Ferrari blunders. Red Bull drama. Farewell to a legend. And sooo much more.
Season 5 of Formula 1: Drive to Survive will be released on 2/24, on Netflix
I'm pretty basic when it comes to my Formula 1 fanhood. I knew little about the sport before a few years ago (is that the same as IndyCar? The best guy is Lewis Harrison, right?). Then one day the wife of a friend of mine, who was born and raised in Italy and grew up entrenched in Formula 1, recommended the Netflix series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive. My own wife and I decided to give it a shot. She was adamant.
Fast forward a few years and here I am writing on my blog about what I believe is the most extreme and drama-filled sport on Earth.
I won't be able to promote it as well as she did, but I assure you all; you will be hooked after the first few episodes of Formula 1: Drive to Survive. The way it's shot truly captures the mind-bending speed and danger these guys submit themselves to on a weekly basis. Then you factor in the Desperate Housewives-level drama off the track, and you have an absolute banger of a show. The organization of the sport leads to pettiness, rivalries, backstabbing, and revenge. It's a delicious cocktail to binge on.
Season 5 of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, which covers the 2022 season, drops tomorrow, 2/24, on Netflix. I won't give out any major spoilers in case some of you didn't follow along with the actual season of this past year. If my little promo has ignited the eternal flame of F1 within your soul, I say to you, onward. You'll finish the first four seasons in a week or two, tops, and be ready to fly through season 5 at 225 MPH, once you activate DRS (watch the show to understand the reference).
There is a TON of storylines I'm sure Netflix will cover. Here are five in particular that you can look forward to.
The Max Verstappen Experience
What a 2022 season for Red Bull's Max Verstappen. He reached rarified air with his performances, doing things that haven't been done in half a century. He also stooped to new lows with some of his antics. Red Bull had an all-time season in terms of performance in 2022, but there was no shortage of internal strife.
There were stretches of the 2022 season when one of the main storylines heading into every race was how Ferrari would manage to screw the pooch this time. They had two excellent drivers in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, along with superb machinery. Should be a recipe for dominance, no? Not with La Scuderia. 2022 was a three-ring circus for the most famous team in Formula 1.
A Champion's Swan Song
2022 gave Formula 1 fans an opportunity to say goodbye to one of the best to ever get inside a race car: Sebastian Vettel. This was the final season for the German four-time champion, who raced for the Aston Martin, Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, and BMW teams during his illustrious career. It was hardly a fair fight at times due to Aston Martin's poor performance in 2022, but Seb still had his moments of brilliance. As they say, he ain't as good as he once was, but he's as good once, as he ever was.
I'd gladly put the ending of the 2021 Formula 1 season up against any Super Bowl, NBA Finals, or World Series ever. I don't think you can top the drama of those final moments between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. A huge storyline going into 2022 was how Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Co. would respond after the ending of the '21 season. Although 2022 might not have been as triumphant as Toto wanted, there were certainly some bright spots, mainly in the performance of George Russell. Is seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton still the undisputed #1 driver for the Silver Arrows? Is it now a 1A-1B situation? Toto has some tricky waters to navigate.
Ricciardo's Performance, or Lack Thereof
Daniel Ricciardo has long been a fan-favorite in Formula 1. He is one of the few drivers who isn't an all-consuming cyborg hellbent on destroying the competition at all costs, at least not on the surface. Ricciardo smiles. Ricciardo jokes. And for most of his career, Ricciardo was an excellent driver. Things have changed for the Aussie, however, as his results have steadily worsened in recent years. His 2022 season with McLaren represented a crossroads for him.