Motorsports

Verstappen annoyed by Netflix portrayal of Norris

Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen said the portrayal of Lando Norris in the latest series of Netflix’s Drive to Survive justifies his own decision to not take part in it.

Verstappen did not take part in filming last season, meaning the series had to rely on TV interviews for the Red Bull driver in what was a championship winning season.

Last year Verstappen explained his frustrations with the popular series, which is credited for the huge boost in global interest in F1, for the way he felt it made up rivalries.

Verstappen cited episodes which played up tension between himself and then-Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in 2018.

Ricciardo’s switch to McLaren and his relationship with new teammate Norris featured strongly in this year’s series of the 2021 season, which came out in February.

Verstappen felt that showed how Netflix skews reality.

“They try to pick moments throughout the season and fabricate it in a way,” Verstappen said on Friday.

“For me, personally, what I didn’t like was about Lando and Daniel. I think they are two great guys, really nice first of all, and they made it look like Lando was a bit of a d—, which he isn’t at all.

“I know Lando and I think many people know Lando. He’s a funny guy, a great guy, he has a great character and when you look at that episode you think ‘who is this guy? What is going on?’

“I think when you are new to the sport and you’ve never seen a Formula One car in general, they do like him and why should that be? Because he is a great guy. You just immediately get a wrong picture of a person and that’s exactly what I think about me in the beginning.

“I’m someone who when you ruin it from the start, you don’t fix it, that’s it, you’ve ruined it. So that’s my stance and that’s how I’ll go forward.”

Verstappen said he was surprised to see interviews he had done feature in the latest Netflix season and suggested they weren’t all from 2021.

“I watched a few episodes of the last one and I was surprised I suddenly found myself talking in it. It’s probably stuff from 2018 or something they picked up and used again about fighting and what I like to do. That of course was not correct, I could already hear my voice was a bit different.

“A lot of times I was saying stuff and they had the beam [microphone] around so I have to be a bit more careful with that. It’s just not my thing.”

F1 drivers are set to talk to series CEO Stefano Domenicali about the future of the series to discuss growing frustrations at its content.

Last week, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez also voiced frustration at how Netflix portrayed the team’s championship fight with Mercedes, and also how it had used so little of the filming he had done with them ahead of his home race in Mexico.


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