Formula 1: Drive To Survive
It’s a story. It’s emotional. It spectacular.
It’s not about the sport of racing (though that’s a pretty cool part of it), it’s the storyline about the humans competing in the sport. If Netflix is great at doing something it’s showing the human side of things.
If we take a look at the series through Chip and Dan Heath’s eyes (the fellas who wrote “Made To Stick”) using their Six Principles of Sticky Ideas, there’s a very good reason why this series is propelling Formula 1 into sport stardom.
- It’s simple. The sport that is. ten teams, twenty drivers. Is there any sport that has less people involved? Even if you involve the principles from each team that still in total thirty people to follow. A single football team would have double that amount of people. Formula 1 may be the easiest sport to follow along with.
- It’s unexpected. You don’t think you’re going to fall in love with Daniel Ricciardo but you do. You don’t think you’d end up feeling bad for Bottas but you do. You don’t think Grosjean will get out of the burning car but he does. There are so many twists and turns in the plot line that it keeps you interested! Or at least Netflix does a great job of withholding storyline elements till the perfect moment.
- It’s concrete. You get to see the inside of conversations that until now had never been heard. You get to hear analysis from some of the journalists that follow F1. When Haas in season three is struggling, they don’t beat around the bush. Magnussen slams and breaks a door, Guenther loses his mind. It’s quite an amazing spectacle from someone who’s enjoyed sports watching from the outside in. This feels like you’re in it watching the drama unfold around you.
- It’s credible. There are Netflix shows that drum up the drama and when you realize some of it’s just for show you lose respect for the producers. In Drive to Survive they go into houses of drivers and Christian horner. When the RedBull Principle asked his daughters who their favourite driver is he receives answers he definitely doesn’t want to hear, let alone be captured on camera!
- It’s emotional. Mercedes hired Niki Lauda to help with the team they at first did it to attract Lewis Hamilton to the team. After that his intelligence around the sport, being part of winning teams, you couldn’t hire a better mentor. Sadly he passed away during the filming of drive to survive and the entire Formula 1 driver roster end up wear the signature Red cap.
- It’s one amazing story. It’s hard not to binge watch the Drive To Survive series. The way they drum up drama between teams, drivers and their principles is done very well. The behind the scenes interviews with folks like Bottas talking about being the second Mercedes seat or a chat with Gasly after he’s demoted to Alpha Tauri.One of the best episodes comes in season 3, when you find out Sebastian Vettel will be driving for Aston Martin next year, leaving Sergio Perez without a seat in the 2021 season. Perez is having the best season of his life! After he finds out the news, they are about to race in Bahrain. Perez, on the first lap ends up in last place. Then proceeds to PASS THE ENTIRE FIELD and wins the race. It’s hard not to get emotional for the Mexican native. On the radio he can’t even talk, he’s too happy all you hear is him crying happy.
It’s moments like that with Perez that make the series (and sport) so entertaining.
Even now watching the 2021 season before Netflix covers it, it’s been one rollercoaster of a season. The first in seven years that Lewis Hamilton isn’t running away with the Championship. Max Verstappen and team RedBull are making F1 even more interesting vying for a championship, stealing the reigns from the ever so powerful Mercedes.
I never thought I’d be waking up at 6:30am on weekend mornings to watch first Qualifying and then the race on Sundays. Granted I have a 3 month old baby so it makes the morning a perfect time to watch some racing!
Formula 1 has done something spectacular in a few short season on Netflix to make me hooked to the sport. And by Formula 1’s numbers so far this season, you could say I’m definitely not the only one. Hopefully more sports get on the Netflix bandwagon, it makes it so much more interesting to watch.