Helmut Marko on Formula 1 axing Drive to Survive

Max Verstappen previously boycotted Netflix hit docuseries Drive to Survive due to their producers fabricating rivalries.

Dr Helmut Marko, an influential figure at Red Bull, has raised the question of whether Formula 1 will eventually find it unnecessary to collaborate with the producers of the officially-sanctioned Netflix series, Drive to Survive. 

In an interview with motorsport-magazin.com, Marko highlighted the substantial increase in Formula 1’s viewership, estimating it to be around 20 percent. 

However, he also acknowledges that many insiders are well aware that the documentary-style production of Drive to Survive has “nothing to do with reality”.

“It was the breakthrough for Formula 1 in America and as long as the number of viewers and the interest are there, you can discuss whether it makes sense or is necessary,” he added.

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While recognising the positive impact the series has had on Formula 1’s growth, Marko contemplated the necessity of its continuation, suggesting that, as long as the viewership numbers and interest remain high, it is worth discussing whether the collaboration with Netflix makes sense.

Marko believes that the attraction of the Netflix series lies in the fascination it offers as a counterpoint to other aspects of modern life. 

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He speculated that the audience is drawn to the show due to a desire for something different and exciting, particularly in contrast to the prevailing trend of restricting and criticizing activities that provide enjoyment.

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As the debate continues, Marko emphasized that ultimately, it is the interest and demand of the viewers that will shape the future of Formula 1’s involvement with Drive to Survive. 

“But the interest is what prevails – and as long as people want that, why shouldn’t they have it?” he continued.