Drive to Survive divides die-hard motorsport fans on their portrayal of the sport. With season three out and binged by the majority of fans, it’s time to take a look at who I think were the winners and the losers.
My one-word review of series three is: average.
Nothing about this series ‘WOW’ed me. 2020 was the most exciting season in recent years and DTS could have shown that, but in true NetFlix style it was overdramtized. Do ‘causal’ viewers really want to knows the ins and out of the sport? No. So you can tell it’s very much aimed at those who know a little about F1, and with this in mind, for a global audience is very well done – but I was disappointed as I don’t think it was as exciting as the previous seasons.
So, who looked good this season? My first thought, Christan Horner. The Red Bull team principal loves the drama and so do we. From previous seasons, he has always been a big character that NetFlix focuses on and this year was no different. You can tell just how much respect Toto Wolff and himself have for each other with the videos of them talking at race weekends. They are the only two people who know what it’s like to lead a team at the very top in the last decade and it really shows. On top of that, there was that exchange between Christan Horner and Sebastian Vettel which for a lot of us, hit us where it hurts. Christan was giving advice to Vettel regarding his future and Seb said “and then come home” with Christans response being, “exactly.” Drive To Survive would not be the same without him and this season was no different.
Sticking with team principals, I thought Cyril Abiteboul had a very poor display. He came across very immature, with constant whining and negative vibes. He was obviously upset by Daniel leaving, but the way he kept going on about it? You only signed Daniel for 2 years and he did what you asked. I think it summed up his year at Renault.
I don’t think there was a stand out driver who looked really good, but it did reflect on how well Ricciardo and Perez’s seasons were. Checo came across very humble and down to earth which is a side I don’t think we see often. Ricciardo seems to be that driver that leaves a mark on all teams.
What can I say about Alex Albon. Drive To Survive showed his season how many of us fans saw his season: disappointing. Fundamentally he didn’t perform to the level he should have and doesn’t have that ruthless mentality that Red Bull are after. They need someone to push Max rather than be Mr Nice Guy as in F1, that isn’t going to get results.
Someone who did impress me was Lawrence Stroll. Maybe its the business girl in me but boy – would I love to talk business with that man. I’m not sure if my respect has grown for him due to his professionalism surrounding business or knowing what could have been for Force India in terms of Nikita Mazepin’s Dad and Rich Energy which would have been…well… interesting for the sport.
Finally, I was very disappointed with some of the story lines that DTS missed.
There was nothing on Max Verstappen apart from Christian saying how much he is Red Bulls wonder child. No mention on any of the drivers contracting Covid-19 or George Russell’s Mercedes debut at Sakhir . Lewis got all of 5 minutes at the end for his active role in fighting for equality and BLM. I think he deserved more. Although I think the most frustrating thing was the lack of recognition for Williams! Nothing about Frank, Claire, George?They have been at the pinnacle of the sport for years, won World Championships, brought the best drivers into the sport and quite frankly – they deserve so much more but got nothing. Equally maybe Williams didn’t give NetFlix the access, regardless, as a fan it was very disappointing.
On the whole, it was my least favourite series of Drive To Survive. I think there could have been more coverage on the events that mattered rather than the irrelevant rivalries between Lewis and Valtteri or Carlos and Lando. I think it is good for a global audience and bring new fans into the sport, but for long term fans it can be frustrating to watch due to the twisted truth.