Drive to Survive 2 highlights the ruthless side of motorsport

Jonathon Lynam

The second season of Netflix’s “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” dropped at the end of last month and is just as good as the premiere season last year.

For those who have never watched a Formula 1 race in their life, “Drive to Survive” is a great way to be introduced to it. Over the course of the 10 episode season, the series shows viewers the pressure these drivers are under in order to to keep their seat at their teams or even to just remain in the sport.

Often F1 the races can be hit and miss especially in the current period of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominance, but in F1 the politics is where it gets interesting and that’s where the series shines.

The show is granted behind the scenes access to the teams and the drivers private lives. For example, in this season the viewer gets to see the previous season’s fan favourite Haas team principal Gunther Steiner at home with his wife and daughter where he is much more relaxed than the man in season one who described his crew as looking like “wankers instead of Rockstars” and the man seen trackside this season.

One big difference from season one is that season two of the series decided to ditch the more linear timeline of the first season and instead each episode is focused on an individual team or drivers which helps with understanding the politics side of the sport.

Episodes five and six showcase the true ruthlessness of the sport as they follow the story of RedBull Racing driver Pierre Gasly’s season as he struggles to match the pace of his teammate Max Verstappen who many believe is the heir to Hamilton’s throne.

As Verstappen fights for pole positions and race wins, Gasly finds himself struggling in 6th position as the pressure mounts on him and the safety of his seat in F1 comes into question not even halfway through his first season with the team.

By midseason, Gasly has lost his seat at Redbull racing being demoted to the junior team Torro Rosso and replaced by an F1 rookie in Alex Albon, and if things couldn’t get any harder for Gasly he loses a childhood racing friend, Anthoine Hubert, in a horrific F2 crash on the same weekend.

Elsewhere we witness the pain of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg as he not only gets ejected from his team but the sport as he narrowly misses out on performance-related clauses which would have seen him stay on.  While Mercedes have an episode dedicated to their capitulation at their home Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Overall season two of Drive to Survive lives up to the previous season however the move away from the linear format of season one meant that there’s a lot of going back forth this time around which may not be to everyone’s liking. However, the principles remain the same and the series is definitely worth a watch even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of the sport.

Jonathon Lynam 

Image Credit: Flickr