Does a close relationship with Formula 1 jeopardize Drive to Survive?

The stuff left box-to-box on the cutting room floor was insane. For example, there is nothing on Red Bull’s decision to boycott Sky Sports in Mexico. Maybe that spit wasn’t a bunch of beans, but it felt like great Netflix fodder and sparked a discussion about social media toxicity.

There is nothing in the line of team orders in Brazil either, as Verstappen declined a direct request to stop for teammate Sergio Perez. This row offered a fascinating insight into the power dynamics at Red Bull and led to explosive allegations from the Verstappen camp that Perez deliberately fell in qualifying for Monaco earlier in the season. Sensational stuff, and again, you’d think perfect Netflix fodder.


Curiously, there is next to nothing on George Russell’s first F1 win, which came at Interlagos. Apparently that was only mentioned in passing in the last episode.

The team has reported the Red Bull failures telegraph sports They didn’t lean on Netflix to leave anything out. So one can only conclude that Netflix has run out of space (the penultimate episode tackles the series of budget caps that comes to a head in Austin before the final episode jumps straight to Abu Dhabi) or, more worryingly, that they have have decided to omit these stories for editorial reasons.

If that’s the case, it raises other questions. Are the documentary filmmakers now too close to their subjects? Too involved? Maybe they don’t want to lose him after getting Verstappen to talk to them again? Who knows.

There are some great moments in season five. The team boss meeting in Montreal is a classic. The emotions in the budget cap episode, which deals with the death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, are very raw. And episode four Like father, like son? following the struggles of Mick Schumacher is brilliant. The pressure to live up to Michael’s name, the stinging criticism from the pit wall and his own garage when he falls for the umpteenth time, the emotions, including from his mother Corinna, when he finally scores his first points. Those humanizing moments are where Drive to survive stays really strong.

But elsewhere it feels a little performative.

Drive to survive (Season 5) is on Netflix.

The Telegraph, London Does a close relationship with Formula 1 jeopardize Drive to Survive?

Jaclyn Diaz

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