Formula 1 Drive To Survive Returns to Netflix March 19

Netflix has released a new trailer for the third season of its award-winning, behind-the-scenes documentary series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive.

If you’re not familiar with the show, Drive to Survive is a remarkable look beneath the veneer of F1. The sport generally has a very controlled public face, but Netflix — or rather the Box to Box Films production company — has exclusive access to the teams, drivers, and garages throughout the season, including during the races, to capture the real emotions and unguarded moments we’d otherwise never see.

It had a tricky genesis, as during the first season neither Mercedes nor Ferrari wanted to participate. While still a compelling watch, the absence of the teams fighting for the championships left the show feeling unfinished, even if it did make stars of team bosses like Cyril Abiteboul and the plain-talking Guenther Steiner.

Fortunately both teams agreed to participate in the second series, and it made for an even better show. By sheer fluke, the weekend in which Netflix focused on Mercedes was the team’s standout worst performance of the year, as both cars suffered damage due to spins in the race, a nearly minute-long pitstop, one retirement, and dreadful lederhosen. Mercedes suffered a similar weekend during 2020, at Bahrain, leading to speculation that Netflix had been in the team’s garage that weekend too. We’ll have to wait until the season drops to find out.

Of course there was plenty of other drama for Netflix to capture in 2020. The F1 championship itself didn’t start until July, due to global travel restrictions, and the hastily rearranged calendar took the teams to new circuits and even doubled-up at some for the first time in the sport’s history.

The Netflix cameras would also have been on hand for the various driver moves — Fernando Alonso into Renault/Alpine, Daniel Ricciardo to McLaren, Carlos Sainz to Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel to Aston Martin, Sergio Perez to Red Bull, and Alex Albon out of the picture — and all the wonderfully uncomfortable moments before and after each. Steiner’s conversations with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean should be a highlight.

Grosjean was also involved in one of the most significant moments of the year too, as he crashed out of the Bahrain Grand Prix in an incredible impact which broke the car in half and breached the safety barriers. We’d expect a good chunk of at least one episode to focus on his unexpected escape from all but superficial injuries and the safety and medical teams who made it happen.

The show arrives in full on March 19 on Netflix, and you can watch the trailer below:
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