Formula 1: Drive to Survive

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Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Formula 1 Drive to Survive.jpg
GenreDocumentary series
Created byFormula One
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Running time27–40 minutes
Production companyBox to Box Films
Original networkNetflix
Original release8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)—present (present)
External links

Formula 1: Drive to Survive is a documentary series produced in collaboration between Netflix and Formula One to give an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the drivers and races of the 2018 and 2019 Formula One World Championships.

The first season covering the 2018 World Championship premiered on 8 March 2019, and the second season covering the 2019 World Championship was released on Netflix on 28 February 2020. Filming for the 2020 season is currently underway.


Season 1: 2018 World Championship[edit]

The ten-part documentary 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".[1][2]

Season 2: 2019 World Championship[edit]

The ten-part documentary series covers the 2019 Formula One World Championship and will include every team, including Ferrari and Mercedes who had not allowed Netflix to cover their teams in the first season. The second season will also "revisit Daniel Ricciardo at Renault, follow 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".[3]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1108 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
21028 February 2020 (2020-02-28)

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 [4]
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 off 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.

Prior to 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. In the race, Grosjean and Magnussen crash into each other, 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 prior to 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 owing to the fact that 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 encounters an engine problem in a free practice session. Vettel manages to qualify 2nd, ahead of Leclerc in 4th. However, in the race, Vettel rapidly slips down the order 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 order 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 which he has failed to meet so far. Abiteboul discusses with Toto Wolff to get Esteban Ocon, who is 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 to the Brazilian Grand Prix, Albon is confirmed as Red Bull's second driver for 2020. Since moving back to Toro Rosso, Gasly is performing very well. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz is having his best season so far, consistently finishing in the top ten in the race and the McLaren car is also performing well. McLaren aim to keep their status as 'best of the rest' for the short-term, and then eventually challenge the top teams in F1. 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, while Gasly fights for 6th. A safety car is brought out after Bottas retires from the race, and the tension between Vettel and Leclerc finally erupts when the two collide and puncture their wheels. Red Bull look set to have a 1-2 with Verstappen 1st and Albon 2nd, while Gasly is now 3rd and Sainz 5th. Lewis Hamilton who is currently 4th, first overtakes Gasly and tries to do the same with Albon, but he crashes into him, robbing Albon of his first F1 podium. Verstappen wins the race. 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 which elevates Sainz to 3rd, his 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. Back at the USA Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was crowned a six-time World Champion. He celebrates this with the Mercedes team, who also happen to be the Constructor's champions this year. 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, there will be a budget cap implemented in an attempt to reduce the advantage of the top teams.


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.[2][5] 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.[6][7]

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.[1]

Filming began for the 2020 season in March but was suspended until July due to COVID-19 pandemic.[8]


The trailer for the first season was released on 20 February 2019, and on 8 March 2019 the series premiered on Netflix.[5][9]

The trailer for the second season was released on 17 February 2020, and premiered on Netflix on 28 February 2020.[7][10]


  1. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (24 March 2018). "Netflix Teams With Formula 1 Racing For New Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Formula 1 and Netflix in 2018 season deal". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ Gilboy, James (17 February 2020). "Formula 1: Drive to Survive Netflix Docuseries Season 2 Trailer Oozes Drama". The Drive. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Formula 1: Drive to Survive – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b Horton, Phillip. "Formula 1: Release date confirmed for F1's Netflix series". Motorsport Week. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Formula 1: Drive To Survive to return to Netflix next year | Formula 1®". 24 July 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b Blackstock, Elizabeth (18 February 2020). "Netflix's Drive To Survive, The Only Good F1 Show, Looks Even Better In Season Two". Jalopnik. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  8. ^ "F1 confirms season three of Netflix series 'Drive to Survive' is in production". 10 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Formula 1 and Netflix announce 'Drive to Survive' | Formula 1®". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Coming February 28 – Formula 1: Drive to Survive Season 2 on Netflix". 22 January 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.

External links[edit]