Former F1 driver John Watson thinks that Drive to Survive played part in the dramatic ending of the 2021 season.
In the final race of the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton led the entire race only to lose in the last lap due to a controversial decision made by the race director.
This led Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to claim his maiden title in F1. The race director Michael Masi has received a lot of backlash in the aftermath of the season finale.
Former Formula 1 driver John Watson believes that Netflix’s Drive to Survive played a major role in the dramatic end of the season. He said that following the presence of a Netflix cameraman, the FIA got way more involved in the show in Abu Dhabi than it should have been.
He said, “there are channels for challenges. But not as a part of what I feel has become the consequence of the access given to Netflix and Drive to Survive, wherein we’ve now got this type of ‘Support Act’ to the stars.”
“These people, i.e. the FIA and their officers, some of them have become a part of this ‘show’. They’re not there to be that – they’re there to adjudicate. They’re not there to be known or shown or whatever.”
Drive to Survive has a lot of content to work with
Many in F1 have boycotted Drive to Survive because of their habit of dramatising the sport. Max Verstappen criticised the show for presenting him as the villain in the previous seasons.
Watson further said, “They are people that should be behind the scenes and shouldn’t at any point of time be given acknowledgement. That’s not their job, and that’s not what they’re in that position for.”
Moreover, the former driver believes that Masi has lost credibility in the sport. There have been several discussions about his competence and bias last year.
And these drivers stepped out of their cars & barely said a word. Their respective teams: not a single fucking word. Stroll’s engineer even tried to temper his radio response. Their collective silence makes them all complicit in this corrupt @F1 charade.pic.twitter.com/2OzhQ9aXBA
— Late Brakers (@LateBrakers) January 19, 2022
Therefore, Watson queries how many teams will have faith in the race director in 2022 and beyond. “I just wonder what kind of support there is for him amongst the teams going into a new season – can they rely on his judgement? Is it unimpeachable? Or is it going to be questionable?” he said.
“Every time he makes a judgement, is it going to be challenged over the airwaves? ‘Have you made the right call?’, or, ‘Here are the reasons why you made the wrong call’ – that’s the wrong way!” Watson added.