Red Bull ace Max Verstappen has launched more criticism at Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive in the wake of its fourth season.
The show documents the behind-the-scenes activities of the teams and drivers, and it has encouraged the awakening of a new demographic in Formula 1, particularly in the United States.
Season four attracted was watched by 8.4 million fans on Netflix in its first week, before over one million fans in the States tuned in to ESPN’s coverage of the opening round of the 2022 season in Bahrain.
Drive to Survive’s latest season then fell out of Netflix’s Top 10 by the end of March.
Sky Sports’ coverage of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was viewed by over two million in the UK, so it is evident that a lot of interest has been garnered from somewhere, and the series, together with the enthralling title fight between Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2021, can probably be credited with that.
However, season four featured no shortage of manufactured drama, such as the forced rivalry between McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, which Verstappen himself suggested made Norris look like a “d***, which he isn’t at all.”
On movies and series review platform Rotten Tomatoes, the series fell from a rating of 89% in season One to just 17% in season four.
The Dutchman has been outspoken about his distaste for the show makers’ tendency to manipulate scenarios to make for more drama, and he opted not to partake in any interviews for season four.
“They faked a few rivalries which didn’t really exist,” he said.
“So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show. I am not really a dramatic show kind of person, I just want facts and real things to happen.”
In the latest round of questions put to him about the docuseries, Verstappen compared it to Keeping up with the Kardashians.
“I saw the benefit initially of course you get more popularity, but for me now I think you reach a stage where it’s a bit more like ‘Keeping up with the Formula One world’ if you know my reference,” he said.
“I think it shouldn’t be like that. It’s better just to make a season review by F1 itself, that’s why it’s nicer to look at. But that’s my opinion.”
One of the other focal points of the season was Yuki Tsunoda, particularly the early part of the season, when he was moved to Italy by Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko to improve his focus and development.
The AlphaTauri driver’s team-mate, Pierre Gasly, simply asks that his personality is not misconstrued by Netflix in their bid to further dramatise the pinnacle of motorsport.
“I don’t know how they [Netflix] get on with other guys. I think on our side with Yuki [Tsunoda], which is what I can compare, it was kind of normal,” he added.
“But obviously as a driver, you don’t want to be portrayed differently than the person you are in reality. I think that’s the main thing that we ask for.”
There is as yet no confirmation of a fifth season of Drive to Survive, but Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has recently labelled season four a “huge success.”