IndyCar champion aims thinly-veiled dig at F1’s Drive to Survive

Jamie Woodhouse
Saudi Arabian GP Formula 1 paddock entrance.

The Formula 1 paddock entrance.

Multi-time IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden took a dig at the Formula 1 docuseries Drive to Survive as IndyCar launches its own behind-the-scenes series.

Drive to Survive first aired on Netflix back in 2019 and serves to take the viewer for a deeper look into the world of Formula 1, beyond what the TV cameras capture during a race weekend.

And the show’s success really has been a revelation for the sport, with Formula 1’s popularity now arguably at an all-time high, the explosion of interest in the United States a key driving force behind this boom period.

And now the country will have its own series to look forward to, with IndyCar the subject of the new ‘100 Days to Indy’ programme which will take in the lead-up to IndyCar’s centrepiece event, the Indianapolis 500.

Ahead of the Long Beach Grand Prix, a premiere was held for the first episode of 100 Days to Indy, where Newgarden, who won the IndyCar title in 2017 and 2019, was one of those in attendance.

He would make a reference towards Drive to Survive when he spoke of 100 Days to Indy not needing to “twist” events to entertain, that playing on the fact that several drivers in Formula 1 have criticised the accuracy of the storytelling in Drive to Survive at times.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen had in fact been boycotting the series before returning for the fifth and latest season.

“The competition [in IndyCar] is so good that nothing needs to be made up, unlike some other motorsport products,” Newgarden quipped, as per RacingNews365.com.

“The product [100 Days to Indy] as it is is good enough that they don’t have to search for things or twist things.”

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Drive to Survive has worked wonders for Formula 1

Even if some drivers do feel like Drive to Survive can sometimes get a little too creative with the Formula 1 events that the cameras capture, the show has certainly done its job for the series in a major way.

Sold out grands prix are now a common sight around the calendar as fans flock to see the stars of Formula 1 in action, while the series is now in a position where it has so many requests to host a grands prix that it simply cannot say yes to them all.

Perhaps never before has there been a grid of such financially sound teams which see their value continue to sky-rocket, and Drive to Survive really got the ball rolling on all of this success which Formula 1 is still revelling in.

So, while a little dig at Drive to Survive hurled from the world of IndyCar is all just part of the fun and games, there is a clear reason after all why IndyCar is deciding to follow a similar path in terms of trying to get more eyes onto their product.