset about it.

“I think people like it because it is genuine, there is no playing an act. I don’t have any social media channels at all myself, thank god – that could be damaging!”

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