The fifth series of the F1 show, filmed last season, showed multiple examples of the Haas team principal criticising his own driver and making plans to replace him, which eventually he did do.
Many of Steiner’s private comments about Schumacher – such as “you cannot buy it or develop [talent]” – demonstrated the ruthlessness required to lead a successful F1 team.
“I didn’t watch it, but I made the comments so I remember some of the things I say,” Steiner explained at the 2023 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Obviously ‘Drive To Survive’ shows the worst and the most tricky moments. So obviously that’s what the show needs to do.
“Whatever was said, was said. I cannot take that one back and it was decided not to take it out because it you have nothing to hide and it is what it is. I’m not ashamed of it.
“I can explain it with ‘the heat of the moment’. As a racer you say things I wouldn’t say now. But things like this happen in racing.”
Steiner insists he has never watched the Netflix show himself despite being one of its main stars: “I’ve got one team member who watches this and I let somebody else decide.
“It’s always difficult for me to have an opinion about myself, it’s very difficult. Put yourself in my shoes, you know what I mean? The best thing is they don’t show anything. But is that good? No.
“You don’t get involved directly with your own performance because I’m not an actor, I don’t judge if I ‘acted’ good or not. I did my job and I think I judge my job from what we achieve at the race track. If Netflix looks good or bad, I don’t really care about that.”
Schumacher was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, who finished 15th in Bahrain. Kevin Magnussen was 13th. Schumacher is now Mercedes’ third driver.