Formula 1: Drive To Survive Is The Series To Watch

Formula 1: Drive To Survive Is The Series To Watch


As racing fans gear up for the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season, Netflix has dropped the second series of Drive To Survive. From laidback Aussie racer Daniel Ricciardo to sweary team boss Guenther Steiner, the stars of the first series are back to tell the story of the 2019 season – alongside a couple of huge new additions. Now with raw, inside access to every team on the grid, Drive To Survive continues to tell twisting, turning human stories that cover much more than motorsport.
What’s the story?

Twelve months ago, to little fanfare, a new series called Drive To Survive launched on Netflix. Mixing on-track racing action with candid, behind-the-scenes footage, it aimed to tell the story of the 2018 Formula 1 season. Overseen by the producers of stellar sports biopics Senna and Maradona, it shone a new light on the compelling human stories that underpin the high-octane glitz of race weekends in Bahrain, Monaco and beyond.
Because the sport’s two best teams – Mercedes and Ferrari – shied away from the cameras to focus on their fight for the championship, motor-racing fans gleaned new insight into the smaller teams and drivers in their slipstream. But Drive To Survive’s real coup was introducing more casual followers of the sport to some of the pit lane’s most fascinating characters. This time around, those breakout stars are back for the 2019 season, but Mercedes and Ferrari have agreed to join them in the spotlight.

Who are the stars?

Reigning champ Lewis Hamilton is quickly in front of the cameras in episode one, while Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc battle for supremacy at Ferrari. But Mercedes and Ferrari won’t dominate the other teams on Drive To Survive like they do on the track. The joker in the chasing pack, Daniel Ricciardo, left Red Bull at the end of 2018 and now faces a bumpy new ride at Renault. The more contemplative Carlos Sainz, who lost his seat at Renault to Ricciardo, has to move to the UK and fill the big boots of Fernando Alonso at McLaren. At the underdog Haas team, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are not just driving but fighting to survive. Sometimes literally. The ups and downs of Pierre Gasly’s season at Red Bull and Toro Rosso are similarly riveting.
But it was arguably the team principals who made the biggest impressions in season one. Red Bull’s Christian Horner, who reckons it would be easier to manage donkeys than F1 drivers, has lost Ricciardo, so is working ever more closely with the fearsomely intense young Max Verstappen. Over at Haas, cult hero Guenther Steiner is as blunt and potty-mouthed as ever in passing judgement on the performances of Grosjean and Magnussen. Meanwhile, Claire Williams struggles to move the once-mighty Williams off the back of the grid.

Who is it for?

Failure and achievement, triumph, tension and tragedy. The stories behind Drive To Survive series two encompass everything that made its first series such a success. Supported by a year’s worth of remarkable on-track action, their dramatic appeal stretches far beyond F1’s hardcore fans and should speak to anyone with a pulse.
If you haven’t seen it already, start with season one: it carefully but quickly introduces the sport to newbies. Once you’re up to speed – and hooked on the characters and subplots – jump into season two.
Watch it now on Netflix.

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