Liberty Media took over from Bernie Ecclestone in 2018 and the American firm has made considerable efforts since then to make the sport more commercial.
A documentary series, many might argue, is the best way Liberty Media could look to enhance the aura of the sport whilst making it more global than ever before.
‘Drive to Survive’ is the name of this series, with Netflix given the right to its filming and production.
The series is usually launched just before the beginning of the season to add to the build-up and catch eyeballs.
The series is unarguably one that offers plenty of entertainment, drama and talking points. It does, of course, also give us a closer peek into the personalities of a number of its protagonists and side characters.
However, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Toto Wolff has regularly called it a distraction and others, too, directly involved in the sport have often been at ends with it. Ask Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.
Max Verstappen was also quick to voice his displeasure, calling elements in it just pure sensationalism.
“I didn’t like that at all. Because a lot of it is fake. I know what I talked about with my engineers. Some of the things I said in Australia or in Austria, they used for another Grand Prix to make it more exciting. That’s not OK. That’s just sensationalism,” he said.
One may argue that he has a point. His relationship with Daniel Ricciardo is believed to be strong, but for a layman watching the show, that is not apparent. In fact, they may even leave the couch believing there’s serious friction between the two.
That conversation with their mates over a pint of beer is unlikely to end in anything but ridicule if the others are not nearly as bereft of an F1 briefing.
However, it would be criminal to call the series scripted. The drama is all real, just the timelines are messed up. The entertainment is real too, just that the context is missing.
Which side of the fence are you on?