Formula 1: The ‘Drive to Survive’ the whole series…

Formula 1 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Formula 1 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) /

Netflix’s Drive to Survive has been a rather large hit for Formula 1 when it comes to recognition and popularity. But it is not perfect, as sensationalism and an exaggerated level of dramatization prevent the hardcore fans from thoroughly enjoying each episode.

The new season of the Formula 1 documentary, Drive to Survive, dropped recently and has been a hot topic of discussion. The series was created to grab the interest of non-Formula 1 fans and transform them. And, arguably, that has worked. So, great success.

But it does not tick the boxes for all Formula 1 fans, especially the longer and more hardcore fans. With an impressive amount of sensationalism and levels of dramatization that do not quite fit in, it becomes rather tricky to finish the whole series.

Also, the onboards. Oh my, the onboards. Who knew a driver could be driving a Formula 1 car at two places at once? Amazing.

If the producers and editors thought some wouldn’t notice the continuity errors, they were wrong.

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The broadcasted radio comments by the drivers are a noticeable feature during race highlights, and it is only on rare occasion that a radio comment was being used when it actually happened.

Just as an example, team radio comments after a Qualifying 3 lap were used in what was a lap from Free Practice 1, and multiple times. A lot of these problems begin in the episodes that are based around the races in Austria. During the opening round, after Max Verstappen was already out of the race, Alexander Albon was the lone Red Bull driver remaining in the race.

With a free pit stop for the team that Mercedes did not cover, to Christian Horner’s surprise, Albon entered the pits and stopped on his marks. His old tires came off and brand new white-striped hard tires were bolted on. The car came down and off he went.

Suddenly, he left the pits and his hard tires were brand spanking new soft tires. Must be some new and very impressive tire changing technique without having to stop.

It continues with the Albon-focused episode. Remember when Albon and Lewis Hamilton came together later on, leaving Albon reminiscing the famous Dead or Alive song in the gravel, you know, “you spin me right ’round”?

Thank you.

Anyway, the contact happened. Hamilton tagged the right rear end of Albon’s car, meaning the Red Bull had to turn left to correct spinning to the right. However, as soon as the contact happened, the Red Bull magically transported itself to what looks to be another Red Bull spinning to the left between turns seven and eight.

Sadly, things like that happen in multiple episodes — like the fake, “bitter” rivalry between Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr. at McLaren, with more out of place radio comments by Sainz after he had to let Norris through, making it sound a lot worse than it was.

Then, of course, it continues. Sainz pulled up at the end of the race in Austria, and by the time his car came to a halt, he is in what looks to be Monza — in Italy. Again, more very impressive traveling technology.

By this point, we’re struggling. Just high levels of commitment are getting us to the end.

Now time for the best moment. Or the worst? The final episode of the season is focused on the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi. Qualifying was a full-on Max Verstappen vs. Mercedes battle, with the Dutchman coming out on top.

Footage showed Verstappen beginning his lap, but in Albon’s car with Albon’s helmet, along with Norris starting his lap in Sainz’s car with the Spaniard’s helmet.

Remember, the last three rounds of the season were all in the Middle East under the lights. And it seems that the creators of the show were hoping to mix clips from all three races without people noticing. Again, that failed.

Back to qualifying. The intensity was dialed to eleven with Verstappen and Hamilton on flying laps in Abu Dhabi — as they drove around the outer loop in Bahrain. Yet they still qualified on the pole position and third place, respectively.

Mightily, mightily impressive what these modern day Formula 1 cars can do.

Now for one final slightly irritating moment. The tight midfield battle between Renault and Racing Point came down to the last lap as Esteban Ocon, with DRS, battled Lance Stroll heading into turns 11, 12 and 13. This chicane, to be clear, starts by going left.

Ocon slung it down the inside and boom, down the inside of turn one at Bahrain he goes, throwing his Renault full-lock to the right.

That was enough.

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Of course, Drive to Survive was created to be entertainment, to be a show to entice people into the world of Formula 1, but for the hardcore F1 fans, it can become a struggle with the episodes really not telling the whole story along with obvious continuity errors. It is a struggle. Yes, this is being picky, but if they want to be, fans can be picky. Ones who know the sport inside out are entitled to it.