July 12, 2024

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 at a team photograph. 27.11.2016. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Race Day. Photo credit should read: XPB/Press Association Images.

Nico Rosberg makes Drive to Survive ‘disaster’ comment over Lewis Hamilton tensions

Nico Rosberg, the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion, has emphasized that if Netflix’s popular docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ had been available during his championship-winning season, it would have been problematic. Since the show’s debut in 2019, it has significantly elevated F1’s popularity, particularly in North America. The United States has witnessed a surge in F1 interest, with the series providing an insider’s look into each Grand Prix.

Guenther Steiner, the Haas team principal, has gained popularity through the series, leading to the creation of a book about his experiences and the production of Steiner-themed merchandise for the team. ‘Drive to Survive’ has played a pivotal role in the expansion of F1 in the United States, contributing to the addition of three races to the F1 calendar.

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While most drivers appreciate being featured on the show, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen initially opposed it in 2021, accusing the producers of fabricating storylines. However, he later agreed to be filmed in 2022 after reaching an understanding with the series.

As Rosberg retired before the creation of ‘Drive to Survive,’ he never had the experience of being followed by cameras throughout a Grand Prix weekend. He acknowledges that if the series had been available during his championship-winning year in 2016, it would have diverted his focus from the title battle against Lewis Hamilton. Despite this, Rosberg acknowledges the positive impact ‘Drive to Survive’ has had on F1 viewership.

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In a statement to City A.M., Rosberg expressed, “No, no, no, that would be horrible. That would have been horrible because it would have taken concentration away from me actually winning the championship. That would have been a disaster. What F1 did so well with Netflix is that it’s a reality TV show. They got lucky that select individuals like Guenther Steiner [Haas team principal] or some of the team bosses really accepted to be real, even taking the risks associated with that. Formula 1 has had an incredible increase in viewership thanks to social media and Netflix, which has been phenomenal, but also thanks to the new generation, which is a very exciting generation. That’s been great to see, and all of us are tagging along in that a little bit, but [electric off-road racing series] Extreme E still needs to find other ways to generate audiences and grow.”

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