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F1 2023

Coulthard defends Drive to Survive for editing 'boring' F1 drivers

While the likes of Max Verstappen have criticised the approach of Neflix's Drive to Survive series, former F1 driver David Coulthard believes that the use of editing helps to make the show more interesting.

F1 2022 Drivers end of year photograph Leclerc Russell Sainz Verstappen
To news overview © XPBimages

David Coulthard has defended Netflix for their use of editing in Drive to Survive, with the former F1 driver suggesting that it makes "boring" drivers more interesting.

Some figures in the sport have criticised the show for this approach in the past. Max Verstappen previously refused to take part in the programme after accusing the makers of manufacturing drama, though the Dutchman will return for the upcoming fifth series.

Others to raise concerns over how Drive to Survive has edited scenes include Lando Norris, who suggested that he didn't "agree" with some aspects of his portrayal in the fourth series.

However, Coulthard feels that the use of editing is justified.

Coulthard: Drive to Survive makes F1 drivers more interesting

"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," Coulthard told PlanetF1.

"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.

"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."

A new generation of F1 fans

Coulthard has also praised Drive to Survive for bringing Formula 1 to the attention of a "younger generation" of viewers.

"Netflix came along at a horrible time for the world with the pandemic, but a brilliant time for Formula 1 in terms of releasing that with a lot more eyeballs sitting around and watching people," he explained.

"Especially in this emerging markets, like America, have really turned into Formula 1. 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 1 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 1, I think has to be good for all motorsport, because everyone’s sort of tuning into to see what’s going on."

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