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Domenicali seeks to address 'dramatization' of Drive to Survive

NEWS STORY
24/03/2022

F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali is to hold talks with Netflix aimed at addressing the increasing amount of 'poetic licence' involved in its highly popular Drive to Survive show.

One of the main complaints against the show has been the desire to create controversy where there is none, one example being the portrayal of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris' relationship at McLaren having been intense and fractious when it was anything but.

Other examples have been added 'fake' dialogue and the showing of scenes out of context in a deliberate attempt to suggest intense rivalry and drama.

Indeed, the manipulation of events has led to complaints from a number of drivers, not least Max Verstappen who refuses to have anything to do with the documentary.

Speaking in Bahrain, Stefano Domenicali revealed that he is to talk to Netflix bosses to address the situation.

"There is no question that the Netflix project has had a very successful effect," Motorsport quotes him as saying.

"However, in order to ignite the interest of a new audience, a tone was used that in some ways focused on dramatizing the story," he continues. "It's an opportunity, but I think it needs to be understood. We talked about it this weekend at a meeting with the teams as well. We will also talk to Netflix, because it is necessary that the story does not move away from reality, otherwise it no longer fits."

Of course, the criticism comes after the series has appeared to do its work, Drive to Survive credited with bringing a whole new generation of fans to the sport, particularly in America.

Indeed, the success of the series can be measured not only by its viewer numbers but the fact that the 2021 United States Grand Prix, which saw around 400,000 fans pass through the turnstiles, is regarded as the best attended F1 race in the sport's history.

Only yesterday, ESPN reported record viewer numbers for last week's season opener, with an average of 1,353,000 viewers tuned in to its broadcasts, the previous high being 1.2 million for the 2021 US GP.

Referring to Verstappen's refusal to participate, Domenicali believes that Netflix should talk to the teams and drivers in order to create a show that has the approval of all participants.

"A driver who refuses to participate because he feels he is not being represented in the right way is not being constructive," says the Italian, "so a dialogue is needed to understand how he can be included in a format that he feels is correct.

"It is a topic that we will address together with the drivers. We have to make sure that a project that has generated such exceptional traction has a language that continues to appeal, but without distorting the image and the meaning of the sport that we live with every day."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by geordiemik, 25/03/2022 21:46

"Why has Toto's wife appeared so often? Oh, I forgot, he's been dragging her around for years now. She did nothing much in the DTM series while he was running the Merc team then popped up at Williams after he bought his way in there. That must make her some sort of expert we all need to here from then. Presumably nobody else in F1 has an 'interesting' wife then."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by trackrecords, 25/03/2022 18:29

"Considering that there are over 122 million homes in 'Merica, ESPN's 1,353,000 viewers represent roughly 1.1% 'penetration'. Seeing as the UK F1 viewing figures are 4.4m - 6.7% penetration - are 3x greater, then surely the UK is the bigger audience and should be the focus of the FIA's efforts and just 'monitor and nurture' the developing 3rd-World market in the USA? "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 25/03/2022 0:15

"I have watched the new series and found it to be entertaining and a welcome 'entre' to the new season. if I have any criticism it is with the continuity which I found slightly confusing and could've been done far better. i am still bemused at the comments of some people who condemn the program. Why would they do that given that they are not forced to watch the program and their professed dissatisfaction of previous seasons would be such that to be consistent that they shouldn't bother with the this new one either. As for certain situations being described by some drivers to be incorrect and erroneous I have heard comments that some drivers were put on the spot for saying something that they would've preferred not to be mentioned. Who really knows? I try to keep an open mind and take DTS simply as a few hours of enjoyable light entertainment in a period of global insurrection and deplorable suffering..... events that are occurring on a daily basis."

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4. Posted by Defiant, 24/03/2022 14:55

"I doubt he'll accomplish anything at all and Max should be applauded for refusing to play along with Netflix and it's fake "Ice Road Truckers" type hype.
"

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 24/03/2022 14:29

"Best way to watch is on fast forward."

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6. Posted by Superbird70, 24/03/2022 13:09

"This story is based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites or entirely fictitious."

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7. Posted by autosteve, 24/03/2022 10:04

"I totally agree with Domenicali. We finally have a whole new generation of fans to the sport,
particularly in America. It will never be okay for everyone. But, let's agree that the sport
needs a new generation of fans along with the current fans.
I feel that this will bring some new conversations to the table. I watch F1 for over 40 years and I have a whole new conversation with those younger fans about F1. They seemed to see it in a more lighter way and I like that.
They ask me all kinds of questions about the drivers and not so much about the cars. As long
as the cars go fast with great overtaking than it's all awesome for them.
It will take many years for those younger ones to really get into the details of the sport, but I noticed
that they are really interested because of DTS."

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8. Posted by Wokingchap, 24/03/2022 9:59

"Its about time too. Surely these important details should have been stipulated in the initial contracts. Max should be applauded for his position, not criticised by Domenicali."

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