‘Drive To Survive’ Season 6 Key Storylines And Impact Moments

Five ‘Drive To Survive’ season 6 storylines that will define the 2024 Formula 1 championship

Not bothered to binge all of Drive To Survive’s sixth season before the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend? Not to worry, we’ve done it for you. These are the dramatic moments and crucial storylines revealed in the series that will influence the outcome of the 2024 F1 season and beyond.

THE RELEASE OF Drive To Survive’s sixth season was impeccably timed. Following a season that felt like it followed a repeating script—with that script almost always culminating in a Red Bull victory—and an entirely unchanged driver line-up, the hype surrounding the upcoming F1 championship has been lower than in previous years, as Max Verstappen’s dominance has evolved into inevitability and few look capable of standing in his way.

Nevertheless, Drive To Survive has managed to look behind the predictable front line of the 2023 season to uncover the real drama happening behind pole position. And like sharks circling a chunk of meat, F1 fans are eager to eat it up. Now less than a week out from the opening race, the 2024 F1 season’s vigour has been restored, as fans have more to look out for than the red, blue and yellow of Verstappen’s RB20 pulling away from the pack.

All ten episodes of the new season of Drive To Survive dropped on Netflix last Friday. While fans are doubtlessly keen to absorb all of the newfound theatrics, it can be difficult to watch, process and digest it all in time for the 2024 season’s first race this Sunday. To aid in your quest of being up to date on all the drama, we’ve rounded up the biggest storylines to come out of Drive To Survive season six, the kind that will define the year ahead.

1 The sky is the limit for Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo was never going to last long as Red Bull’s third driver. Not because he didn’t have the requisite talent to fill the position—it mostly entailed posing for photos and fronting media conferences anyway—but because the man belongs behind the wheel.

The struggles of rookie driver Nyck de Vries are well documented early in Drive To Survive season six, as is exactly how out of place the smiling visage of Daniel Ricciardo looks when he’s not allowed to do what he does best. In episode two, concerns over de Vries’ performance reach the point that Ricciardo is given a test lap in a Red Bull car, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner watching on.

After a scintillatingly fast lap, Horner and the Red Bull team were visibly impressed with Ricciardo, with Horner remarking, “That lap he just did would have put him next to Max on the grid.” Horner then speaks with Ricciardo’s management team, telling them, “He looks like the Daniel we recognise, rather than the past couple of years. I want to put him in the car for the next race.”

As F1 fans will know, Ricciardo replaced de Vries at Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri, soon after. The Australian has retained his spot for the 2024 season and now has his sights set even higher. As he reveals in episode nine of Drive To Survive, Ricciardo is aiming to impress in 2024, with the hope of returning to Red Bull from 2025 onwards.


2 Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with Mercedes will be strained


Drive To Survive Lewis Hamilton

INSTAGRAM | @lewishamilton


Entering the 2024 F1 season, the biggest storyline surrounds something that won’t actually happen until 2025—Lewis Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari. It was hoped that the new season of Drive To Survive would shed some light on Hamilton’s decision, and it did, but not in the way many anticipated.

Clearly, season six of Drive To Survive was finalised before news of Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes broke. Throughout the season, the question of Hamilton’s future is laboured over, with the entirety of episode six dedicated to the contract negotiations held between Hamilton and Mercedes. But the message the series sends at its conclusion seems to indicate that everyone—including Hamilton—expected the driver to stick with Mercedes for the foreseeable future.

New footage from Drive To Survive shows private meetings between Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff as the pair discuss the driver’s future. “This is precious years for me. I don’t know,” Hamilton tells Wollf during one meeting. “There never feels like a time when I’m not going to be a Mercedes driver. It’s my home. It’s my family,” he adds.

Episode six culminates with Hamilton signing a new contract that was supposed to keep him at Mercedes for another two years. We now know that Hamilton activated an early-exit clause in the contract to leave the team a year early, but what the series shows is just how unexpected that move was. Presumably, Hamilton and the Mercedes team will have tenuous relationship during the upcoming season.

Obviously, Hamilton and the Mercedes team are professionals and will do their utmost to prevent a fragmented relationship from derailing the outfit’s season before it even starts. However, to find success in F1, drivers, crew members and pit bosses need to be perfectly aligned if they want to have any hope of coming out on top. We’ve seen mistrust and personal grudges disrupt the sturdiest of F1 powerhouses before—the intense rivalry between Australian Mark Webber and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel immediately comes to mind—and if such a scenario presents itself, Hamilton’s final season with Mercedes will be filled with more tumult than celebrations.


3 Alpine could be in for a shake-up


As perennial middle of the pack-ers, Alpine have struggled to break away from their lackadaisical company at the bottom of the constructor’s championship and ascend to the tier of teams currently competing for the right to call themselves the best of the rest—as Red Bull has the firmest of firm holds on the top honour. To remedy the team’s lack of progress, Alpine dispensed of most of its leadership during the 2023 season but held onto its drivers—both of whom will be under the pump in 2024.

The feisty French duo of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are an odd pairing. Besides their shared nationality, the drivers have little else in common and have been on opposing sides of an intense rivalry for most of their careers. Breaking onto the karting and racing scenes at similar ages, Ocon and Gasly frequently competed for titles and were both touted as future F1 stars. Although, the Frenchmen have failed to replicate their early success in recent years.

Both Ocon and Gasly have won F1 races before, but last season the pair only managed a total of two podium finishes between them. As the new season of Drive To Survive made abundantly clear, that lack of success was responsible for nearly all of Alpine’s leadership team being shown the door, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane both sacked. Ocon and Gasly’s performances will be under a microscope in 2024. Neither Frenchman is under contract beyond this season, and unless we see an uptick in results, major changes will likely arrive soon.


4 Liam Lawson has a point to prove


Drive To Survive Liam Lawson

INSTAGRAM | @liamlawson30


A key beneficiary of the chain of events that involved Nyck de Vries’ sacking, Daniel Ricciardo’s lifeline and subsequent injury, was rookie New Zealander Liam Lawson, who pulled no punches in his brief opportunities to demonstrate his potential. After Ricciardo was forced out of action by a broken hand, Lawson stepped up to take his place over the next five races.

Lawson immediately stood out as an improvement on the standard established by AlphaTauri’s previous performances throughout their troubled season. Lawson finished higher than his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, in his first four F1 races. He also chalked up AlphaTauri’s first points of the season when he finished ninth at the Singapore Grand Prix, before Ricciardo returned from injury.

While Lawson wasn’t exactly challenging Max Verstappen for the lead in any of his stints behind the wheel, he consistently outperformed his teammate and was a brief light in a dark season for AlphaTauri. As such, it would be fair to say that Lawson could feel he had earned a permanent spot on the F1 grid from 2024 onwards. Instead, AlphaTauri decided to stick with Ricciardo and the struggling Tsunoda, and Lawson was rightfully ticked off about it, as he made clear in episode nine of Drive To Survive’s new season.

“I’ve just beaten the guy who got the seat,” Lawson tells Netflix’s cameras shortly after learning from Christian Horner that he wouldn’t be getting a starting spot in AlphaTauri’s 2024 lineup. “It’s meant to be me.” Lawson remains the reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri for the 2024 season. If there are any slip-ups from the AlphaTauri drivers, Lawson is waiting in the wings and will be ready to strike. With Sergio Perez’s contract at Red Bull expiring at the end of this year, the battle for his vacated seat could be a three-man race between the drivers at Red Bull’s junior team: Ricciardo, Tsunoda and Lawson. Don’t expect Lawson to give it up without a fight.


5 A bumper year is ahead for McLaren


Episode three of Drive To Survive season six focuses entirely on McLaren. Specifically, the episode details the team’s early season woes, as rookie Oscar Piastri struggled to find his footing and stalwart Lando Norris weighed his options regarding testing the waters with another team. Midway through the season, however, McLaren made changes to their troubled MCL60 and their fortunes improved dramatically.

For the second half of the 2023 season, McLaren frequently looked like the biggest challengers to Red Bull’s dominance. With a full season ahead under an improved outlook, coupled with the growing talents of Piastri and Norris’ long-term commitment, McLaren looks like it can threaten Mercedes and Ferrari for the title of best of the rest.


Drive To Survive Oscar Piastri

INSTAGRAM | @oscarpiastri



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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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