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Mercedes followed Ferrari in opting out of Netflix series

  • Published on 20 Mar 2019 14:48
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said that the team didn't take part in the Netflix documentary after it found out rivals Ferrari wouldn't participate.

Netflix launched the ten-part series prior to the start of the 2019 season, with the noticeable absence of Formula 1's two biggest teams.

Wolff believes that taking part could have resulted in distractions in its pursuit of a fifth consecutive world title. 

“We had some good reasons not to join last year,” said Wolff in Melbourne last weekend. “The main reason was that I felt that it was a big distraction and could potentially be a distraction especially also because our main competitor was not doing it.

“There is a different environment when you are within your inner circle in the team and you need to protect it, and [then] you have a microphone swinging over your head and a camera pointed at you.

“The media work already, as much as it makes Formula 1 and we must be grateful, has become a very big part of the race weekends. And I felt that doing more of it would harm us in our performance and this is why I decided that it was not for us.”

Ross Brawn previously confirmed that he was working on getting Mercedes and Ferrari involved for a planned second series focusing on the 2019 season.

"I’m open-minded [about taking part]," said Wolff. "I watched the first three episodes on my way over, liked some of the things in there. Certainly the production’s great, it’s on a very high level.

“It shines a completely different light on Formula 1. The narrative is interesting, it creates stories that are not the obvious ones, it’s not about Ferrari against Mercedes.

"The sport is maybe not the primary narrative but interesting other stories. I get feedback from people that are not normally so interested in Formula 1, they said it’s great.”

Replies (9)

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  • Ironic. They've been dominating on track since 2014, yet off-track it always seem like they are following, don't they? Always the "X did Y, therefore we too did Y".

    • + 0
    • Mar 20 2019 - 19:27
    • Well @calle that philosophy of always feeling that they're behind is key. I actually think it's pretty remarkable. No complacency, no resting on laurels.

      This explanation for not taking part makes sense. Because in reality the only two teams that had something to lose from taking part were Ferrari and Mercedes. Everyone else could have benefited from more eyeballs looking at their logos because they weren't fighting for a championship.

      I do hope this is not the last documentary of this kind and that in the future everyone will participate. Formula 1 is an oddity in that in manages to remain incredibly secretive while appealing to the masses. I don't know what other sport could get away with it to the degree that F1 does.

      Is it annoying and do I understand you finding fault in Toto? Sure. If it had been Chris Horner or Andrea Binotto saying it I would probably find a way to be annoyed about it too :-)

      • + 0
      • Mar 20 2019 - 22:39
    • It's one thing never being taken on the bed in the dev field, that'll always ensure efficient design of cars, it's quite a different thing always following regarding the PR section. While I still have lost faith in Wolff, I'll admit it wasn't him I took issue with per se, it was more this weak excuse. Either spine up and say you didn't like their terms and conditions yourself (after all, they have a will of their own, daddy Ferrari doesn't even sign their papers or check their homework anymore), or refrain from speaking. I understand they don't wanna reveal secret stuff about their operations to other teams, but neither do the other teams. Even RB played along.

      • + 0
      • Mar 22 2019 - 17:01
  • mansell0050

    Posts: 5

    Well done Merc. After everything F1 has given you and what the fans have done, this is how you repay them?? Just typical, think your bigger than the sport just like Ferrari. It didn't bother me that I didn't hear from the spoilt little brat that drives for them. Egos inflated well beyond what they can handle.

    • + 0
    • Mar 21 2019 - 02:29
    • cricho

      Posts: 80

      Yes!
      One of the biggest problems in F1.
      Mercedez and Ferrari are bigger than the sport of F1.
      Hiw do you fix that????
      Jajajajaja

      • + 0
      • Mar 24 2019 - 13:42
  • High level production but doesn't necessarily cast the teams who participated in a very flattering light.

    • + 0
    • Mar 21 2019 - 05:14
  • MrN_71

    Posts: 13

    That's not wat Netflix said. Mercedes and Ferrari wanted to participate on their own terms. Netflix said NO. All teams should be treated equal. Mercedes and Ferrari didn't accepted that och got locked out by Netflix. I guess Mercedes and Ferrari aren't used to be treated like that.. it's actually funny. With this article Wolff only trying to bye cheap fan-points. And unfortunately a lot of Mercedes fans buying what he says. This is only political BS from Wolff´s side.

    • + 0
    • Mar 21 2019 - 08:43
  • cricho

    Posts: 80

    I guess they are afraid of loosing something.?
    No camras, no mics.... Its still a multi million dollar buisness at the end of the day.
    Im sure theres a lot of stuff they dont whant to share.......

    • + 0
    • Mar 24 2019 - 13:38
  • cricho

    Posts: 80

    Awsome series by NETFLIX.
    A little bit over produced and dramatic. But a great way for bringing in new fans and support for the series. What it was made for, isnt it!

    • + 0
    • Mar 24 2019 - 15:43

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