The show provides an in-depth look into the teams, the politics, and the drivers, giving fans an opportunity to feel like they are getting to know the personalities behind the helmets. With the last years drama in the F1 world, such as the Red Bull cost cap saga, driver contract changes, and Sebastian Vettel’s retirement, it’s the perfect time to jump into the world of F1.
If you’re new to the sport, these “Drive to Survive” episodes are a must-watch to get you up to speed on the latest happenings and to understand the characters involved in the game.
Season One, Episode One: “All To Play For”
The first episode of “Drive to Survive” series one, “All To Play For”, sets the scene for the entire series by giving an introduction to the world of Formula One. The episode covers the first race of the 2018 season in Australia and provides a glimpse into the high-stakes and high-pressure environment of the sport.
It also presents some of the drivers who feature across all four seasons of the show, such as Daniel Ricciardo, and introduces team principals like Haas‘ Guenther Steiner and Red Bull’s Christian Horner.
Overall, it provides a comprehensive look at the world of Formula One and sets the tone for the series.
Season One, Episode Four: “The Art Of War”
The fourth episode of the first season of “Drive to Survive” focuses on the tension between Red Bull Racing and their engine supplier, Renault.
The episode showcases the deterioration of their working relationship, with Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, accusing Renault Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul, of providing faulty engines. This leads to an explosive confrontation between the two.
On top of this, the episode also covers the decision by Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo, to leave the team. In an interview with the Herald Sun, Ricciardo reveals that his reasons for leaving were due to a lack of internal comfort and stability within the team, as well as the loss of a key engineer and the team’s decision to switch to Honda engines.
Season Two, Episode Six: “Raging Bulls”
“Raging Bulls” episode of “Drive to Survive” series provides a look into the cut-throat business of Formula One and the difficulties drivers face in maintaining their seats on teams.
The episode centres around Red Bull Racing’s decision to demote one of their drivers, Pierre Gasly, to their sister team AlphaTauri and promote Alex Albon to take his place. The episode shows the harsh reality of this decision, by showing the process of removing Gasly’s stickers from the team garage and replacing them with Albon’s.
The episode also provides an in-depth introduction to Albon, giving viewers an understanding of the Thai-British driver’s background and journey to Formula One. It goes into his childhood and how he got into racing, and how Red Bull’s took him under their wing. It also shows the pressure he faces to perform and the expectations that come with being a Red Bull driver.
Season Three, Episode Ten: “Down To The Wire”
The final episode of season three of “Drive to Survive”, titled “Down to the Wire”, covers the end-of-season events in the world of Formula One.
As the season comes to a close, the episode delves into the team line-up changes as drivers’ contracts come to an end or are re-negotiated. The episode also covers the winners of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships. In addition to the sporting action, the episode also touches on the diversity within the sport.
It includes an interview with Lewis Hamilton, the sport’s only Black F1 driver in history, where he talks about his experiences of racism and classism throughout his career. The episode offers an in-depth look into the challenges faced by Hamilton and the sport’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
Season Four, Episode Ten: “Hard Racing”
The final episode of the 2021 season of “Drive to Survive” focuses on the controversial ending of the season at Abu Dhabi. With Lewis Hamilton leading the race, and under safety car conditions, there were a number of lapped cars between him and his rival, Max Verstappen.
Race Director, Michael Masi, made the decision to un-lap only those cars, which had a significant impact on the outcome of the race. With Hamilton on worn tires compared to Verstappen’s, the latter was able to take advantage of the situation and ultimately win the race and the 2021 Drivers’ Championship. This controversial decision led to Michael Masi losing his job as Race Director, and the episode goes into the background of the situation, with interviews of the key players, and the aftermath.
“Drive to Survive” is a must-watch for any Formula One fan, and the episodes covered in this guide will provide a great introduction to the series. However, be warned, you may find yourself hooked and end up binging all four seasons in one weekend.
Netflix have just announced that season five will be released on 24th February.