Netflix series would have been "distraction" for Mercedes

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Mercedes did not take part in the Netflix series about the 2018 Formula 1 season because the team viewed it as a potential distraction.

Netflix series would have been "distraction" for Mercedes

Mercedes and Ferrari were the only two teams not to open their doors for extensive behind the scenes filming, and Wolff conceded that the decision by the Italian team not to taking part influenced his own.

The sport's two frontrunning teams are featured in the 10-part series only in generic race and paddock coverage, with no behind-the-scenes insight.

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

"The main reason was that I felt it was a big distraction, and could potentially be a distraction, especially also because our main competitor was not doing it.

"There is a different environment when you're within your inner circle in the team and you have to protect it and you have a microphone swinging over your head and a camera pointed at you.

"The media work already, as much as it makes F1 and we must be grateful, has become a very, very big part of the race weekends and I felt that doing more of it would harm us in our performance.

"This is why I decided that it was not for us."

Wolff admitted that after seeing the finished result he might now have second thoughts.

"I'm open minded. I watched the first three episodes on my way over. I liked some of the things in there. Certainly the production's great, how it's made is on a very high level.

"It shines a completely different light on F1. 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 F1 and they said it's great. So therefore we need to make up our minds. Some of us will still our heads together and evaluate whether we want to do this or not."

Asked if his sponsors had questioned why Mercedes received so little coverage, he said: "No, I think in a certain way we got good feedback that we weren't in.

"Some of our sponsors, and FOM was the same, said 'Yeah it makes sense because you never get to see some of the other teams'.

"They felt that it was on purpose from our side and they understood that the distraction was a risk.

"This is the line that I still think it was the right thing to do. We've seen the result and it's good and now it's about deciding whether we're in."

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