Mercedes and Ferrari did fans a disservice claim Netflix documentary makers

25/02/2019
NEWS STORY

The makers of a documentary series on the 2018 F1 season for Netflix have hit out at Mercedes and Ferrari for their lack of cooperation.

The ten-part series, Drive to Survive, which is scheduled for release on March 8, is an access-all-areas fly-on-the-wall documentary made with the full cooperation of the sport's owners, Liberty Media, who hope it will generate interest in the sport in America, and lists F1 commercial director, Sean Bratches, as co-producer.

However, while eight of the teams were happy to work with the documentary makers, thereby giving viewers unique behind the scenes insight, Mercedes and Ferrari refused to play ball.

"Mercedes and Ferrari wanted to operate under different terms to the rest of the teams," says executive producer Paul Martin, "and us, as producers, and Netflix as the broadcasting platform, didn't feel comfortable with that.

"It was going to be all-or-nothing," he continued, "and if those terms were good enough for the eight other teams, it should have been good enough for Mercedes and Ferrari, too. My view is that they did a slight disservice to the fans and the sport by not taking part.

"We were lucky enough that teams such as Red Bull, Renault, Haas, and the others gave us fabulous access and bared their souls," he added.

Among the various baring of souls is said to be footage of Claire Williams questioning whether she is the right person to be leading her team, Christian Horner holding nothing back after his drivers eliminated one another in Baku and Guenther Steiner having a melt-down after both the team's cars retired following unsafe releases in the season opener.

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Meanwhile, there is little mention of the titanic battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, and (sadly) no behinds the scenes of the Italian team's reaction to Sebastian Vettel's errors as the season progressed.

"We were delighted to see that last season's compelling, year-long battle for the championship between Ferrari and Mercedes helped drive 10 per cent growth in unique viewership for F1 worldwide and made the sport the fastest growing in the world on social media," a spokesperson for Mercedes told the Daily Telegraph in reaction to the claims..

"Competing for the world championship is an all-consuming business that demands every ounce of focus from the entire team," the spokesperson continued, "we are driven first and foremost by performance in every decision we make."

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Published: 25/02/2019
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