It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, Formula 1 remained something of a niche sport, pushed to the peripheries while other sports like rugby, football, cricket and basketball stole all the spotlight. But since the launch of Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the sport has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, attracting a new generation of fans and keen audiences around the world.
The documentary series has been its own phenomenon, catapulting stars that were otherwise known only in the realm of racing into a new stratosphere of fame. Take Aussie golden boy, Daniel Ricciardo, for example – the man might commence the 2023 season off the grid with Red Bull, but he’s still enjoying a presence as one of the biggest personalities within the sport thanks to a behind-the-scenes look granted by Netflix that endeared Ricciardo to fans. That same philosophy has now been taken to the likes of golf and tennis, with Netflix dropping debut seasons of Break Point and Full Swing as a result.
But with the 2023 Formula 1 season around the corner, racing fans will have even more to be excited about as season five of Drive to Survive drops on February 24th. Depicting the 2022 season, the series will explore one of the biggest shake-ups in the history of the grid. After a longstanding dominance atop the field, Mercedes found itself no longer the favourite thanks to rival, Red Bull Racing. Add to the fold a surprising result from Haas and Scuderia Ferrari, and nothing looked certain out there on the track – even with Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel.
And, for those who missed the quips and tantrums of Red Bull Racing’s two-time champion Max Verstappen, who criticised Netflix for their highly-curated and dramatised portrayal of both racing and its drivers, it looks like Verstappen has come around and will once again be back in the interviewee seat.
Netflix also went ahead and dropped the episode titles for the series on Instagram, and while it’s safe to say that Ricciardo didn’t have the best of seasons in 2022, he managed to take his episode in stride. Positioned to be the focus of the episode ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’, the Aussie larrikin laughed it off, commenting on the post: “At least I’m a good bloke” with a laughing emoji.
A full synopsis from Netflix for the series, reads: “Offering unprecedented access, this new season will once again take fans behind the scenes, to witness first-hand how the drivers and teams prepare to battle it out for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The series will offer never-before-seen footage and interviews from the sport’s biggest names.”
Ahead of the release of the series come February 24th, check out the trailer below.