Verstappen unhappy with his depiction in original ‘Drive to Survive’

2020 F1 season

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Max Verstappen is unhappy with his portrayal in the original season of Netflix’s Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive, saying it wasn’t “the real me”.

While his 2018 Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo featured extensively in the first series of Drive to Survive, Verstappen featured less prominently. Verstappen criticised his depiction in the series in an interview for ABtalks.

“The problem is they will always position you in a way they want, so whatever you say, they will try to make you look reckless or trying to make you… whatever fits the story of the series,” he said. “So I never really liked that. I prefer to just have a one-on-one interview to the person who would like to know me.

“Because the series is all about excitement and it needs to be exciting. So they position you and whatever fits to the episode. So for me, that never really works. You’re interviewed and they use the words also under different circumstances. So it never really fits.”

“But it’s a series,” he added. “So I don’t think it was the real me.”

Verstappen admitted he can be reluctant to open up in interviews. “I like to be just myself and I speak when I need to speak and if I don’t have anything to say, I won’t say anything. Everybody’s different. Everybody works different. But for me, that seems to work the best.”

“I’m just easy going and I’m very determined to win,” he explained. “I would like to do everything for it because my life it’s my passion. Sometimes it might seem arrogant or whatever but I’m there to win.

“This is what I love to do. I would do anything for it, like I said so. I don’t think I show a lot of emotion as well.”

The second series of Drive to Survive launches today on Netflix:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Verstappen unhappy with his depiction in original ‘Drive to Survive’”

  1. Grosjean would like a word. They kept out all the times he encouraged his team, made him look like a fool and completely ignored his 4th place and the end of year. Plus relayed burns he got from his boss when he was not in the room.

    1. @tango – Not to forget “shoving the cameraman”, when it turned out he was saving the cameraman from tripping on pit equipment. I agree that Grosjean was probably hardest done by in how he was portrayed. He has earned some of the flak that has come his way (e.g. from Steiner, not us fans) but he’s ended up earning a disproportionate amount of hate.

    2. True, true

  2. Why does this series have such a B-grade title? ‘Drive to Survive’ sounds like something even worse than ‘Fast and Furious’.

    1. @balue: Assume it’s because it rhymes. And Netflix producers, after interventions from crashcar, couldn’t use their 1st choice: Bin To Win

      1. @jimmi-cynic – genuine LOL comment there, thanks for that :)
        “You gotta bin it to win it”

        1. You gotta bin it to win it

          Flavio Briatore, 2008

  3. Was he on? Didn’t look innaccurate to me. I’m surprised he cares about what he transpires. Max is a likeable chap.

    1. I dont think he cares. They asked him a question and he answered.

  4. Dunno Max, the arguing shoving and attempting to provoke a fight with LeClerc can’t really be altered. Your self serving lame excuses afterward also ring hollow.

    I think they got your essence.

    1. You should apply to work for the show, you have that well-educated, knowledgeable and unbiased stance they look for in an editor.

    2. You seem to have missed the provoking part came form Ocon.
      But heee, why listen to facts if the fiction sounds better.

      1. What utter rubbish. He attempted to start a fight in the pit-lane. How’s that acceptable? So you can keep your bias accusations until you have an actual point to argue.

    3. +1 Franton, Max simply disagrees with what he does not like and his fans will simply agree and follow. Things YOU do and say are YOU. Max does not like the fact he cant control this outcome…. its quite simple. Lesson for Max, stop drinking your own bath water and stop bottling it for your father….

  5. Not seen it, yet but I assume Danny Ric came over as this miserable, unhappy bloke who snaps at everyone..?

    No, oh, they must have portrayed him poorly as well..!

  6. You’re interviewed and they use the words also under different circumstances.

    I think this is the key bit – with statements being taken – and presented – out of context, or in the wrong context.

    And Max’s response here seems quite mature. He realizes Netflix are creating a dramatic series, not a documentary. And he’s not moaning or throwing a tantrum, but he’s just saying “The Max you see there is not me”.

    Max’s occasional confrontations lends himself to being more easily portrayed as the antagonist than a good guy (as opposed to say, Ricciardo, who has built up goodwill).

    1. To be fair you only have to look at his behaviour traits and it wouldn’t be hard to associate them with a narcissistic personality disorder. I don’t think he has ever taken a honest subjective look at the persona he outputs. I’m not saying he is a narcissist but his behaviour in F1 at least what is portrayed in general and not just on the Netflix documentary isn’t often to his credit. I think that says more about his behaviour than the press to be honest.

      Some traits of narcissism:
      Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people
      Continually demeaning, bullying and belittling others
      Exploiting others to achieve personal gain
      Lack of empathy for the negative impact they have on the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people
      Fixation on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
      Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions
      Need for continual admiration from others
      Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
      Intense envy of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them

      1. @slowmo Agree, although i’d say all competitive sportsmen need this aspect to their personality in order to strive to win at all costs. The thing is, they can’t be ruthless winners and *also* expect everyone to not call them out on their ruthlessness.

        Take our friend Seb. Happy go lucky, Python-watching joker… right up until Turkey 2010 and/or Multi-21, depending on how you were paying attention!

        1. @optimaximal yeah I appreciate it’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence. There is also the tough side of them having to be defensive because the press will take anything said and twist the meaning out of context to get attention. That being said, there are plenty of drivers on the grid that don’t have that issue so maybe he needs to make some changes too. Maybe taking some pointers from drivers like Button on how to handle the press might be good for him.

      2. His comments on DR’s move to Renault “I might wave to him when I lap him” really turned me off MV, he’s very arrogant. I wouldn’t expect a likeable personality given his father’s criminal conduct that MV surely must’ve been exposed to as a child.

        1. ForzaAlonsoF1 What rubbish.

          1. @Robbie denying an academically proven principle that a child is mentally and emotionally modelled by parental behaviour is rubbish. Brush up on your Freud before wantonly disregarding the opinions of others. It is inevitable that MV models his behaviours and emotions on the traits of his parents.

          2. ForzaAlonsoF1 You know nothing about Max nor his Dad nor their relationship, so your armchair hot air is just that. I’m not denying a proven Freudian principle, I’m denying that you have the knowledge both of the principle and if/how it can even be applied to Max.

            Perhaps you could start by referencing the quote you have attributed to Max, and it’s context. I have only ever seen Max and DR get along and that includes even when tension was at it’s height between them from on-track incidents, they quickly got over them. And last year they were seen many times joking around with each other. You are attributing some arrogance or aggression towards Max that you want to see because you don’t like him, but that is not reality, so perhaps you should analyze yourself in the mirror before you try to analyze someone of whom you know so little.

          3. @Robbie Drive to Survive S01E10 around the 8 minute mark MV: “Danny’s still around so I won’t necessarily miss him, but I’ll probably wave at him when I’m gonna lap him next year”. At the very beginning of the same episode he’s in a driver’s press conference, a journal asks him about crashing and he says “If anyone asks me about this again, I’ll probably headbutt them”. As for Jos Verstappen, he fractured somebody’s skull, has been charged with assault on two occasions, and the piece de la resistance, drove his car into his ex and was charged with attempted murder. And those are the ones where he got caught.

            MV exhibits all the psychopathic behavioural traits and, as is the well established model, is emulating his father’s behaviour. I can’t help but dislike the boy because I observe what you can’t.

          4. ForzaAlonsoF1 the problem is you’ve been spending too much time on Wikipedia, and then taking that as gospel and coming to conclusions for which you are not equipped. I think you just don’t like the guy, and not because he made a joke about waving at DR, or about head butting someone. You choose to assume the worst in Max’s words because of alleged actions of his father. Actions that it seems might well be overblown as he is not in jail, but of course you have tried to paint a picture far more dire to suit your argument. ‘And those are the ones where he got caught’ hardly makes you sound balanced and unbiased. You obviously want to make Jos sound as evil as possible.

            You also want to make it sound like Max was being mean or arrogant and sarcastic with the ‘wave to DR’ remark, and that is not the truth. And did he ever wave at him sarcastically? Besides, DR is the one that chose to move to a team with lesser cars. And has Max actually head butted people? Or was he just frustrated at yet another reporter asking the same thing he had already answered numerous times over numerous days?

            Go ahead and do your amateur hour psychoanalysis from you armchair off what you’ve read on Wiki, and extrapolate that to everything Max does or says on an F1 weekend all you like…doesn’t make it reality. This is just you reaching for reasons not to like someone you likely never liked.

            For me, if all of what you have said about Jos is true, and the man should be in jail, and he’s a terrible person and that has rubbed off on Max, then I’d be in the camp of trying to support and help Max, who is still quite young, to deal with that. That is not the reality, but if it was, you’d be standing there castigating him and throwing stones at someone with a mental issue, rather than trying to help them. And that’s on you, not on Jos or Max.

          5. ForzaAlonsoF1
            2nd March 2020, 0:34

            @Robbie you asked for specific instances and context, I gave that to you and then you chastise me for mentioning it! You’re living proof of the old adage the more you know the dumber you sound to stupid people. I won’t go on, you have your opinion and I have my doctorate. I’ll leave it there.

          6. Lol what context? And you have a doctorate? And you’re analyzing from your armchair? Yikes.

      3. it’s always interesting to see a complete psycho analysis only by listening to interviews..
        It looks you have a lot in common with those “traits”” ;)

        1. I think you have to be cautious about trying to psychoanalyze Max from an armchair, without truly knowing the man, and as well keeping in mind the amount of ‘data’ that you have gathered is from moments of Max in the heat of the moment of the setting of the pinnacle of racing, with all the trappings that come with that in terms of fame, fortune, and pressure to not squander the hundreds of millions spent.

          I suppose the psychological experts would consider a person’s reactions in the setting of something such as F1, and in the heat of the moment, and considering the other side of each conflict as well and what led to the reaction, analyzing each incident, but then what about the other 90% of the time Max is just living his life. Is he shoving people? Head butting them? Having road rage about being cut off on the highway? All the things that are supposedly so concerning that he needs analysis over issues of narcissism?

          You want to analyze Max for his behaviour, fine, but I suggest an expert wouldn’t strictly consider Max under high pressure situations of F1 while he is still in the heat of the moment, and take those moments as the complete and accurate picture of the man.

          1. @robbie I do agree that Verstappen should not be judged just by his actions on the track and he did act in a mature way in addressing his portrayal in the series. But his on track antics will haunt him for a little while yet I think.
            Also he does not have the same type of personality as a Hamilton or Ricciardo who seem to be becoming the faces of F1 because of their outgoing personalities and style.
            I’m not saying he needs to try and copy them, in the end he must be who he is.

          2. @johnrkh:

            in the end he must be who he is

            Or… who his father ‘the boss’ told him to be.

          3. @jimmi-cynic Yes well that’s another thing he does appear to be strongly influenced by his father. I remember an interview with Jos Verstappen at the Melbourne GP in 2018. He said that he had taught Max to keep his foot flat all of the time, don’t ever give up a position, never give way.
            Id’e say that it did lead to some of young Verstappens on track incidents. I think overall he has improved though, despite what he says he has definitely changed his attitude a little on track and his performance has improved because of that.
            With the field being closer this yr his driving style will be of interest to everybody, and of course Ocons return could test his new found maturity :))

      4. +1 slowmo, He acts exactly how the series portrays him, its not even hard work for the show, it basically writes itself….

    2. There’s a good clip that pretty much epitomises the difference between Max & Dan ( to me at least ) . On Wil Buxtons review of Testing ( after the last day ) on the F1 YouTube Channel.

  7. Been watching F1 since the 60’s. Days of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, and Bruce McLaren. Rarely seen a driver as arrogant and unconscious of others as Max. Until 2019, he provoked more accidents than anyone I have seen. He is fast, but completely irresponsible.

  8. He’s not the star of the show. His personality is a bit fuzzy. He’s fast and sometimes made foolish mistakes but for the most part he was a smooth operator. I think the series captured all of that.

  9. RocketTankski
    1st March 2020, 12:54

    Perhaps the real Max will be shown in Verstappen : The Musical

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