Christian Horner backs Lewis Hamilton

With the rise in popularity of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, concerns have emerged that Formula 1 is moving away from its focus on being a sport towards a reality show.

Christian Horner and Lewis Hamilton have sided with one another in a rare show of solidarity from the old rivals, as the two warn that Formula 1 is being turned into a reality show by the sport’s bosses.

Horner joined Hamilton in claiming that Formula 1 is becoming the “Kardashians on wheels” amid the rise in success of the popular Netflix show Drive to Survive, which has been credited with the sport’s boom in popularity across America.

Since taking ownership of the sport, Liberty Media have looked to grow their reach in America through the addition of two new races, including Miami, which was added last year, and Las Vegas, which will host Formula 1 later this year. 

Speaking to the Financial Times, Horner accepted Hamilton’s concern that, while helpful in growing its popularity, Drive to Survive is making Formula 1 more like a reality show than a sport.

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“I mean, we are now the Kardashians on wheels,” Horner said. 

“I mean, you’re just looking for Guenther Steiner to lose it, or for my friend Toto [Wolff] and I to have a little bit of jousting. 

“It gets you behind the scenes to know the personalities of the drivers a little more and exposes the characters, and it’s not just about the front of the field.

“It’s about the trials and tribulations that go on down the grid, at the back of the grid, what they’re fighting for, so I think that’s the dynamic that has completely changed, and F1, to a degree, it is a bit of a soap opera. 

“I mean the way it operates, the characters involved, the money involved, the politics.”

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Horner’s comments come as the Red Bull team principal confirmed that his team has blocked scenes from airing in the show to protect their secrets from being revealed.

“What you’ve got to remember is that it’s a TV show, they capture hours and hours of content,” Horner said. 

“The problem is they put a microphone on you at the beginning of the day and you forget that they’re there, then you get to the end of the season and they tend to send you the clips of just you and your team.

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“You think: ‘Did I really say that? Did I really call someone a ‘See You Next Tuesday’?’ We can say: ‘You can’t put that in there, there’s a part of the car you can’t show’. That’s the only get out of jail card we have.”

Despite the pressure of being constantly under the spotlight, Red Bull has been riding high in 2023, taking every victory of the season far, including four 1-2 finishes.

In the Drivers’ Standings, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are leading the way, clear of third place contender Fernando Alonso.