Formula 1: Drive to Survive

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Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Formula 1 Drive to Survive.jpg
Created byFormula One
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Running time27–51 minutes
Production companyBox to Box Films
Original networkNetflix
Original release8 March 2019 (2019-03-08) –
present (present)

Formula 1: Drive to Survive is a documentary series produced in a collaboration between Netflix and Formula One to give a behind-the-scenes look at the drivers and races of the Formula One World Championship.

The first season covering the 2018 World Championship premiered on 8 March 2019, the second season covering the 2019 World Championship premiered on 28 February 2020, and the third season covering the 2020 World Championship premiered on 19 March 2021. A fourth season covering the 2021 World Championship was premiered on 11 March 2022. On 5 May 2022, the series was renewed for a fifth and a sixth season.[1]

The upcoming fifth season of the series, focusing on the 2022 season, will be released on February 24, 2023,[2] prior to the start of the 2023 championship and the opening race, the Bahrain Grand Prix.[3]


Season 1: 2018 World Championship[edit]

The ten-part series is the "first to truly immerse the audience inside the cockpits, the paddock and the lives of the key players in Formula 1". The series covers the 2018 Formula One World Championship and has "unparalleled and exclusive access to the world's fastest drivers, team principals and owners, as well as Formula 1's own management team".[4][5]

Season 2: 2019 World Championship[edit]

The ten-part series covers the 2019 Formula One World Championship and included every team, including Ferrari and Mercedes who had not allowed Netflix to cover their teams in the first season. The second season "revisit[ed] Daniel Ricciardo at Renault, follow[ed] Pierre Gasly's emotional rollercoaster of a year, and cast a spotlight on the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, which was blackened by the death of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert during the feature race".[6]

Season 3: 2020 World Championship[edit]

The third season of the show, covering the 2020 Formula One World Championship, premiered on 19 March 2021[7] and continued some drivers' stories from the previous season, such as Daniel Ricciardo's dissatisfaction at Renault and Pierre Gasly's attempts to regain his lost seat at Red Bull. It also covered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the season, Scuderia Ferrari's struggle to remain competitive following the power unit controversy of the previous year, and Romain Grosjean's serious crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Season 4: 2021 World Championship[edit]

Season 4 which documents the 2021 Formula One World Championship premiered on Netflix on 11 March 2022. This season documents the fierce title battle of that season between seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

Season 5: 2022 World Championship[edit]

Season 5 will document the 2022 Formula One World Championship and is set to premiere on February 24, 2023.[2] Red Bull driver Max Verstappen confirmed that Season 5 marks his first full appearance in in-show interviews,[3] having criticized it in the past for fabricating events that happened during the World Championships.[8][9]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1108 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
21028 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
31019 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
41011 March 2022 (2022-03-11)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal air date
11"All to Play For"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo prepares himself for the opening race of what he believes to be the most important season of his career. A penalty in qualifying makes his race more difficult, and he goes on to finish fourth. Meanwhile, Haas enjoy their strongest qualifying to date, but their race ends in heartbreak when mistakes in the pits mean both their drivers retire.
22"The King of Spain"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Carlos Sainz Jr. reflects on the opening races of the season, his ongoing battles with his idol Fernando Alonso and life as the son of a World Champion. He secures a career-best result in Azerbaijan, and prevails over Alonso in the Spanish Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner must deal with the fallout from a collision between Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan that takes both drivers out of contention.
33"Redemption"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Ricciardo enters the Monaco Grand Prix weekend questioning his future with Red Bull. An accident in free practice means that Verstappen is unable to qualify and starts the race from last place. Ricciardo qualifies on pole and leads the early stages of the race, but an engine failure leaves him down on power. He ultimately withstands pressure from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to win. Meanwhile, Williams struggle with a poor run of results as they fall further down the grid.
44"The Art of War"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Horner becomes embroiled in a war of words with Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul over their engine supply. Horner is unhappy with Renault's performance and reliability, while Abiteboul pushes back against Horner's public criticism. Horner ultimately decides to end the relationship with Renault and join Honda in 2019. Feeling that Red Bull are favouring Verstappen and that Honda are still unproven, Ricciardo decides to leave the team and join Renault in 2019. Although Horner publicly supports him, Ricciardo begins to feel isolated within the team. Meanwhile, Ricciardo's contract with Renault means that Sainz Jr. is without a drive in 2019.
55"Trouble at the Top"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
In the build-up to the British Grand Prix, McLaren and Force India face very different problems. McLaren team principal Eric Boullier resigns over the team's poor performance, leaving CEO Zak Brown to try and rebuild the team whilst they struggle with an uncompetitive car. Force India team principal Vijay Mallya tries to deal with legal problems stemming from the collapse of his airline in 2013. The race sees Force India's Esteban Ocon beat both McLarens, while Sergio Pérez is caught up in a first-corner accident. The result sees Force India take sixth place from McLaren in the World Constructors' Championship, but three weeks later the team is put into administration.
66"All or Nothing"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Force India are saved by a consortium led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll. However, the deal comes with the expectation that Stroll's son Lance will drive for the team in 2019. This leaves Ocon and Pérez fighting to secure the sole remaining seat, which is further complicated by their poor relationship as the two had a history of colliding in 2017. Things come to a head when they collide on the opening lap of the Singapore Grand Prix, forcing Ocon out of the race. Pérez's frustrations see him collide with Sergey Sirotkin later in the race, which sees him retire as well. In Mexico, Force India announce that Pérez will partner Lance Stroll, leaving Ocon without a seat. Ocon uses the last races of the season to show his potential to other teams, but ultimately fails to secure a drive.
77"Keeping Your Head"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Haas driver Romain Grosjean endures a difficult start to the season, which has included errors in Azerbaijan and Spain. As Grosjean admits to self-doubt, team owner Gene Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner try to find a way to channel Grosjean's speed into consistency. They hope the upcoming French Grand Prix—Grosjean's home race—will offer him the opportunity to enjoy himself and secure a points finish. While the car proves fast to begin with, another driver error means Grosjean qualifies poorly. He goes on to finish the Grand Prix in eleventh after being run off the circuit twice and easily passed by other drivers. Steiner continued to support Grosjean, but admits that he has to seriously consider replacing Grosjean in 2019.
88"The Next Generation"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
The episode follows rookie drivers Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc as they prepare for the Singapore Grand Prix, which is regarded as the toughest race on the calendar. Red Bull Racing name Gasly as Daniel Ricciardo's replacement, while the announcement that Kimi Räikkönen will leave Ferrari leads to speculation that Ferrari are considering signing Leclerc for the 2019 season. Gasly and Leclerc battle one another throughout the race, with Leclerc finishing ahead of Gasly. Meanwhile, Leclerc's team-mate Marcus Ericsson tries to rebuild his confidence after an accident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Ericsson misses out on points in Singapore, and his team later announce that they will not renew his contract. Ferrari sign Leclerc, who wants to use the opportunity to honour the memory of his godfather, Jules Bianchi.
99"Stars and Stripes"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
In the time since the French Grand Prix, Haas have regrouped and as the championship draws to a close, they have the chance to take fourth in the World Constructors' Championship. This fuels their rivalry with Renault ahead of the United States Grand Prix. An opening-lap accident sees Grosjean retire, whilst Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr. is penalised for running off the circuit and gaining an advantage. The race for fourth comes down to Renault's Nico Hülkenberg and Haas' Kevin Magnussen, who happen to be bitter rivals. Hülkenberg develops a tyre problem late in the race, but holds onto sixth place. The result means Renault secure fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, leaving Haas to reflect on the missed opportunity.
1010"Crossing the Line"8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Red Bull Racing prepare for the final race of the season. Ricciardo says goodbye to the team, while Verstappen faces scrutiny for an incident with Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix. Verstappen makes a poor start in the race, but the team give him the preferred strategy and he goes on to finish ahead of Ricciardo in third. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso announces his retirement from Formula 1 and McLaren start their preparations for 2019 by signing Carlos Sainz Jr. and Formula 2 driver Lando Norris. Guenther Steiner, Christian Horner and Cyril Abiteboul discuss their plans for 2019 and how they intend to fight with the top teams.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal release date
111"Lights Out"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
The Formula 1 2019 World Championship is due to begin at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, and the drivers head on over on a cruise to attend the season-opening. Daniel Ricciardo is introduced to his new team, Renault, while Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hopes that using Honda engines will work out for Red Bull. For 2019, the Haas F1 Team target fourth in the championship. Almost immediately after the race starts, Daniel Ricciardo loses his front wing and subsequently retires from his home race. Grosjean retires after one of his wheels are loose. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen manages to pass Sebastian Vettel for 3rd (which is Honda's first podium since returning to F1), and Kevin Magnussen finishes a satisfactory sixth.
122"Boiling Point"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)

The Haas F1 Team has got a sponsor from Rich Energy. However, their 2019 Formula 1 season has started very poorly, as they are currently ninth in the championship. At the Austrian Grand Prix, the team hopes to reverse their fortunes. It starts well, with Kevin Magnussen qualifying fifth, albeit with a five-place grid penalty. However, during the race, the drivers are easily overtaken by the midfield cars and they even finish behind the backmarker team Williams.

Before the British Grand Prix, Rich Energy end their sponsorship with Haas for poor performance. The team make Romain Grosjean drive the car they used for the Australian Grand Prix, which was competitive. Grosjean and Magnussen crash into each other in the race, forcing them to retire from the race. Guenther Steiner admonishes them for letting the team down, threatening to fire them, while team owner Gene Haas questions the team's long term commitment to Formula One.
133"Dogfight"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
The fortunes of Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced Carlos Sainz at Renault, is compared with the latter, who now drives for McLaren. The episode explores Ricciardo's choice between joining McLaren or Renault after 2018. Meanwhile, Sainz hopes that his move to McLaren will work out for him, as McLaren has performed poorly in the last few years. In the Azerbaijan and Spanish Grand Prix, Sainz moves on an upward trajectory after an unlucky first few races while Ricciardo struggles to get to grips with the Renault car. Ricciardo hopes to reverse the situation he has experienced so far in the season.
144"Dark Days"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
Mercedes have dominated Formula One for the past five years and are looking to secure a sixth consecutive Formula One World Championship. Team Principal Toto Wolff explains how the former three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda was instrumental in their rise. Unfortunately, Niki Lauda passes away before the Monaco Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, a five-time Formula 1 World Champion, dedicates his victory in Monaco to him. At the German Grand Prix, Mercedes celebrate their 125th anniversary in motorsport and their 200th Grand Prix start. However, Hamilton catches a flu that has spread around the paddock. In qualifying, he secures pole position, while his teammate Valtteri Bottas qualifies 3rd. In the race, Hamilton dominates the early stages, however, things begin to go horribly wrong when he crashes into the penultimate corner. The team orders him to come into the pits to replace his broken front wing, but he is penalized for going on the wrong side of the bollard. The team takes nearly a minute to do the job, which significantly drops him down the order. Bottas retires from the race after crashing while chasing another car for third. After numerous errors, Hamilton finishes 11th. Toto Wolff reassures Hamilton that they will learn from the disastrous weekend and come back stronger, remembering Niki Lauda.
155"Great Expectations"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
Red Bull are so far producing good results with their far more reliable Honda engine. However, newly promoted Pierre Gasly is struggling with the car, while being completely outperformed by Max Verstappen. However, team principal Christian Horner is patient, hoping that Gasly will find his feet and settle down with his new team. In the Monaco Grand Prix, Verstappen qualifies ahead of Gasly again. Verstappen fights Hamilton for the win but fails in the end. Gasly finishes fifth, nowhere near the pace of the other frontrunners. At the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull is running out of patience with Gasly as he qualifies poorly and slides back into the midfield in the race. In Austria, Max Verstappen wins the race, overtaking Charles Leclerc in the last few laps, while Gasly finishes a lap down on his teammate. Christian Horner questions "who is the right guy to partner Verstappen".
166"Raging Bulls"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
Red Bull Racing have decided to release Gasly from his contract at Red Bull and demote him back to Toro Rosso. He is replaced by the rookie Thai driver Alexander Albon, who formerly drove for Toro Rosso. Red Bull will evaluate their performances in 2019, and then choose the driver lineup for 2020. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Albon qualifies well but is forced to start towards the back of the grid owing to an engine penalty. During a support Formula 2 race, driver Anthoine Hubert gets involved in a high-speed collision with several other drivers and is killed. Hubert is revealed to have been one of Gasly's best friends. The next morning, all of the drivers and teams mourn the loss of Hubert. During the race, Verstappen collides with Kimi Räikkönen, causing both of them to retire. Albon manages to fight his way into fifth place while Gasly finishes in a decent ninth. The episode is dedicated to Anthoine Hubert.
177"Seeing Red"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
Ferrari have struggled to challenge Mercedes for the constructor's championship for years. This is not helped by the intra-team rivalry between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. Vettel undergoes pressure to perform better since he is far more experienced than Leclerc and that Ferrari made him the No. 1 driver. In the Italian Grand Prix, Leclerc wins, with this being Ferrari's first victory in their home ground for over 10 years, while Vettel finishes a dismal 13th after having a spin. Their rivalry is further explored in Singapore and Russia. At the United States Grand Prix, Leclerc's engine breaks in a free practice session, forcing him to use an old engine for the race. Vettel manages to qualify 2nd, ahead of Leclerc in 4th. However, Vettel rapidly slips down the order in the race and eventually retires after a suspension failure, while Leclerc finishes in 4th. Vettel acknowledges that he underestimated Leclerc, and Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto resolves to treat them as equals for next season.
188"Musical Chairs"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg continues his frustration of having no wins or even podiums in his Formula 1 career. The addition of Daniel Ricciardo to Renault brings him pressure, as Ricciardo is a proven race-winner. In Canada, Nico Hulkenberg tries to overtake Ricciardo for sixth, but Renault orders him to not overtake him. In the French Grand Prix (Renault's home race), Ricciardo and Hulkenberg finish 7th and 8th respectively, but a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage demotes Ricciardo to 11th. At the German Grand Prix, Ricciardo retires after his car has engine reliability issues. Nico Hulkenberg has a great chance of getting a podium in his home race, however, at the penultimate corner, his car crashes into the barriers. Team principal Cyril Abiteboul reveals that in his contract for the team (which expires this year), there was a performance clause that he has failed to meet so far. Abiteboul discusses with Toto Wolff to get Esteban Ocon, who is a reserve driver for Mercedes, to replace Hulkenberg at Renault. He announces that for 2020, the driver lineup will be Ricciardo and Ocon.
199"Blood, Sweat & Tears"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)
The Williams team suffered their worst season ever in 2018. They want to not repeat the woes of last year for 2019. As part of their reconstruction, Williams have made significant changes in their departments, and deputy team principal Claire Williams hired renowned engineer Paddy Lowe as their chief technical director. For their driver lineup, they have hired the 2018 F2 champion and Mercedes junior driver George Russell, and Robert Kubica, who used to be in Formula One but his career was interrupted by a car crash. However, there are many problems with the car they are making, missing even basic things like wheel nuts. As a result, they are very behind schedule, and they miss the first two days of pre-season testing in trying to build the car. Paddy Lowe leaves the team after refusing to take responsibility for the woes of Williams. A few months later, at the British Grand Prix, Williams are at the bottom of the constructor's championship for the second season in a row. George Russell notes how the car feels awful to drive and that he is not really racing anyone else because the Williams car is very off the pace. Claire Williams expresses her desire to protect her father's legacy and improve fortunes at Williams.
2010"Checkered Flag"28 February 2020 (2020-02-28)

Prior the Brazilian Grand Prix, Alex Albon is confirmed to be driving for Red Bull for 2020. Since moving back to Toro Rosso, Gasly is performing well. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz is having his best season so far, consistently scoring points. Carlos Sainz starts at the back of the grid in Brazil after having engine reliability issues in qualifying. Sainz fights his way through the grid. The safety car is brought out when Bottas retires, and the tension between Vettel and Leclerc finally erupts when they crash into each other and retire from the race. As a result, Albon and Gasly are elevated into 2nd and 3rd respectively, while Sainz has recovered to 5th. Lewis Hamilton, in 4th, first overtakes Gasly and tries to do the same with Albon, but he crashes into him, robbing Albon of his first F1 podium. Lewis Hamilton then fights Gasly for 2nd but fails as Gasly takes his first Formula 1 podium. Sainz finishes 4th.

Lewis Hamilton is penalized post-race, elevating Sainz to 3rd. As a result, Sainz takes a maiden podium. Instead of having the podium ceremony with Gasly and Verstappen, Carlos Sainz celebrates with McLaren, who have ended a podium drought that lasted five seasons. Lewis Hamilton is crowned a six-time World Champion. He celebrates this with the Mercedes team, who are for the sixth season in a row, the Constructor's championship. Nico Hulkenberg bids farewell to Renault and Haas resolve to get back to where they were in 2020.

In 2020, a lot of the driver's contracts will expire, and in 2021, a budget cap will be implemented to reduce the advantage of the top teams.

Season 3 (2021)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal release date [10]
211"Cash Is King"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
The 2020 Formula 1 season opens with pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The teams and drivers all prepare their cars for the upcoming races. Controversy arises when it appears Racing Point's car is very similar to the previous year's championship-winning Mercedes. Racing Point is shown to have a lot of pace in testing, causing concern amongst their rivals. However, there is also an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic spreading through the world, raising questions throughout the paddock of whether the Formula 1 drivers should continue racing. As the teams prepare for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the threat of the pandemic extends to Formula 1 as several team members test positive for COVID-19. Ultimately, this results in the Australian Grand Prix being cancelled. Many of the races in the Formula 1 calendar are either cancelled or postponed as the pandemic spreads. A lot of the teams are put at financial risk as a result.
222"Back On Track"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
After several months without any races, Formula 1 has worked out a new, modified calendar. The season instead will start in Austria. The rivalry between Red Bull and Mercedes heats up, as it is discovered that Mercedes has invented the dual axis steering, an innovative system which would give Mercedes an advantage over the rest of the field. Mercedes are allowed to keep this system for the remainder of 2020, frustrating Red Bull. Alex Albon, coming on the back of a strong 2019 season, aims to improve even further and help Red Bull in their fight for the Constructor's championship. At McLaren, Lando Norris wants to have a stronger second season and be closer to his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. Mercedes dominate qualifying, occupying the front row of the starting grid, but Red Bull urge the FIA to penalise Lewis Hamilton for ignoring yellow flags during qualifying. As a result, Lewis Hamilton will instead start in fifth. Albon seems to be on his way to getting a podium, but towards the end of the race, he collides with Hamilton, who is subsequently penalised for this incident. Lando Norris, running in fourth, becomes aware of this penalty, hunts Hamilton down and sets the fastest lap of the race. This is enough to elevate Norris to his first podium in his Formula 1 career. Lando Norris celebrates his podium, while Albon reflects on his missed opportunity.
233"Nobody's Fool"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
Formula 1 heads over to the Russian Grand Prix as Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is repeatedly frustrated at finishing behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton. Bottas has a long history of being asked by Mercedes to let Hamilton through to benefit him in his title fights. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has a chance of matching Michael Schumacher's record of 91 career wins. In qualifying, Lewis Hamilton gets pole position, but Valtteri Bottas deliberately gives Max Verstappen's car an advantageous tow so that he will start 3rd (this would give him an advantage when the race starts). This upsets both Hamilton and Mercedes. Pre-race, Hamilton practises his starts as anticipation to this but ends up doing so outside the designated area. Hamilton manages to keep the lead from Bottas when the race starts. However, during the race, Hamilton is penalised with a 10-second penalty for his illegal practice starts. This hands Bottas an easy win, while Hamilton is only able to recover to third place. The Mercedes team express frustration at Hamilton's penalty but are still happy with the overall result.
244"We Need to Talk About Ferrari"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
Ferrari have endured a disastrous 2020 season, with the car struggling to keep pace with its rivals. Their driver Sebastian Vettel is planning to leave Ferrari at the end of the season, while Charles Leclerc has signed to stay at Ferrari for five more years. At the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari hopes to redeem its season with a good result at their home race. Qualifying turns out to be a disaster as Charles Leclerc only manages to be 13th fastest, while Vettel gets stuck in traffic and only manages 17th. Both drivers find the car very tricky to drive. In the race, Vettel's car's brakes stop functioning and he soon retires from the race. Charles Leclerc miraculously finds himself in a good position, but the car twitches and he crashes himself out of the race. Soon after a disastrous race, Ferrari celebrates their 1000th Grand Prix start in Tuscany. However, Vettel is revealed to have signed with Racing Point (now Aston Martin) for the 2021 season, overshadowing Ferrari's celebration.
255"The End of the Affair"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
Before the 2020 season gets underway, Daniel Ricciardo announces he's leaving Renault at the end of the year to move to McLaren, a decision made after only one year at the team, straining the relationship between Ricciardo and team principal Cyril Abiteboul, who takes the move personally. Meanwhile, a group of constructors led by Renault launch an official protest against Racing Point's car, accusing it of using a brake duct design copied from the previous years' Mercedes. Racing Point argues that the ducts are legal as the designs were purchased prior to the regulation change forbidding teams to share designs. The FIA ultimately fines Racing Point 400,000 and deducts 15 points from the constructors' championship, to the disappointment of both Racing Point and their competitors, who argue that the punishment is too lenient.
266"The Comeback Kid"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
After being demoted to Scuderia Toro Rosso (now Scuderia AlphaTauri) in the second half of the 2019 season from Red Bull Racing, Pierre Gasly hopes to improve himself after a successful second half of the 2019 season in 2020. When Formula 1 travels to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Gasly remembers the death of his close friend Anthoine Hubert in a Formula 2 Feature Race the year before. Gasly wears a tribute helmet in memory of his close friend, and he finishes 8th. A week later, at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Gasly is having a good race, and as a result of a pit stop that came before a Safety Car period, he finds himself in contention for a race win. After Charles Leclerc crashes out in the last corner of the track, a red flag comes out to temporarily halt the race. After completing the first lap of the restarted race, Lewis Hamilton is forced to come into the pits to serve a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for pitting when the pit lane was closed. Gasly now has to hold off the charging McLaren MCL35 of Carlos Sainz Jr. On the final lap, Sainz looks like he is ready to overtake Gasly, but Gasly holds on to take his first Formula 1 victory, making him the first French driver to win a Formula 1 race since Olivier Panis at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, and the first win for Scuderia AlphaTauri since their win at the same track in 2008, back when they were still known as Toro Rosso.
277"Guenther's Choice"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
With 2019 seeing Haas's worst results in Formula 1 and the loss of their title sponsor Rich Energy, and their 2020 season faring no better, Haas is desperate for a change in fortunes and an injection of new sponsors. Team principal Guenther Steiner is tasked with securing sponsorship with an unnamed German company, whilst simultaneously being pressured to replace one of his drivers with the German Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. However, Alfa Romeo is also courting Schumacher, and Steiner is forced to pull the trigger—firing both Haas drivers to hire Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, son of Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.
288"No Regrets"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
With Carlos Sainz already confirmed to be joining Ferrari for the 2021 season, McLaren shifts their efforts to supporting his soon-to-be-former teammate, Lando Norris, creating tensions between the drivers as Norris begins to receive preferential treatment. Sainz, meanwhile, is left ruminating on his decision to move after Ferrari's disastrous performance during the 2020 season. At the Italian Grand Prix, Sainz finishes 2nd after coming very close to a maiden victory, while Ferrari has a disastrous weekend.
299"Man On Fire"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
During the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean's Haas VF-20 leaves the track and crashes into a metal barrier travelling at 192 km/h (119 mph), splitting the car in two and engulfing the forward half in fire. The race is quickly stopped as stewards and medical teams hurry to Grosjean's aid, while drivers and paddock alike express their shock at the severity of the accident. After a long 28 seconds, Grosjean emerges from the flames, having managed to exit the wreckage unaided but with second-degree burns. Meanwhile, Red Bull's Alex Albon is fighting to prove himself to his team after a season of disappointing results. Although the team publicly supports him, rumours fly that they're courting Sergio Pérez as a potential replacement after Pérez's ejection from Racing Point. Although Albon finishes a respectable third in Bahrain (with Pérez forced to retire due to a mechanical problem), Pérez pulls off an impressive feat at the following Sakhir Grand Prix—successfully recovering from the last place, following a first-lap collision with Charles Leclerc, to win the race. The episode ends with team principal Christian Horner calling Pérez, congratulating him on joining Red Bull.
3010"Down to the Wire"19 March 2021 (2021-03-19)
It's the last race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and although Mercedes and Red Bull have already secured first and second place in Constructors' World Championships, a battle still wages between McLaren, Racing Point and Renault for third place. Racing Point sits in third prior to the race, with McLaren 10 points and Renault 22 points behind, respectively. In qualifying, McLaren's drivers qualify 4th and 6th and Renault in 11th and 12th. Racing Point's Lance Stroll qualifies 8th, but his teammate Sergio Pérez has to start on the back row of the grid after his car requires replacement power unit parts outside of the allowed quota. This does little to help in the race when a power unit failure forces Pérez to retire on lap 9, seriously jeopardising the team's placement. By the chequered flag McLaren successfully wins 18 championship points, Renault an additional nine, and Racing Point only one; with McLaren securing third place in the constructors' championship. At the end of the season, the teams say goodbye to their departing drivers, Racing Point announce their rebranding to Aston Martin, and Lewis Hamilton discusses his experiences with racism in his Formula One career and his desire to speak up following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Season 4 (2022)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal release date
311"Clash of the Titans"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
The 2021 Formula One season begins with pre-season testing in Bahrain. Several drivers have swapped teams, with three new drivers, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin, and Yuki Tsunoda on the grid for the first time. The team principals reflect on the years that Mercedes has been dominant in the sport. On track during the pre-season testing, both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas complain about the undrivable nature of their cars. Both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniel Ricciardo set out to get used to their cars in their new teams, whilst Pierre Gasly reflects on his new position as the experienced driver at Scuderia AlphaTauri opposite his new rookie teammate. Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen takes pole position for the first race, whilst Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin fails to finish after crashing on the first corner. Following an off-track overtake for which Max Verstappen is told to give back the position, Lewis Hamilton wins the first Grand Prix of the year.
322"Ace in the Hole"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
The McLaren F1 Team achieved third in the constructors championship in 2020. However, due to having financial hardships, McLaren F1 Team driver Carlos Sainz Jr., moved away from the team to Scuderia Ferrari. Sainz's moved left a empty spot in the McLaren team which was later filled by the talented Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo. During qualifying in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo set a lap time enough to beat his teammate Lando Norris by a single position. With some nice overtakes on other drivers including his teammate Daniel Ricciardo saw Lando Norris finish fourth. Three places ahead of Daniel Ricciardo whom finished seventh. Things got even worse in the following 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo had to make way for Lando Norris during the race in which ultimately saw Lando Norris finish on the podium. For qualifying in Portugal, Daniel Ricciardo managed to get knocked-out in only the first qualifying session. Following the contract renewal of Lando Norris before the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, he was able to lap his teammate in the race.
333"Tipping Point"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
344"A Mountain to Climb"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
355"Staying Alive"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
366"A Point to Prove"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
377"Growing Pains"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
388"Dances With Wolff"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
399"Gloves are Off"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)
4010"Hard Racing"11 March 2022 (2022-03-11)

Production and concept[edit]

On 24 March 2018, Formula One announced that Netflix had commissioned a ten episode docu-series giving an exclusive behind the scenes look at the 2018 Formula One World Championship.[5][11] On 24 July 2019, Formula One announced that a second season would premiere in 2020 covering the 2019 Formula One World Championship, involving all 10 teams.[12][13]

The series is executively produced by James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin for the production company, Box to Box Films. Sophie Todd is the production's showrunner.[4]

Gay-Rees subsequently went on to reveal to The Fast Lane Podcast that Drive to Survive had originally been conceived as a series revolving solely around Red Bull Racing before it evolved into a series about F1 in general.[14]

Filming began for the 2020 season in March but was suspended until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]


The trailer for the first season was released on 20 February 2019, and on 8 March 2019 the series premiered on Netflix.[11][16]

The trailer for the second season was released on 17 February 2020, and the season premiered on Netflix on 28 February 2020.[13][17]

The trailer for the third season was released on 19 February 2021, and the season premiered on Netflix on 19 March 2021.[18][7]

The trailer for the fourth season was released on 28 February 2022, and the season premiered on Netflix on 11 March 2022. Between 6 March 2022 and 20 March 2022, the series was watched for 57.03 million hours according to Netflix's top 10 list.[19]


The show has received recognition for the additional insight it offers fans,[20] and is credited with attracting new audiences (particularly American) to the sport.[21][22][23] The condensing of season-long themes into single-episode narratives has drawn praise for adapting "the natural drama of a racing season into a narrative that can encourage a fan to tune into the real thing."[24]

However, Drive to Survive has been criticized for including fake or misplaced commentary and team radios,[24][25][26][27] staging certain scenes,[24][28][29] placing undue importance on test and practice sessions,[27][28] and over-dramatizing or misrepresenting certain events and relationships within the Formula One paddock.[25][27][30] The continued criticism from both audiences and drivers led to discussions between Netflix and team managers and between Formula One and drivers.[31]

Max Verstappen notably boycotted participating in interviews during seasons 2, 3, and 4 due to him believing that the show dramatized some drivers by portraying them as villians and that the show manufactured fake rivalries.[32][33][34] However, Verstappen confirmed his participation in Season 5 after reaching an agreement with the showrunners of Drive to Survive to "keep it real".[34][35][3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials Nick Fry, Steve Speed, James Evans (for "The Next Generation) Nominated [36]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Sound: Factual Nick Fry, Steve Speed, James Evans, Nick Adams Nominated [37]
Sports Emmy Awards Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary Formula 1: Drive to Survive Nominated [38]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Sound: Factual Nick Fry, Steve Speed, James Evans, Hugh Dwan Won [39]
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Sports Program Formula 1: Drive to Survive Nominated [40]
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary Steve Speed, Nick Fry, Hugh Dwan, James Evans (for "Down to the Wire") Nominated [41]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials Doug Dreger, Nick Fry, Steve Speed (for "Man on Fire") Nominated [42]
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Non-Scripted Series Dan Ablett, Kevin Austin, Otto Burnham, Shane McCormack, Graham Taylor (for "Man on Fire") Won [43]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Sound: Factual Doug Dreger, Andrew Yarme, Nick Fry, Steve Speed, Hugh Dwan, James Evans Nominated [44]
Sports Emmy Awards Outstanding Documentary Series - Serialized Formula 1: Drive to Survive Won [45]
Outstanding Editing - Long Form Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Best Sports Program Formula 1: Drive to Survive Pending [46]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials Nick Fry, Steve Speed (for "Gloves Are Off") Pending [47]
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary Steve Speed, Nick Fry, James Evans, Hugh Dwan (for "Gloves Are Off") Pending [48]


In 2020, a version of Drive to Survive was released on F1 TV based around the 2019 Formula 2 Championship, called Chasing the Dream.[49] Subsequent second and third seasons were produced, each covering the 2020 Formula 2 Championship and the 2021 Formula 2 Championship, premiering in 2021 and 2022 respectively.[50][51]


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  2. ^ a b "Drive To Survive Season 5 release date announced as teaser trailer dropped". Formula One. 12 January 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Mee, Lydia (29 December 2022). "Drive to Survive News: Max Verstappen Confirms Place in Netflix Show - "Reached an Agreement"". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  4. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (24 March 2018). "Netflix Teams With Formula 1 Racing For New Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 27 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
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External links[edit]