Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed the reason the team didn’t participate in Netflix’s Formula 1 documentary.
Ahead of the 2019 season, which got underway with Valtteri Bottas winning the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday morning, Netflix released the 10-episode series.
Many racing fans were quick to point out the notable absences of the sport’s biggest teams, though, and Wolff has said that contributing could have distracted Mercedes in their pursuit of a fifth consecutive world title.
“We had some good reasons not to join last year," Wolff said, as per GPToday.
"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.
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"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.”
Managing director of F1 Ross Brawn has confirmed he’ll try and get both Mercedes and Ferrari involved in a potential series focusing on the 2019 season, and Wolff has admitted he’s enjoyed what he’s watched so far.
"I’m open-minded [about taking part]. 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.”
Wolff won’t be complaining about the start of the 2019 campaign, with Mercedes’ Bottas clinching first place in Melbourne and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton finishing second.
As for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc ended up in fourth and fifth respectively, so the next race in Bahrain at the end of the month promises to be an interesting one.