Sixteen years after the defeat of Indianapolis, where only six cars competed, the championship reached new heights in the United States this year as the grand stands on the Austin circuit filled to capacity. In fact, F1 has been on the rise in Uncle Sam’s country since the return of the 2012 Grand Prix. A positive spiral that has only accelerated over the past five years under the new control of Liberty Media, is scheduled to land in Miami next year with a second match in the U.S. and a third in the pipeline.
To describe F1’s popular rating in the United States, you should go to Netflix and watch Drive To Survive. This documentary series, which has been in the catalog of the streaming platform since 2019, has helped break down barriers that prevent some people from showing interest in F1, which has created a new wave of fans.
Austin Circuit Director Bobby Epstein spoke last year about the positive impact Drive to Survive on ticket sales for the 2021 race due to the series’s popularity and F1’s deadlock. Ironically, the last big talk about Drive to Survive is about the flaws in the series, including Max Verstappen among the paradoxes.
“For my part, as a pilot, I do not want to be a part of it [de la série]”, Said the pilot Red Bull In an interview with the Associated Press. “They made a few matches that didn’t really exist. So I decided not to be a part of it, and then did no more interviews because there was nothing to show.”
The Dutchman is hard to prove wrong: Last season, back in the year 2020, an episode submitted by McLaren filmed an in-depth rivalry between Lando and Norris. Carlos Science, The final transfer announcement to Ferrari erupted into open warfare … and science was set in the center of another match, this time in the second season, the middle of the pack dominating against Daniel Ricciardo.
Netflix has taken other liberties to improve the plot or at least make it more dramatic. Thus, radio messages, general classification struggles, and pilot transfers (think “Welcome to the Red Bull” In the third season Christian Horner launched Sergio Perez on the phone) is not entirely true to reality, which is annoying to some fans.
The method of exaggerating events is a recipe for success in F1 meme culture today. For a few months now, fans have been enjoying the production of parodies of the commonly named series “How to drive to survive …”, Gaining thousands of views on YouTube. So has Netflix gone too far in the freedoms taken with Drive to Survive, especially if the championship leader no longer wants to participate?
The goal is not to provide fair representation
It is important to remember the purpose of the series. Fans who want to see a fair representation of the events of a season have long realized that this is not the goal of Drive to Survive. This is to increase the veil over Paddock’s personalities to give the audience more access from time to time and to bring a fresh perspective on certain aspects of the championship.
The clearest reference can be found in the series Drive to Survive (formed by the French version as “Pilates de Lore Destin”). Think about what that means. Yes, there are always accidents in motorsport, but excited spectators do not pay attention to this point when they see a grand prix. What he is interested in is competition. But again, in an effort to capture more audiences, the risk factor in Drive to Survive has been highlighted. That’s why combining sound effects often makes dramas even more dramatic.
Verstappen’s criticism then did not find an echo among the pilots. “Yes, they are performing.”, Conceded by Sergio Perez, Dutch teammate. “That’s how they sell the championship. I guess this is a show. Basically, it’s good for F1, it’s good for the fans. I’m happy with that.”
“I’m fine”, Lando Norris added. “I think it’s interesting. There are a lot of people interested in Formula 1 right now, especially in the United States, because they saw Drive to Survive, and I think I made a good impression.”
Norris boss Zack Brown regularly spoke about the benefits of the show. “It attracted a lot of young fans, a huge fan base”, McLaren Director commented. “It had a huge impact on the United States. It’s factual, but I think it’s a little romanticized, and it’s television.
Brown fixed it. There is a theatrical aspect that Diehard fans do not fully appreciate, but in reality, they are not the ones targeting Netflix. Again, the series is not intended to take stock of the season. Mercedes had their own doubts about the impact of Drive to Survive in 2018 and the distraction when filming the first season. But Toto Wolf quickly realized that its benefits were great and that it needed to be maximized.
“We were not Netflix fans at first because we wanted to focus on the performance on the track, I was wrong”, Approved by the Executive Director of Mercedes F1. “It simply came to our notice then. [Drive To Survive] It has been Netflix’s number one documentary for some time. This is now part of Formula 1 and we can see that it is useful. We are a sports discipline and must be loyal to sports values without hypocrisy. But sports is fun, and I think these people brought a whole new perspective and a new dimension.
Earlier this year, the author of this article had a conversation with one of the producers of Drive to Survive about the impact of the series in the United States. He explained that two years ago he spoke to an American family at a hotel in Austin. When she was not interested in F1 before, she became a fan of Esteban O’Connor. To illustrate that, the French should avoid the first season of looking for a steering wheel, one of the main conspiracies.
According to the man, Drive to Survive helped save his career on F1. “[La série] It showed me my hard times when I didn’t have a steering wheel so people could see how much I had to drive again. “, He explained. “It’s really helped revive my career. It’s great to have this access for everyone these days.”
As 140,000 fans set fire to stands on the Austin circuit on Race Day this year, it must be acknowledged that the freedoms taken on Drive to Survive offer more benefits than fewer inconveniences. As with the first season, without Hamilton and Mercedes, Drive to Survive will continue to be successful and increase the number of F1 fans with or without Verstappen.
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