Verstappen on “fake rivalries” 

Speaking at the 2021 United States Grand Prix, Verstappen explained his initial view about why he doesn’t want to partake in the series.

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“I understand that it needs to be done to boost the popularity in America. But from my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it.”

“They faked a few rivalries which they don’t really exist,” he said. “So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show. I am not really a dramatic show kind of person, I just want facts and real things to happen.”

“Probably in the Netflix show we will be. We one time bumped into each other walking, so probably that will be in there.” 

Reference to the Kardashians

As part of his criticism of the series, Verstappen compared it to entertainment series ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’.

"I'm sure we'll talk about it with Stefano [Domenicali]," Verstappen added. "But at the moment I'm not really interested to take part in it.

"It's also taking more time when we're already doing so many things. I saw the benefit initially of course you get more popularity, but for me now I think you reach a stage where its a bit more like 'Keeping up with the F1 world' if you know my reference.

"I think it shouldn't be like that. It's better just to make a season review by F1 itself, that's why nicer to look at. But that's my opinion. Nobody needs to share my opinion. I just don't like to be a part of it."

“They made Norris look like a dic-”

Verstappen expanded further on his view about fake rivalries, citing an example of how they portrayed Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo’s relationship at McLaren.

“For me personally, what I didn’t like and it’s not even about me, it was about Lando [Norris] and Daniel [Ricciardo], who I think are two great guys,” Verstappen explained. 

“They’re really nice, first of all, and made it look like Lando was a bit of a dic-, which he isn’t at all,” Verstappen said. “And again, you know, I think … I know Lando and I think many people know Lando as a funny guy, a great guy. He has a great character. 

“And actually when you look at that episode, you really think who is this guy? What the hell is going on?”

Unhappy with personal portrayal 

The two-time world champion also expressed his frustration about how he was shown in the earlier seasons.

“When you are new to the sport and you’ve never seen a racing car or F1 car in general, they don’t like him [Norris],” he said. “And why should that be?

“Because he is a great guy and you just immediately get a wrong picture of a person. And that’s exactly what I think happened to me in the beginning.

“I’m someone [that] when you ruin it from the start, you don’t fix it. That’s it, you ruined it. So, that’s my stance and that’s how I’ll go forwards.”

Making his return for the new season

The Drive to Survive season 5 release date has been confirmed for February 24 and Verstappen is making a return.

Here’s why…

“I sat together with them and we talked about it and I said what I thought went wrong in the past,” he explained.

“It was actually a very good quick little chat and we will try to improve from there and so you can have a bit more say in how you are going to be portrayed instead of giving an interview and not knowing what is going to be done with it and the way they put it into the show.

“And that is all I’m asking for, realistically, at least from my side. I cannot control, of course, what they do with other drivers but at least I want to be in control of what we are releasing and that is what we are going to do. 

“I hope, of course, it is going to be good because I also understand that Netflix really helped for the popularity of F1 in the US and I don’t mind playing a role in that, but it needs to be good for both of us.”