Drive to Survive editing brings ‘bloody boring’ F1 drivers to life, says David Coulthard

Netflix logo Drive to Survive Credit: Alamy
Netflix logo Drive to Survive Credit: Alamy

Despite a few of the drivers taking umbrage with the editing of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, David Coulthard playfully said they need to do that as most of the drivers are “bloody boring”.

Max Verstappen was one of the more vocal in his criticism, accusing the docuseries of creating “fake” rivalries and said the show was “ruined after the first season”.

He refused to be a part of the show for several seasons but will return for season five having sat down to clear the air with the Netflix team.

Lando Norris also wasn’t overly impressed with their editing as Drive to Survive depicted an incident with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but dubbed it with his radio messages from a different race.

“There’s a bit of me and Daniel going side by side in Turn One when we are not even close and I claim he pushes me off, which is from a completely different race,” explained Norris.

“There are things which may be a bit too much like that and I don’t agree too much with it.”

He added: “When you are the person it’s about, you don’t agree with it so much because it can make you look like you said something at a time and place which is definitely not correct.”

Coulthard, however, has no issue with Netflix’s editing as it spices up what would otherwise be “boring” people.

Speaking at a recent Red Bull event in Dublin, he was asked whether Drive to Survive, which will release season five late next month, had run its course.

He told the media, including PlanetF1.com: “I do see an ongoing interest in this type of slightly not scripted but edited version of the reality, which some of the drivers spoke about.

“They felt some of the conversations being placed in places they weren’t entirely happy about. But the reality is, if it wasn’t done like that, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting and as fun and it’s part of the show, and it’s part of the entertainment.

“I don’t think anyone should be… unless you’re trying to rewrite history or you’re doing something which could be seen as illegal, I think that if it makes them seem more interesting than they are – because most of the drivers are bloody boring! To be honest – Netflix makes them seem quite interesting.”

He added: “It’s not like The Crown or something like that where you have to sort of start with season one, to really understand the journey. I think the nature of the sport is you can jump in at any point.”

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The former F1 driver applauded Drive to Survive for not only seizing the moment but also for bringing Formula 1 across to a “younger generation” of fans.

“Netflix came along at a horrible time for the world with the pandemic, but a brilliant time for Formula One in terms of releasing that with a lot more eyeballs sitting around and watching people,” he said.

“Especially in this emerging markets, like America, have really turned into Formula One. And I think that is engaged with a lot of the younger generation in Europe that maybe we’d lost a little bit because Formula One isn’t always the sort of lap for lap excitement.

“It’s more of a chess match than it is bang, bang, bang of on-track action. So anything that’s good for one of the biggest sports, which is in the case of motorsport, Formula One, I think has to be good for all motorsport, because everyone’s sort of tuning into to see what’s going on.”

The Scot also weighed in on social media and the fact that many of the drivers have their own Twitter or Instagram accounts.

That, he says, is an important part of their “business strategy” in today’s world and that being a “good” driver is no longer enough.

“I think there’s a lot more pressure on younger professionals now because being good at your actual performance is one thing, but having all of the social following and putting the time and effort into that, I never lived through that generation,” he explained.

“And, of course, I’m on Instagram and Twitter, and there’s times I’m going I just can’t be bothered to but that’s my feeling, that’s my mistake, but I’m of a different generation busy with other things.

“But I think the younger generation have to be engaged with that, that has to be a big part of their business strategy away from their actual sports endeavour.”

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