“Netflix put me in”- Esteban Ocon reveals how Netflix played a crucial role in his appointment at Renault after Racing Point sacked him.
Netflix extensively covered Esteban Ocon in the documentary series on Formula 1, produced by Netflix. As the team went into administration, the French race driver became centre of attention, as Lance Stroll son of a billionaire Lawrence Stroll displaced Ocon, coming from a humble background, in Force India. It was the Strolls who saved it.
On the other hand, Sergio Perez was also targetted for making things difficult for Ocon, as Mexican according to the series got credit points from the new owners because of the sponsorship he receives from Mexico.
Thus, giving a sympathetic value to Ocon, Netflix kept covering him when he received the reserve driver role at Mercedes while banking on the pay driver narrative. Reflecting on this Ocon admits, it helped him get a contract, Renault.
“Filming started when I was active in the role of reserve driver at Mercedes,” Ocon told the French medium La Depeche. “Netflix put me in the spotlight then. I don’t want to suggest that I was brought in by Renault because of Netflix, but it did help.”
Netflix wouldn’t happen pre-Liberty Media era
Ocon also points out that things were different during Bernie Ecclestone’s reign, as the world inside F1 was a closed world privy to only a few selective people.
Only the Liberty Media takeover transformed things for the motorsport, which includes Netflix’s coverage to it, which is now extending to the third season.
“In the past, everything was locked up, and it was not allowed to film in the paddock. Now it’s even a Netflix capturing everything at the tracks,” he said.
With this transformation, Ocon feels that things about F1 are more public. People have more inside information, not to forget, the streams of information have also increased with technological advancements.
“That extra interest in the sport might just have been worth it,” Ocon concludes.