Recently my partner decided he needed a new show to watch, having deleted the video game that was taking up his nightly brain capacity. As he scrolled through Netflix and landed on Formula 1: Drive To Survive, he said at the exact time as me “Oh I’ve heard this is amazing”. I need to point out here that neither of us care about Formula 1, but we DO care about a good Netflix recommendation, so we decided to give it a go.
And let me tell you right now, his colleagues and the hosts of the footy podcast I listen to who shouted out this doco were not wrong. I cannot stress this enough: I don’t care about Formula 1. I don’t even know what it is, just that Daniel Ricciardo does it? I think? I don’t watch Formula 1, and when it’s on Fox Sports I am never invested in it. I change the channel and put the AFL on instead, because large biceps and tiny shorts are more my scene than cars whizzing around in circles. But this docuseries is GRIPPING. It has everything you could possibly want out of a TV show, and I can’t recommend it enough.
There are no spoilers here, because I’ve only watched two episodes out of 30 (there are currently three seasons of Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix) and already know that it’s top-shelf telly. So allow me to just take you through the reasons why it’s a must-watch.
One of my colleagues called it “Real Housewives but with cars”, and I back that. This show is high octane drama. Like, every time these Formula 1 guys race there’s a good chance they could die in a fiery car wreck, so there’s that. But there’s also the drama between rival teams that goes back decades and is super petty and super heated. There’s drama between drivers on the same team, like Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who Ricciardo feels like Red Bull are favouring because Verstappen is younger than him. There’s drama in the pit stops when mechanics literally change four tires in 30 seconds and then when they don’t attach properly (I wonder why?), the drivers are forced to pull out of the race they were previously winning. There’s drama with the billionaire owners of the teams and other key stakeholders because Formula 1 is big business, babey. In the first episode I was literally on the edge of my seat watching the races unfold, because before this, I never understood everything that goes on behind the scenes.
Daniel Ricciardo is a highlight of this show because he is Aussie and for that we simply can’t help but stan. Remember when he did a shoey after winning the China Grand Prix and other Formula 1 events? We love him. We love when Aussies do good things. He also has a really nice smile, which doesn’t hurt the fact that we need to support him.
You also have to back Ricciardo because the first episode of the series opens with him and his quest to make the 2018 season his best season ever, so you’re invested from the opening moments.
There’s probably more villains as the show progresses, but like I said I’ve watched two episodes out of a possible 30 here, so I am in no way the expert. What I do know is, I already hate stupid Max Verstappen, because he is Daniel Ricciardo’s in-team rival and because he has this smug face:
Apparently later in the series (I know because my partner has rudely watched ahead of me) there’s also a Formula 1 billionaire who is a villain because he wants his son to race for the team but his son sucks? Or something? We do love a bit of nepotism as a plotline. Later on there is also apparently a Russian villain, because as we know, all good action/dramas need a Russian baddie. It’s Hollywood 101.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix is a sport that rich fancy people like to watch, so a lot of the races take place in ritzy locales like Monaco, which is basically famous for for 1) its big Formula 1 race and 2) having lots of wealthy people living there. So the show has a backdrop of really glam cities, which for some reason amps up the drama by a few notches. Like, would this fight look as good happening at the Newcastle Foreshore? Nah, didn’t think so.
A Random Spice Girl
In case you weren’t convinced of Formula 1 having drama, my partner informed me that Red Bull boss Christian Horner left his pregnant long-term girlfriend for none other than Geri Halliwell, now known as Geri Horner because they went and bloody got married, didn’t they! SPICY. She pops up in the show a couple of times apparently. Not sure what she really adds to the proceedings, but we do love a random celeb cameo, don’t we.
As I said, I’ve only watched two episodes of this show and I’m sure there is a lot more drama, Daniel Ricciardo, villains, Ginger Spice and more to come. Why not hit it up for yourself on Netflix now, and let me know?