Max Verstappen wary of Drive to Survive return: ‘I hope I will be happy after watching’

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen smiling. New York, February 2023.

Max Verstappen smiling. New York, February 2023.

Max Verstappen may have been interviewed for the new series of Drive to Survive but is still wary as to how he will be portrayed.

Although the Netflix series has drawn a huge new audience to the sport, frustrations with the way it portrays certain events have grown over the years.

A particularly fabricated moment from the series, which premiered in 2019, was a perceived bad blood between team-mates Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris at McLaren when the reality was far from what was being shown.

Two-time World Champion Max Verstappen has been the most vocal opponent of the show, going as far as refusing to be interviewed for the previous season which means his title-winning campaign of 2021 featured no words from the Dutchman himself, as he believed the series was “fake” and was unhappy with the way he was being portrayed.

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Verstappen has since relented, agreeing to the show’s traditional sit down interview for the 2022 season, but revealed he spoke with the producers before doing so and is hoping he will be “happy after watching” the new series which airs later this month.

“I spoke with them before I gave an interview with them,” he told media during Red Bull’s RB19 launch event in New York City.

“I of course hope they understood my message and I also know that being a world champion, you have to be a part of something like that so I think I gave them like 30 minutes or an hour of interview.

“I hope they are going to use it well.

“I don’t know when I am going to watch it but I hope I will be happy after watching it.

“I know it is important to F1 for growing the sport in general.”

Despite being a fly-on-the-wall style documentary, the Netflix cameras have become an increasingly visible character within the paddock.

Following a high-tempered meeting between the team principals last season over porpoising, Toto Wolff was reported to have been irate, leading his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner to suggest there had been an “element of theatre” due to the Netflix cameras also being in the room.

Netflix do not release viewing figures for any of their programmes but given Drive to Survive has already been renewed for a fifth season and the format has now been copied for tennis, there is still strong reason to believe it is one of the streaming service’s most popular offerings.