The makers of Formula 1’s new behind-the-scenes Netflix documentary series have accused Mercedes and Ferrari of letting down the sport by refusing to take part. 

The 10-part series - called Drive to Survive - will be released on March 8 and will retell the story of the 2018 season, heavily featuring eight of F1’s 10 teams with revealing fly-on-the-wall access. 

But Lewis Hamilton’s championship fight against Sebastian Vettel is not set to be prominently covered after Mercedes and Ferrari both opted against participating in the programme. 

Valtteri Bottas F1 Driver Profile - Mercedes

“Mercedes and Ferrari wanted to operate under different terms to the rest of the teams, and us, as producers, and Netflix as the broadcasting platform, didn't feel comfortable with that,” executive producer Paul Martin told Press Association Sport. 

It was going to be all-or-nothing and if those terms were good enough for the eight other teams, it should have been good enough for Mercedes and Ferrari, too.

“My view is that they did a slight disservice to the fans and the sport by not taking part.

“We were lucky enough that teams such as Red Bull, Renault, Haas, and the others gave us fabulous access and bared their souls.” 

While Ferrari declined to comment on the subject, Mercedes cited its concentration on the title fight as the primary reason behind its absence. 

A Mercedes spokesperson said: “We were delighted to see that last season's compelling, year-long battle for the championship between Ferrari and Mercedes helped drive 10 per cent growth in unique viewership for F1 worldwide and made the sport the fastest growing in the world on social media. 

“Competing for the world championship is an all-consuming business that demands every ounce of focus from the entire team; we are driven first and foremost by performance in every decision we make.”