Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Netflix’s Drive to Survive has done “a lot of good” for F1 despite taking creative liberties with its portrayal of the sport.
According to him, the overarching narratives that the series often portrays are inevitable, given that it is a TV show trying to cover a full year’s worth of content.
Speaking to GQ Magazine, Horner said:
“Inevitably, there’s always a lot more going on, and of course you’re at the mercy of the producer’s script, so I think that there’s a narrative there that you don’t have control of.
“From a purist’s point of view, you can understand there’s an element of frustration when clips are being added together that perhaps aren’t even from the same event, but again, once you’ve taken that creative license out of it, I think that as a show, as a form of entertainment, its success is undisputed.”
Horner felt that the objective of Drive to Survive was ultimately to provide fans, especially casual followers of the sport, with behind-the-scenes content that is otherwise unavailable from traditional broadcasters.
“They’re making a TV show, what it gives you is a small insight behind the scenes, and it’s engaging a new audience, a young audience, and bringing more fans to the sport. In America, it’s been hugely successful and that’s massively exciting for Formula 1 in general.”
Netflix only showed “snippets and segments” from 2021 Red Bull-Mercedes rivalry
While Netflix’s portrayal of Red Bull and Mercedes’ title rivalry last season made it look heated, Christian Horner believes the two teams always had mutual respect for one another.
Horner believes Drive to Survive took “snippets and segments” from the season to create an entertaining narrative. He said:
“I think there is respect. I’d like to hope there’s respect, certainly between the drivers and their teams. We have to remember Drive to Survive is ultimately a TV show, so they’re taking snippets and segments.
Mercedes and Red Bull were often at odds with each other as their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, respectively, battled for championship glory.
On several occasions, both drivers made contact with each under controversial circumstances, which often boiled over off-track.
Despite the “distractions” from the outside, Horner has claimed that his team never lost their objective – to win the world championship. He concluded:
“But of course it’s a competitive business, it’s hugely competitive – we’re fighting for one of the biggest trophies in sport, and there’s a huge amount involved for big teams. There are always tensions, there are rivalries, and you know, sometimes that boils over.”