Brown says F1 has to accept Netflix's artistic licence

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says Formula 1 should be happy to accept Netflix's massaging of the truth in Drive to Survive, even though it has upset some fans.

Brown says F1 has to accept Netflix's artistic licence
Listen to this article

The latest series of Drive to Survive has served to divide opinion among F1 supporters, with some revelling in the background insights while others getting riled by the way it has top-spun some drama.

In particular, the frequent cutting in of radio conversations or comments to play up controversy grated with some – and it was noted how it tried to portray a sense of conflict between McLaren duo Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

But despite the criticisms, Brown says F1 has to understand the wider benefits that have come from the Netflix series, which has proved to be hugely popular and help raised the profile of F1. 

"I think Netflix has been great for F1," said Brown ahead of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. "It's been trending number one.

"I think it was number one in 25 countries. So I think the primary goal of Netflix is to entertain and bring new viewers to F1. And I think it's accomplished that tenfold, which is great."

Read Also:

Brown says Netflix's treatment of F1 should be compared to the way that Hollywood frequently puts entertainment over the need to be realistic in movies.

"[Look at] Top Gun," he said. "You watch it, and I'm sure every fighter pilot went, you can't do that in a jet. But it was a great movie.

"So, of course, all of us living in the sport know that Carlos and Lando had a great relationship, and there wasn't the kind of a tension portrayed there.

"Any time you get into a television show, they're going to create some entertainment that we all within the paddock know, maybe it wasn't quite like that.

"But I think that's okay, and I think what's most important is it has done some wonderful things to bring in new fans around the world. So we're very supportive of Netflix and what they're trying to accomplish, even if they take a little bit of creative licence here and there."

Brown's comments have been echoed by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who says he felt uncomfortable at times with some of the Drive to Survive treatment.

Writing in a pre-race column, Horner said: "I was recently asked if I winced whenever I watched it back, the honest answer is yes, constantly!

"It is a TV show but it is also showing a side of the sport that is not normally conveyed during a conventional weekend broadcast.

"It shows some of the characteristics and some of the personalities, which is presented in a certain way to engage the audience. But overall it is very positive for F1 and the popularity seems enormous."

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo: McLaren "worked me pretty hard" over the winter
Previous article

Ricciardo: McLaren "worked me pretty hard" over the winter

Next article

McLaren F1 boss predicts Verstappen-Russell at Mercedes in 2022

McLaren F1 boss predicts Verstappen-Russell at Mercedes in 2022
Load comments
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022