Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

“Strange” Drive to Survive editing “made me look happy with eighth” – Ocon

2023 F1 season

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Esteban Ocon says the presentation of one of his radio messages in the new season of Drive to Survive is “strange”.

The fifth season of Drive to Survive was released by Netflix today. Ocon revealed he had already seen episode five, which he featured heavily in, and was surprised to hear a message from a different race added to a sequence covering the French Grand Prix.

Ocon finished the race in eighth position. In Drive to Survive he is heard saying “that feels like a win today”. Ocon pointed out he did not speak those words on his radio after the race at Paul Ricard.

“It’s reflecting reality, but in a strange way,” said Ocon when asked by RaceFans about the new season.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Paul Ricard, 2022
Ocon didn’t celebrate eighth at Paul Ricard
“I always find strange where, for example, I finished P8 in France, and I said ‘this felt like a win today’. I never said that! I think I probably said that when we finished fifth in Austria or fourth in Japan, but not when I finished eighth in France.”

“These things feel strange,” Ocon admitted. “But I guess it’s part of the show. We can’t complain on being in such a high-viewed platform.”

He said the popularity of Drive to Survive is “awesome”, and the team has already been filmed for next year’s sixth season. “Netflix has been with us a lot this year so far, coming in many different events,” said Ocon. “So we’re probably going to feature quite a bit next season.”

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Alpine faced questions about their expectations after former driver Fernando Alonso remarked about teams being “happy with fourth” at the launch of Aston Martin’s car. They finished fourth in the championship last year.

Drive to Survive season five screengrab
Feature: Netflix’s ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive” season five: Spoiler-free review
Ocon said he “doesn’t complain” about how he’s been represented in Drive to Survive but stressed “I don’t want to make it sound like I’m happy with P8.”

“I want to win,” he said, “I don’t want to finish P8. But it’s fine for those kind of things.”

Asked whether drivers who co-operate with the series have any control over how it is edited, Ocon said: “Not a lot to be honest, which is what you sign for obviously when Netflix comes up.”

Other drivers have previously complained about how Drive to Survive represents themselves and others. Max Verstappen temporarily refused to be interviewed for the series for this reason, but resumed co-operation last year. Lando Norris has said parts of past seasons were “definitely not correct” and like Ocon cited examples involving the treatment of radio messages.

Ocon said Alpine’s goal for this season is to significant cut the gap to the third-placed team, which they finished 342 points behind last year.

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“It would be a win if we close the points down to very close to third,” said Ocon. “That would be a win for us.

“If we keep fourth and we are at the same place as we are last year, that would probably not be a win, it would be a normal improvement and that’s not what we are aiming for. But everyone around is going to be working and thinking the same.”

Ocon’s radio messages from the end of the French Grand Prix

PeckettOkay and that is the chequered flag. Scenario 12, please, scenario 12. And P8, very well done.
OconCopy that, good job, good job. Sorry about the shouting at some point, but…
PeckettIt’s alright, I probably deserved that, we’re all good. Anyway, well done, good result for the team there and nice job from where we started, good job.
OconCopy that, yeah, good job.
PeckettOkay so normal in-lap procedures please. Just give you a quick run-down of the order so Verstappen won, Hamilton and Russell on the podium, Perez P4, Sainz P5 – he had to stop again – Fernando P6, Norris P7, yourself P8 and the Ricciardo and then Stroll rounding out the top 10. So good reuslt for the team, nicely driven. Remember to drink some fluids as well, please.
OconYep, copy that.
PeckettOkay so we’ll be coming into the pit lane and normal switch-off procedures, please.
OconCopy that.
PeckettListen mate, just be careful when you come in, please, there’s a lot of guests and people in the fast lane of the pit lane, so just nice and slowly please.
OconCopy that.
PeckettEsteban in.
PeckettOkay normal switch-off procedures. Well done, see you back in the office.

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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13 comments on ““Strange” Drive to Survive editing “made me look happy with eighth” – Ocon”

  1. Typical Netflix & not the first time they’ve misled by using words from another race.

  2. Stuff like this is precisely why I stopped watching DTS after season 1. It’s hot garbage, good that it draws in new viewers, but it is so tainted by all the lies it tells.

  3. Drive to survive could also be called “Tales of Formula One”.
    It’s F1 for those wo doesn’t watch.

  4. It’s hard to understand what the editor wanted to achieve with that insert. Admittedly, especially when you don’t currently have (time for) a Netflix subscription. Still Ocon taking it in a mature way I’d say.

  5. I’m sure I’m as shocked as anyone to learn of such practices in DTS

  6. Not surprising, truth matters not at all, what matters is ‘clicks’, ‘engagement’, and social media ‘controversy’ (which I assume generates ad revenue somehow).
    So, to foil this dastardly plan, I’ve now clicked on this article, and engaged in controversy on social media! LOL – that will show ‘them’ that their plan will not work with me!
    (Basks in the glow of admiration from the other commenters…)

  7. 😡😡😡😡😡

  8. There should be clear dramatisation warnings at the start of every episode. I would be upset having my words not only taken out of context but blatantly misused like that.

    We can’t complain on being in such a high-viewed platform

    Ooft… Can’t complain hey? Views come at what cost to reputation?

    1. Right, he should have more reason to complain if it’s a bigger platform. Is it a bigger platform than the race itself? I vaguely remember that netflix don’t release viewing figures but I might be wrong.

      1. Haha, Ocon discovering TV is not reality and producers like to script. What a lovely naive man

    2. Isn’t it obvious that it’s a dramatisation and not a documentary?

      I get that it’s silly to mix and match quotes from drivers into different situations, but the show is a piece of entertainment first. Its basically reality TV ie what you’re seeing is a contrived view of things that have happened, but changed in such a way to make it more entertaining, more dramatic or easier to understand.

      They’ve done it with imagery too, stitching off track reactions from team personnel into on-track sequences.. that didnt happen at the same time.

  9. Well thats just what happens when a sport jumps the shark… If you watch it and think thats what the sport is about dont be surprised when it just starts showing more and more BS…

  10. “ It’s reflecting reality, but in a strange way,”

    Precisely why it’s mass media trash

Comments are closed.