Sergio Perez: F1 Netflix series 'probably gone too far' in 2021 season

SAKHIR, Bahrain -- Red Bull driver Sergio Perez doubts he will participate in the next season of the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive after saying the latest one had "probably gone too far" in dramatizing the 2021 F1 season.

After it was released on March 11, the latest series of Drive to Survive topped Netflix's list of most watched programmes in 33 countries.

Now in its fourth season, the documentary has helped build F1's popularity in the United States and brought a new wave of fans to the sport in a number of countries.

However, criticism has been levelled at the series for manufacturing drama and inventing rivalries between drivers that do not exist in real life.

Perez said the raw material of the 2021 season should have been enough on its own to create entertaining viewing without the need to embellish storylines.

"I really thought that they had the best season in Formula One [to work with] and I feel like they probably missed out a bit in the story and the way they presented it," Perez said ahead of the opening race of the 2022 season in Bahrain.

"They tried to create too much drama, which the season already had -- the season had enough drama, you know?

"They've probably gone too far in this last season. I thought it was going to be the best season, but to be totally honest I haven't finished [watching] it."

Perez said he filmed extensively with Netflix in his native Mexico last year, but was disappointed to find that the time he devoted to the documentary was not represented in the final cut.

"Yeah, to be honest I did so much for them last year," he added. "This year, I am definitely not going to do as much. It's a lot of media [to commit to]! So if I can escape it and do less media then I will."

Perez's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who won the title last year, decided not to participate in Netflix filming in 2021.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, he said the latest series "faked" rivalries, including one between McLaren teammates Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, which is the basis for the second episode.

"I watched two episodes, but I was not very impressed," Verstappen said. "It's just not my thing, faking rivalries.

"Lando and Daniel are two great people I know -- they have really great characters and immediately at the second episode it looks like they are not very friendly to each other, and for me that's not correct and that's why I'm also not a part of it."