• Saira D.

Calling All Adrenaline Junkies w/ "Formula 1: Drive to Survive"

Amid these uncertain times, the world of sport and specifically, motorsport, has been heavily postponed, seriously altered, and for fans such as myself my heart truly hurts! But to cope with the back and forth nature the sporting world is currently exercising, Netflix’s docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive is the perfect way to get your F1 fix and, the perfect series for anyone who loves that feeling of sheer exhilaration. Whether you’re already obsessed with F1 and a true fan, or a stranger to the world of motorsport, this docuseries will satisfy your adrenaline needs and/or introduce you to the mind-blowing, impeccably fast-paced and high speed world of Formula 1, in all its glory!

If you’re new to F1, it’d be helpful to know that this sport consists of 10 teams which all race at Grand Prix’s around the world, from March to December each calendar year. That said, the Coronavirus pandemic has obviously affected this, leading to F1 statements saturating my Instagram newsfeed that all races are postponed until 2022, then statements that races for this last half of the year will be resumed under a slightly altered schedule and livestreamed. Like I said earlier, a lot of back and forth but then again, what industry isn't doing the same these days? With so much out of our own control during this time, something you can control is what you watch on Netflix. So, if you're a total adrenaline junkie, love really fast cars and really fast driving, then buckle up and enjoy the ride Formula 1: Drive to Survive takes you on! Trust me when I say, you’ll finish season one an F1 fan before you even start season two.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive seriously captivates you right from the beginning. Just watch the first 47 seconds and you’ll feel it. Focusing primarily on the “midfield” and back of the grid – with the exception of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing – season one gets you up close and personal with the Drivers, Team Principles, camera angles and shots of teams like Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Renault, Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri), Alpha Romeo, Racing Point (previously Force India), Haas, and Williams. And before you ask the chief and basic question “What about Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?” or “What about Ferrari?” don’t fret, season two comes back with all the aforementioned teams and Drivers, now coupled with, you guessed it, Mercedes AMG Petronas and Scuderia Ferrari!

The perspective viewers are granted in this docuseries is almost awe-inspiring as it is jaw-dropping. Yes, the Team Principle for Haas is probably just as (if not more) annoying as Breaking Bad’s Walter White, but you learn to overlook it for the greater good of the series which, involves everything from drama, intensity, anxiety, behind the scenes access, goose bumps, chills down your spine, and all that good stuff! With cars with the capacity to go 200 miles an hour, Drivers that help get them to those top speeds, and three days per Grand Prix for you to see what these men and machines are made of, Formula 1 is an adrenaline-infused, high intensity sport like no other. And Formula 1: Drive to Survive gives you a front row seat to the madness and glory of it all.

Now although Formula 1 may be a world filled with high speeds and grandeur, it’s also a world filled with binaries – new versus old, young versus old, rich versus poor. New versus old means new cars, new power units, new designs, and sometimes even new drivers. This is a great aspect to the sport because change is enticing (or at least, it should be!). It means there are new opportunities every year for teams to perform differently and ultimately, better, and the viewer becomes a part of this change simply by witnessing how their team (or even teams), end up performing. How exciting!

The new driver’s aspect also belongs to a binary of its own, with young versus old. This is great again in relation to the idea of change, however it’s probably the most important to viewers because it signifies F1 isn't only about young guys driving at crazy speeds, in seriously precision engineered racing cars. The fact that veteran Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Räikkönen to name a few, still hold their places on the grid despite all the new 18-20 year olds that seem to join every year, means older F1 fans – whether it be your age or simply how long you’ve been an F1 fan – have choice. The choice to characterize F1 as a younger persons sport and write it off as something you can't enjoy the same way anymore or, the choice to stay true to F1 because some of these older yet key drivers you know, love or maybe even hate, are in top cars at the front of the grid, thus making each Grand Prix just as enticing, every single time.

The last and perhaps most crucial binary in F1 is rich versus poor. This is key to understand for any new viewer simply because it “explains” why some teams are constantly at the front, midfield, or back of the grid. Simply put, the more money a team has to spend on their car, the better the car will be and perform. Better aerodynamics, faster engines, and of course, the money to pay for the best drivers. Although somewhat obvious, the richer the team (like Mercedes and Ferrari), the more likely they’re seen on podiums. The poorer the team (like Williams), the more likely they’ll never reach the podium. A sad and perhaps unfair truth – and a truth Formula 1 has mentioned it will work on for the race year 2022 – it nevertheless is a truth that exists in the world in general, so you can’t really hold it against F1 now can you. Regardless of money, each of the ten teams are still considered the fastest cars in the world. So like I said before, buckle up, get your F1 and adrenaline fix, and if you're new, Formula 1: Drive to Survive welcomes you to the world of Formula 1!

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