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“Drive to Survive”: Season 6 of the Formula 1 series on Netflix remains true to itself

The Netflix hit “Drive to Survive” about Formula 1 continues its tried-and-tested formula in season 6 – why streaming is still worthwhile for fans

What would the start of a Formula 1 season be without a new season of “Drive to Survive” (DTS)? The popular Netflix series has been part of the regular repertoire since 2019. And so it has become a tradition for the streaming service to release new seasons of the Formula 1 documentary series just in time for the winter tests

The opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the premier class has created a real boom in popularity and significantly expanded the target group.

Now in its sixth season, all ten episodes are built around one of the main storylines of the 2023 season. As Max Verstappen has won all but one of the races, the creators have had to look elsewhere for their thrills and focus more on the drama off the track.

Perhaps that’s a good thing, because DTS remains a little bumpy when it comes to telling a story on the track. The series falls into the old habit of overlaying out-of-context sound bites and pit wall reactions over the footage, something that was less prevalent in season 5.

After all, it doesn’t make much sense when you get the impression that the race engineers are whispering in their drivers’ ears as they speed towards turn 1 at the start. But at this point, die-hard Formula 1 fans simply need to take a deep breath and remember who the series is primarily aimed at.

Instead, for seasoned motorsport fans – and that’s probably you if you’re reading this – DTS shines with fresh footage from the real world, in season 6.

Red Bull courts Lando Norris

The third episode, which revolves around McLaren, stands out in particular for its delicious humor. Red Bull’s Christian Horner is out to stick the proverbial knife in the back of Zak Brown’s team by openly courting Lando Norris.

We get a nice little insight into the internal intricacies as McLaren’s blue-chip sponsors anxiously ask Brown what’s going on. This is followed by a well-crafted segment on the team’s mid-season resurgence when Norris finished second in the home race at Silverstone.

While Brown does the main work on camera and is very present, Andrea Stella, McLaren team principal since 2023, who got the team back on track, is strangely barely mentioned. But perhaps they both like it better this way.

Netflix star Günther Steiner is also back to his old self in season 6, while the problems of his team Haas are well documented. Seeing young female Formula 1 fans clamoring to meet the sometimes foul-mouthed Italian at his book signing is almost surreal

Since Steiner has since been replaced at Haas, it could have been his last appearance in the series. Instead, Netflix is celebrating the comeback of another fan favorite, Daniel Ricciardo, who experienced a year worthy of a Hollywood screenplay in 2023.

An episode is dedicated to him and the faltering Nyck de Vries, who he succeeds. Box to Box Films deserve a lot of credit for being on hand for the Australian’s Silverstone test, as he ultimately convinced Red Bull to give Ricciardo a second chance at AlphaTauri in place of de Vries.

We get to see, in abbreviated form, a series of events and meetings, including Ricciardo’s initial reaction to the news that he’s back in the game. He later returns for another episode centered around the wrist break at Zandvoort, which brings Liam Lawson into the picture as his replacement.

The best drama is provided by Alpine

While Ferrari and McLaren continue to play a big part in the second half of the series, which we haven’t had access to yet, the award for best drama goes to the implosion at Alpine. The long-running rivalry between Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly takes center stage in the fifth episode.

But the title “Civil War” would have been much more fitting for the events surrounding the departures of CEO Laurent Rossi and team principal Otmar Szafnauer, which segue into a second DTS episode (not yet shown) dominated by Alpine.

Netflix has largely stuck to its tried and tested formula. So if you weren’t a fan before, this season won’t change your mind. But if you’re just here for the behind-the-scenes popcorn cinema and can overlook the odd flourish or two, then cruise free.

All ten episodes of the sixth season of “Drive to Survive” will be available for a fee from Friday, February 23, on the streaming provider Netflix.

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