Verstappen open to Netflix cooperation

01/07/2022
NEWS STORY

Max Verstappen says he is willing to cooperate with the makers of Drive to Survive but insists that any involvement must be on his terms.

The Dutchman refused to take part in Season 4 of the series citing the liberties taken in the name of artistic licence, the Red Bull driver particularly concerned at the programme’s portrayal of bitter rivalries between drivers when there wasn't any, a typical example being that involving (then) teammate Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

Initially Ferrari and Mercedes wanted no part of the series and gave it a wide berth, preferring to concentrate on the racing, however both had a change of heart, which in turn led to their merchandise flying of the shelves as new fans discovered the sport.

Having opted out of Season 4, which covered the controversial 2021 season, Verstappen was incensed that the programme still managed to include him, the Dutchman claiming that old footage had been used and taken out of context.

Adamant not to take part in Season 5 either, it appears Verstappen may have had a change of heart - no doubt influenced by the effect the series has had on various team and driver bank balances - and has spoken with the producers with a view to becoming more involved.

"I just sat with them and explained how I thought about it, and what I thought went wrong in the past, he told reporters at Silverstone. "It was actually a very good, quick little chat and we'll try to improve from there."

With other drivers having criticised the series insistence on creating drama where there isn't any, Verstappen insists that any involvement must be on his terms, in that he simply wants the narrative to be real.

"That's all I'm asking for," he said. "That's it just more realistic, at least from my side.

"I cannot control, of course, what they do with other drivers," he continued, "but at least I want to be in control with what I'm releasing. That's what we're going to do.

"I hope, of course, that it's going to be good, because I also understand that Netflix really helped a lot for the popularity, especially in the US, and I don't mind playing a role in that but it needs to be good for both of us.

"I understand from people watching it, the whole Drive to Survive stuff, that they want more people in it and a bit more of a personal story," he added. "But of course in the way that I want to be seen, not that you can't control what is being put out there.

"You need to be able to say, 'Sorry guys, I don't really think that makes me look good.' Sometimes you don't even know there is a camera around, and they can use that.

"We had a good chat. So let's see what comes out of it and how much is going to be in it."

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Published: 01/07/2022
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