Netflix series participation 'an unnecessary distraction' - Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said his team’s participation in the Formula 1 Netflix Original series ‘Drive to Survive’ would have been ‘an unnecessary distraction’ in their bid towards securing both 2018 World Championships.

Both the Silver Arrows and nearest rivals Ferrari were noticeable omissions from the series which shone a different light into the busy world of F1 and the details which often get overlooked in typical broadcast coverage.

Wolff felt the additional workload could have harmed their championship aspirations, as well as a lack of pressure to get involved if Ferrari were also declining to participate.

“I think we had some good reasons not to join last year,” said Wolff.

“The main reason was that I felt it could potentially be a distraction, especially also if our main competitor was not doing it. There is a different environment when you have the inner circle in the team and you need to protect it.

“When you have a microphone swinging over your head and a camera pointing 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 weekend.

“I felt that doing more of it would harm us in our performance and this is why I decided it was not for us.

The Austrian admitted he had begun watching the series en route to Melbourne and complemented the production of the series. Wolff was also open to participation in the future should the team and sponsors be happy with their involvement.

“But again, also I am open minded and I watched the first three episodes on my way over [to Australia] and liked some of the things in there and certainly the production is great and on a very high level.

“The competent people in the team tell us it’s good and it shines a completely different light on Formula 1.

“The narrative is interesting and it creates stories that are not the obvious ones, it’s not about Ferrari against Mercedes and the sport is maybe not the primary narrative but there are interesting other stories.

“I get feedback that fans who are not normally interested in Formula 1 and they say it is great. So, therefore, we need to make up our minds and we will stick our heads together and evaluate whether we want to do this or not.”