F1 confirms series four of ‘Drive to Survive’

Jon Wilde
Max Verstappen leads going into turn one of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir March 2021.

Max Verstappen's Red Bull leads going into the first corner of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir March 2021.

Formula 1 have confirmed a fourth season of documentary series ‘Drive to Survive’ will be aired on Netflix in 2022.

The award-winning fly-on-the-wall show began by covering the 2018 season, broadcast the following year, and has become highly popular both with F1 followers and in attracting new fans to the sport – particularly a younger audience and also in America.

Instead of focusing mainly on the racing, ‘Drive to Survive’ goes behind the scenes to examine the personalities and professional relationships involved, both in the paddock and away from the circuit.

At present, all we have is a “coming soon” teaser but if a similar pattern to this year is followed, we can expect the series to be released just before the start of next season.

Among the most high-profile figures featured in the docuseries is Haas boss Guenther Steiner, notably for his colourful language and interactions with the team’s former drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Steiner is happy to allow those making the programme to depict him however they see fit.

He said earlier this year: “We know filmmakers, they get the best they can out of it, that’s pretty clear.

“I don’t know how much was played up and therefore I’m not with those who are critical about it. I don’t know how they managed the stuff. That’s why I don’t have much of an opinion about it.

“It’s well known that film people always try to get the best possible out of it, so that the viewers enjoy watching it. We have to, and can live with that.

“As long as stories told there are not completely wrong. I didn’t hear that, actually, that it’s untrue. Maybe sensationalised a little bit, but otherwise I don’t think much is changed in principle – at least that’s how I understand it.”

F1’s director of media rights, Ian Holmes, meanwhile told Motorsport.com earlier this year that the series had opened the sport’s eyes about the potential audience growth the sport could gain.

“What it really demonstrated to us is how many fans might be out there, and how can we talk to existing fans but in a different way,” said Holmes.

“What the Netflix series shows us is that there is this appetite for content that has no place to be in a [regular] pre-race show. But there is a place for it and people are genuinely fascinated by it.

“The other thing it’s really demonstrated to us is that what interests people most is the individuals, the personalities, the rock stars, the drivers, or in some cases maybe a few team principals. It’s that sort of personality-driven programming.

“What I think it has so successfully done is shone a light on that, and this is where the teams deserve an awful lot of credit for their openness and their agreement to embrace the project and allow cameras and microphones into places they haven’t been allowed before.”