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

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

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021