Nico Rosberg makes Drive to Survive ‘disaster’ comment over Lewis Hamilton tensions

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have a tense relationship, following years of friendship.

2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has insisted that had Netflix’s hit docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ been around during his title-winning campaign, it “would have been a disaster”.

Since the first season of Drive to Survive (DTS) aired in 2019, the show has taken F1 to new heights, particularly in North America.

Those in the United States of America have become significantly more invested in F1 since watching the Netflix series, which goes behind-the-scenes during each Grand Prix.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has become a fan favourite as a result of his antics being shown on the series, something which has led to him writing a book and the team having Steiner-themed merchandise.

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F1 has boomed thanks to DTS, which has played an instrumental role in the US having three races on the F1 calendar nowadays.

Most drivers enjoy being filmed by the DTS crew, with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen having been one of the only current F1 stars to speak out against the series.

He actually refused to be filmed during 2021 after accusing the bosses of the show of creating fake storylines, before agreeing to be filmed last year after reaching an agreement with the series.

As Rosberg retired before DTS was created, he never got to experience having a camera follow him almost everywhere during a Grand Prix weekend.

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The former Mercedes driver admits that had DTS been around during his 2016 title success, it would’ve “taken concentration away” from fighting Hamilton for the crown.

Despite this, Rosberg recognises how much good DTS has done for F1 in terms of its viewership.

“No, no, no, that would be horrible,” Rosberg told City A.M. “That would have been horrible because it would have taken concentration away from me actually winning the championship. That would have been a disaster.

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“What F1 did so well with Netflix is that it’s a reality TV show. They got lucky that select individuals like Guenther Steiner [Haas team principal] or some of the team bosses really accepted to be real, even taking the risks associated with that.

“Formula 1 has had an incredible increase in viewership thanks to social media and Netflix which has been phenomenal, but also thanks to the new generation, which is a very exciting generation.

“That’s been great to see and all of us are tagging along in that a little bit but [electric off-road racing series] Extreme E still needs to find other ways to generate audiences and grow.”