Netflix’s Drive to Survive “allows us to pay all salaries,” says McLaren F1 CEO
Netflix’s Drive to Survive is considered a great addition to F1, particularly for the way it has brought new audiences and eyes to the sport. However, the show has also received some criticism for the way it portrayed some things.
However, McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes drivers need to understand that despite the somewhat inappropriate depictions, the audience is bringing Drive to Survive help to pay their bills.
“I think Netflix has been outstanding for Formula 1. I am delighted that we have extended our partnership for a few more years. Our entire ecosystem starts with the fan and when you get the fan you have countries that want to host races, you have broadcasters that want to spend money and want to broadcast our event, which then all trickles down to the race teams who then allow us all the salaries to pay the men and women who work on our racing teams, including the drivers.”
Zak Brown acknowledges the disconnect that could be present in Drive to Survive
At the same time, however, there was a certain acceptance of Zak Brown in the way Drive to Survive incorporates a degree of dramatization. He acknowledged that there was certainly a degree of separation not only for the riders but also for the other members of the paddock.
Despite this, Brown, like any educated businessman, quickly realized that the Netflix series still helps pay the bills and improve the way the teams and drivers make a living. He said:
“And I think sometimes there’s a disconnect from different people in the sport and I don’t just say drivers that are kind of a mismatch and if they say I don’t want to race here then I don’t want to do this or I do don’t want to get into that the ecosystem ultimately depends on all of us who make a living from this great sport. So I think we need to stay fan-centric and acknowledge what Netflix has done for our sport. I think we can maybe tighten up the way they show the content made for TV a little bit, so expect there to be some dramatization as long as they keep the theme accurate, and I think they have we gave them feedback.”
Drive to Survive has been extended by two years, primarily due to the impact on the US market. With that in mind, the series, likely with some changes in the future, is here to stay.