‘Then it is not me anymore’: Steiner reveals why he doesn’t watch Drive to Survive

Guenther Steiner has been quite the star in the first four seasons of Netflix's Drive to Survive docuseries.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed that he has no interest in watching Drive to Survive, despite the stardom it has cultivated for him.

The Netflix docuseries first hit our screens in 2019 when it documented the 2018 Formula 1 season, and the first episode featured Steiner telling team owner Gene Haas that they looked like “clowns” after a double-retirement for Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean due to botched pit stops in Melbourne.

They were set to finish fourth and fifth respectively, making for a heart-breaking result for the American outfit.

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The Italian was then heard shouting at his drivers in the aftermath of the British Grand Prix a year later when the pair came together on the first lap, eliminating both of them from the race and ruining the team’s plans to gather data from differing set-ups after their season had spiralled downwards.

He then stormed out of his office, hunting down the Dane after he slammed Steiner’s door after the dressing down.

Last year, Nikita Mazepin was certainly not safe from the 57-year-old’s tirades either after Steiner said “that’s why people hate you” on the pit wall upon hearing a spicy radio exchange.

The memes did not stop there, the three points finishes scored by Magnussen since his return this year have led the Haas social media team to “upgrade” the boat he was captured advertising with Mick Schumacher as the team sought to bolster their finances last season.

However, the Haas boss reveals that he has never watched an episode of the popular show, insisting that he does not want to become the star and lose the humility that makes him who he is.

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“I didn’t even watch the shows, any of them,” he said in an interview with Crash.net.

“Obviously people tell me what is in there and I remember it because I was there when they filmed it! So, I know roughly what is in there, but I don’t know how they edit and all that stuff.

“Why didn’t I watch it? I don’t want to change because it’s me.

“I also don’t listen to myself on radio interviews because it’s just something I don’t enjoy. It’s not like I’m afraid of it, I just don’t enjoy it.”

He remains adamant that playing up to the Netflix cameras would be detrimental to his day job which, unequivocally, solely involves ensuring the best possible results for his team.

“With Drive to Survive, the biggest thing is, if I watch it, you try to do different and [be] better, whatever better is. But then it is not me anymore. Then I have to put effort into doing that and then I cannot focus on my job,” he explained.

“My job is running an F1 team, it’s not being an actor. As much as people say, ‘Oh you are a good actor,’ no, I am not an actor, I am doing my job.

“People obviously come and talk to you and want selfies and I’m recognised, but I do not feel like a star. This was not on my career plan.”

The show has received criticism since its inception due to its tendency to fabricate rivalries between drivers, with Max Verstappen confirming that they have “faked” a lot of the storylines included in the series.

In fact, the ratings have gone from 89% in season to just 17% in season four on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is evident that their apparent incapacity to accept the feedback from the likes of Verstappen has begun to get on a lot of viewers’ nerves too.

READ: Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen call for change

It has however encouraged the growth of an American demographic, which will undoubtedly bring in a lot more revenue for the pinnacle of motorsport, and while the surge in fans of the sport is positive, Steiner affirms that F1 management need to capitalise on the attention they are receiving from its American audience.

“I respect what it does for us and therefore I don’t want to change it. So, I’m okay with it,” he added.

“The popularity has increased in the States for F1. I would say it started about two years ago, last year obviously it ramped up and it keeps going up, so it takes a bit of time.

“Now the corporates and the sponsors need to really realise how much this is worthwhile.

“It’s not that we are doing nothing but, I think we need to, I wouldn’t say take advantage, but exploit the market.”

Haas sit eighth in the Constructors’ Championship thanks to Magnussen’s points hauls, while Schumacher is yet to get off the mark.