Verstappen opted out of ‘fake’ Drive to Survive

Jon Wilde
Max Verstappen being interviewed. Red Bull Ring July 2021.

Max Verstappen being interviewed during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Red Bull Ring July 2021.

Max Verstappen has revealed he refused to be interviewed for the series of ‘Drive to Survive’ covering this season.

The reason, he says, is that the Netflix docuseries about Formula 1 has a tendency to “fake rivalries” when such intensity does not “really exist”.

Verstappen is currently embroiled in a titanic head-to-head struggle with Lewis Hamilton for the World Championship, currently six points ahead of the title-holder.

Their relationship has come under strain following two collisions between the duo at Silverstone and Monza, with the stewards adjudicating they were responsible for one each.

But from Verstappen’s perspective at least, the story will not be presented in ‘Drive to Survive’ because he would not allow a film crew to follow him around this year, as they do with other racers and teams on selected weekends.

“I understand it needs to be done to boost the popularity [of Formula 1 in America],” the Red Bull driver told The Associated Press, quoted by Motorsport Week, in the build-up to the United States Grand Prix.

“But from my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it.

“They faked a few rivalries which don’t really exist. So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show.

“I’m not really a dramatic show kind of person. I just want facts and real things to happen.”

Max Verstappen stares out. Istanbul October 2021.
Max Verstappen stares at something after the Turkish Grand Prix. Istanbul October 2021.

In response to whether he expected, given the tight nature of the title race, his rivalry with Hamilton to be hammed up, Verstappen said: “Probably in the Netflix show we will be. One time we bumped into each other walking, so probably that will be in there.

“The problem is they will always position you in a way they want, so whatever you say they will try to make you look reckless or try to make you…whatever fits the story of the series.

“So I never really liked that. I prefer to just have a one-on-one interview with the person who would like to know me.”


The award-winning fly-on-the-wall ‘Drive to Survive’ show began by covering the 2018 season, broadcast the following year, and has become highly popular both with F1 followers and in attracting new fans to the sport – particularly a younger audience and also in America.

The release date for series four has yet to be confirmed but if a similar pattern to this year is followed, we can expect it to be released just before the start of next season.


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