F1 hints at future changes to ‘Drive to Survive’ as season four trailer appears

2022 F1 season

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Netflix has released the first trailer for season four of its fly-on-the-wall Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive.

The new edition of the series, covering the events of the 2021 F1 season, is due to arrive on March 11th. It will run across 10 episodes.

The series has been credited with broadening the sport’s appeal among younger fans and especially the American audience, which F1 owners Liberty Media is keen to attract.

“It’s no doubt that Drive to Survive has an incredible effect mainly on the new audiences and also in other new markets like US, for sure,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in a conference call with investors last week.

“You have to stay tuned to the new series, because I’ve just had the possibility to see and it would be fantastic. And with the right tone and, as you can imagine with what has happened last year, there will be a lot of action on. So that’s good.”

The success of the format has spawned many imitators, such as Moto GP Unlimited, which will arrive on Amazon Prime three days after the new series of Drive to Survive launches.

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner in season four of Drive to Survive
Toto Wolff and Christian Horner in season four of Drive to Survive
However Domenicali said F1 could make changes to the programme’s format in the future in order to keep it fresh.

“I think that what we have shown as Formula 1 has been always to be in front of the step change that everything has to happen,” he said. “So I think that it’s important for us to be, with Drive to Survive, with our Netflix friends, up to the moment where we believe that will make a show that it’s a differentiating factor.

“If it is becoming just a different way to speak about Formula 1 without adding or giving to Formula 1 platform added value, maybe I think it’s better to renegotiate and see with Netflix or with the other partners what could be a possibility to do something different in the future.”

However he stressed the series is pleased with Drive to Survive’s contribution to its recent growth in popularity. “This platform has been a vital point on the growth of awareness, mainly with a young generation and with newcomers of Formula 1,” he said. “And for that we need to thank that vision and the product and the quality of that has been really very, very good.”

Drive to Survive has attracted criticism over its representation of events. World champion Max Verstappen refused to co-operate with the programme makers, accusing them of “faking a few rivalries that didn’t exist”. He will appear in the new series as the producers also have access to footage shot by Formula 1 Management.

Drive to Survive season four teaser trailer

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “F1 hints at future changes to ‘Drive to Survive’ as season four trailer appears”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    28th February 2022, 11:03

    With a Verstappen that doesn’t want to partake because he’s being pictured as the big bad wolf against the ‘holier than thou’ Hamilton and aside from that titlefight not much going on in 2021, DtS needs to change it up to keep it viable. You can’t drag 10 episodes out over a single event and otherwise you’re going to end up with creating things out of thin air to fill the time.

    What are they going to do: make up some rivavly between Gio and Kimi?

    1. DtS were in the McLaren garage in Monza. So one episode is right there. What a story!

      So many things happened in 2021 dude. Alpine winning with the amazing teamwork with Alonso and Ocon. Bottas and Russel crashing – a rivalry that DtS dont have to manufacture. I could go on.

      And even if they focused solely on the title fight it would still be cool. What a battle!

    2. There’s a whole episode worth of stuff they could do on the events (or non-events if you like) at Spa last year.

      As for needing changes, sometimes the old maxim ‘if it ain’t bust, don’t fix it’ would seem apposite.

    3. You can’t drag 10 episodes out over a single event

      This website is rather good at it though ;-)

      1. Correction Mayrton. Every ‘UK’ website is rather good at it .

  2. “You can’t drag 10 episodes out over a single event and otherwise you’re going to end up with creating things out of thin air to fill the time.”

    What are you talking about? Single event. Did you not watch the races last season? Single event humbug!

  3. Max pictured as the big bad wolf by Netflix? And there was me thinking it was because he had signed an exclusive deal with Viaplay that his fans need to subscribe to if they want to hear from him.

    1. The deal with Viaplay has only recently been signed. Verstappens refusal stems back from the time Ricciardo was his teammate. But you probably already knew that.

      1. So Max has been in a four year sulk about how he was portrayed in 2018 when he was with Ricci? Didn’t realise he was such a sensitive sole.

        1. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
          28th February 2022, 17:23

          That probably planted the seeds but the show does create fake drama between the drivers, more so than much of the media will anyway. Especially in a title fight like last year, I think it’s completely reasonable for a driver to opt out. It’s like Hamilton’s silence after last season, I would want to avoid the media circus too

        2. The essence is that he just wants to race. Just like Kimi he is totally not interested in the show around it. As an athlete should be imho. Others make this into a circus, while it originated as a sport/competition.

    2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      28th February 2022, 12:39

      Ah yes, I see you’re jumping onto the bandwagon while not having any knowledge about what you’re saying at all.

      It was literally the same with Ziggo before ViaPlay. Yes, a lot of people had Ziggo as their broadcaster, but one could only watch F1 through a subscription on them, or one when using a different TV/Internet sub. The only difference now is that Ziggo also doesn’t have the rights for F1 anymore so their client need to take a sub at ViaPlay too.

      The only people who make a problem out of it are the ‘not very smart’-people who can’t see that A: they’ve been overpaying for their ziggo-sub for years, seeing as they will basically pay the same as before just now without F1. This instead of going to a different providers (cheaper AND faster) and easily have enough to spare for a ViaPlay-sub (or even better, F1TV)
      And B: People that somehow think that Olav Mol provided proper F1-commentary. ‘Yes but he knows things’. No he doesn’t. There were plenty of races where he and his choirboy ‘dentist-turned-pitlane-reporter’ were citing articles from here, Motorsport and AMuS, claiming to have gotten that info themselves.

      If anything, Ziggo losing the F1-rights is a great thing.

      1. A bit of an aside @barryfromdownunder; about overpaying for Ziggo, while I live in Berlin, and other siblings outside NL too, when my mother moved to her (now part of Delfzijl) home next to the church of a little village in the north east, ziggo was, and at this moment it still remains, the only real option for internet (and they only gave TV inclusive deal), so there’s not much to be done about that. I think quite a few people in the netherlands might be in a similar situation, or do you see it differently. Yeah, possibly off topic for racefans, but somewhat related as it impacts on what choice one might have for what to watch (yes, over the top extra payment possibly often an option if you really want to, but that’s clearly not cheap either).

  4. I watched & quite liked the 1st season of DTS but I tuned out of it part way through season 2 & also didn’t watch much of season 3 as I just don’t like the way the show plays with things to create narratives that don’t exist & things.

    I was hoping it would be & would much prefer it to be a proper documentary & it simply isn’t. It’s clearly not something aimed at fans like me who have been watching long term, Who are deeply knowledgable of the sport & who watch all of the races so are able to see through a lot of things they do to to ‘spice things up’.

    It’s just disappointing/frustrating for me that there isn’t an alternative that gives fans like me something that is more of a proper documentary.

    And as i’ve said in the past it’s extra frustrating given how DTS came along at the same time the end of year reviews became nothing more than edited clips of the live broadcast (Same as the short highlights they upload to Youtube/F1TV) using Sky’s live commentary rather than something which was put together for the purpose of telling the story of the season both on & off track & which also included some unseen stuff. There’s no point buying or watching those reviews now as none of it new & they simply aren’t very good.

    1. Take Grosjean’s Bahrain crash.
      https://youtu.be/7YMjw2sjXqU

      The fake sound effects, the way they use a radio clip from elsewhere of him saying ‘F’ before he hits the barrier, The way they put a woman shouting ‘oh my god’ & screaming over the top of footage of the fire, The ‘erie/dramatic’ music they play over it all & the way they drag it on for 5 minutes before showing him getting out of the car to try & create as much drama is possible.

      And the way they use radio clips or garage shots to create narratives that don’t exist.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtWWlMSLLDk

      That’s the sort of stuff i’m not fond of.

      1. And that is what Max meant….

        1. Netfliix is an entertainment company, not a sports commentary one. Just that sentence alone should explain DTS’s approach to F1 in general. Often it’s a good thing but of course there’s some bad elements.

      2. DTS never claimed to be a documentary. All the things you mentioned make for compelling viewing. This idea that it should be some rote and dry presentation is simply not how television (or audiences) work. All narrative is fiction.

        1. All narrative is fiction.

          but that’s not the way they sell DTS.
          And its getting the wrong message about several drivers to uninformed viewers.

      3. Cotd. Youtubers can do better than netflix, I too stopped watching a while ago. Not wanting to belittle youtubers but many show that you can make proper documentaries that get plenty of views. Viral content gets loads of traffic quick but then tail off, good content grows.

  5. The principals calling the entertainment they are in as warfare just irks atm…

  6. Sprint episodes then?

  7. While I agree with the sentiment that DtS should be less sensationalistic and not manufacture drama that does not exist, F1 is being incredibly hypocritical calling out DtS for the format when F1 and the FIA did everything they could to manufacture drama last season. Yes, they seem to now recognize the error of their ways putting The Show before Sport but it’s a bit rich for F1 to take swipes at DtS’ format given everything that happened last season.

    1. Very true. They really lost themselves last season.

  8. I’ve said a few times that I would be much more interested in something like the “Formula 2: Chasing The Dream” series on F1TV than DTS. (From what I’ve heard about DTS, I don’t have Netflix) It’s apparently much more of a season review with added behind the scenes insights, rather than a dramatized retelling of the season. That’s the kind of stuff I’d really love to see from F1/Netflix.

    Alternatively, has Amazon ever thought of making an “All or Nothing: [insert name here]” for an F1 team? Sure, they may have to make quite a few cuts for secrecy reasons, but Amazon did a similar thing at McLaren a few years ago I think that I quite enjoyed, so I wouldn’t be adverse to something like this.

    1. I agree the F2 series was fantastic. It was raw, pure, emotional, and just all around immersive; almost the total opposite to DTS, which is nowadays hard to watch.

      1. RandomMallard
        1st March 2022, 0:19

        @gitanes

        I agree the F2 series was fantastic

        Don’t bother with the past tense! Season 3 is set to release today (1st March). They announced it last week, and it caught me by surprise a bit because I thought they hadn’t made a season 3 because it’s coming about a month later than the previous two. I’m very excited though.

  9. (In addition I might add)….Production values…..cinematography , editing, sound quality and mixing. These qualities make even the mundane and prosaic….interesting. The long time follower of F1 needs no additional drama to enjoy the sport, but for the casual fan, or the viewers who follow not at all……DtS holds their interest by generating drama.

    And, the business side of F1 can hardly be expected to turn their backs on the growing following that is attributed in no small way to this one series. F1 has become, over all these years, as much show business as sport.

  10. DTS isn’t really aimed at existing long term fans. It’s a bitesize glossy remake of actual events to try and get more casual fans in. Same as the sprint races.

    I quite enjoyed season 1 from what I remember as it was good to see behind the scenes. But seems to all be about creating fake drama. Which is pretty crazy given how much actual drama there is.

    Saying that, we’re all commenting on something we’ve not seen yet!

  11. Any F1 fan who respects himself shouldn’t watch that so called “documentary”.

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