As the 2020 season of Formula 1 prepares to get underway, or perhaps not given the Coronavirus currently sweeping its way around the world, Netflix returns for season two of the behind the scenes documentary.
Across ten episodes the producers attempt to bring you the stories that unfolded across the 2019 year of Formula 1 from a different, new perspective.
They talk with team principles, drivers, family members and the media, getting their reactions to events both on track and off it, for 2019 was a season of moves in some teams.
In season one of the show, both Mercedes and Ferrari declined to be in it, which left it feeling a little odd, given Mercedes won and Ferrari pushed them. However, it was still a great documentary, a well put together insight into the world of F1.
The second season, you could quite easily argue, had much more promise. Not only had both Ferrari and Mercedes agreed to take part, but there was easily so much more drama both on and off the track.
It’s a shame then that this doesn’t come through over the ten episodes. The whole thing feels rushed, some episodes running at a little over 30 minutes, and whilst some key points are shown, the crash between Vettel and Leclerc in Brazil for instance, you don’t see any of the fall out.
It’s hard to say exactly why season two of Drive To Survive doesn’t hit the mark, the emphasis appears to have switched for the documentary, it is as if they have tried to make it slicker, but only succeeded in taking away what made season one so good.
You could, quite easily so I will, draw comparisons with the sport itself, one that has gone on to be dominated by a handful of teams that have the largest budgets, cannibalising itself from the inside (as many other sports are prone to doing).
Netflix look to have done the same; whilst the episodes do focus on the behind the scenes at times, there’s also a lot of navel gazing, the producers seemingly thrilled to have got Christian Horner and his wife Geri, she of Spice Girls fame, on camera.
Two teams are missing altogether in Racing Point and Alfa Romeo (which, from a comment by Sergio Perez doesn’t appear to be from choice by the teams), though a teaser for season three does show them in situ.
Perhaps the season missed the ever wonderful and candid Haas team principle Guenther Steiner, who is in it far less this time round. His bluntness is missed, though present at the start, he is used far less than previously.
There isn’t even mention of Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of the great Emerson Fittipaldi, being at Haas as the test driver, which is surprising.
Instead we focus heavily on Daniel Ricciardo and his move to Renault and the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams and shenanigans that went on there with Albon and Gasly. This means Christian Horner is the most used team principle, with only a smattering of Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto or Claire Williams for instance.
Here’s hoping season three can pickup where one left, and bring us another great behind the scenes F1 documentary.