Cassie Bennitt, showrunner of Drive to Survive, points to the absence of Ferrari and Mercedes from the first season of the Netflix docuseries as a major strength. With the top two teams not competing, attention turned to characters who normally don’t have much time, like Haas team manager Guenther Steiner.
Especially in the United States, Drive to Survive has sparked public interest in the premier class of motorsport. When taping the first season in 2018, Ferrari and Mercedes did not want to cooperate. As a result, the production had to choose other stories and therefore ended up with team leader Haas. He became extremely popular due to his peppery statements. Daniel Ricciardo could also count on a lot of sympathy.
Formula 1 paddock
Bennitt chats with Autosport.com where she draws inspiration for the series from. “What I love about the Formula 1 paddock is that it’s a place of intrigue, where deals are made, dreams come true and dreams come true,” she begins. For the success of the season, she points to the absence of Ferrari and Mercedes. “They didn’t want to participate, that’s common knowledge. So that meant we had to look for the stories elsewhere. And I think that fundamentally helped shape the show,” she explains.
This meant that the other stables had more time. “Haas is a classic example of that. Guenther Steiner, his fan base is absolutely amazing. I think even my friend is obsessed with Guenther!” Bennitt says. With twenty pilots, there is always a story to be found. “At the start of the season we obviously don’t know what’s going to happen, then we often try to get to know the characters and tell their stories,” she continues. Ultimately, the series is hugely popular, and Bennitt hopes to be able to work on it for years. “I would like to work on it until season 7 or 8 even,” she concludes.
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