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F1 2022

Rival team boss sees positive of Netflix filming Wolff outburst

Tempers were said to have flared during a team bosses' meeting at the Canadian Grand Prix, with Toto Wolff reportedly becoming angry as the issue of porpoising was discussed. With the Netflix cameras apparently filming the events for Drive to Survive, Otmar Szafnauer doesn't think this is an entirely bad thing.

Toto Wolff
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Otmar Szafnauer believes there may be a positive side to Netflix having apparently filmed an outburst from Toto Wolff during a recent team bosses' meeting.

Wolff was said to have issued some strong words during a heated discussion about the issue of porpoising, following on from the FIA's decision to introduce a technical directive in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the problem.

With the discussion having reportedly been caught on camera by Netflix ahead of the upcoming series of Drive to Survive, Christian Horner recently took a swipe at Wolff when he suggested that there was an "element of theatre" to the meeting.

However, not everybody in attendance saw the cameras being there as a bad thing.

Szafnauer can see positive side for fans

When asked whether having the cameras present added to the sense of drama in the meeting, Szafnauer joked to media, including RacingNews365.com: "It certainly added to my reticence not to say anything!"

However, the Team Principal of Alpine has questioned whether sharing this kind of footage with fans could be a good thing.

"Should Netflix be in there, or shouldn't they be in there?" Szafnauer continued.

"I remember watching the [Ayrton] Senna movie and, all those years ago, they had cameras in those types of meetings.

"So is it good for the fans? Does it help all of us if they understand some of that stuff? Maybe. Does it create drama that otherwise wouldn't be there?

"I don't know. It's hard to tell, because it's not a controlled experiment. We've got to have the same meeting without them there, so I don't know."

Szafnauer thinks that this behind-the-scenes access could potentially further add to the sport's popularity.

"I think [with] that kind of stuff, if the fans see it, and understand it, it just creates a bit more attraction to our sport. I think that's good," he added.

Footage good for fans regardless of timing, says Szafnauer

After being reminded by RacingNews365.com that fans will not get to see the footage until early next year – when the new season of Drive to Survive will debut – Szafnauer argued that this does not matter.

"Even then, it's better [than] not seeing it at all," he explained.

"It is a backwards look, Netflix. But [with] the people that I've talked to, for example, I met a lady on the flight from Chicago and one from Michigan, and both of them said, 'We are COVID Formula 1 fans'.

"I said, 'What do you mean by that?' They said, 'Well, during COVID, only Formula 1 was on TV. We watched all the Formula 1 races, and thereafter watched Netflix, and now we have an understanding'.

"And, lo and behold, they're traveling from Detroit and Chicago to come here to their first races. One of them went to Miami as well, so second race.

"But if it helps attract those people – because I think we've got a great sport, it was just a well-kept secret before – and if you expose more people to it, it's better for all of us."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: What's next in F1's porpoising row?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Canadian Grand Prix, including the fierce debate over the FIA's intervention on porpoising.

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