Formula 1 has broken new ground in terms of motorsport’s outreach in recent times. The world’s most exciting and deadliest sport has finally received a great deal of attention from American audiences, where oval racing has ruled for decades. However, Netflix’s Drive To Survive made the sport a big hit in the US in a flash. The show depicts the on-field battle between the teams.

The pandemic also became a major factor in F1’s growing reach as binge-watching became a routine. The series first debuted in 2019 and is currently under production for the fifth season. Drive To Survive provides a more inside perspective of everything that goes on in the background of the on-field fights between top racing teams. This allows F1 to reach wider markets and create a mass appeal. However, despite all the recognition, fans have accused the creators of over-exaggerating on-field rivalries between the teams and drivers. 

The fourth installment of the series depicted the battle between Red Bull and Mercedes for the 2021 championship, which turned into a fierce fight involving drama, crashes, and heated exchanges. The recent season showcased how the rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton kicked off. From there, the show takes the viewers on the journey of a ferocious fight for the F1 title. 

However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently criticized the Netflix drama for turning the sport into a reality show. Wolf insisted that Drive To Survive portrayed Formula 1 like the famous reality show, The Kardashians. The reality show depicts the life of Kim Kardashian and the scandalous scripted family drama. According to Wolff, F1 is basically about athletes in high-performance machines. The Mercedes team principal added, “It’s about life and death. And on top of that, we added Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Toto Wolff Credits Netflix Docuseries For Reaching Out To American Fans

While the former Austrian driver criticized the show for exaggeration, Toto also commended Netflix’s contribution to helping Formula 1 grow, especially in the United States. Wolff shared that F1 was a high-tech niche sport with a high-income demographic, involving some highly academic professionals. 

Toto Wolff Mercedes
Wolff

The Mercedes boss felt it would be easier to reach the audience in big American cities like New York. However, motorsport never managed to grab their attention. The 50-year-old added, “Then Liberty took over, didn’t really move the needle.” Further, Toto pointed out the combination of Netflix, COVID, and binge-watching led to some great momentum for F1 in America, which was quite unexpected

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