Traditionally, the release of a new season of Drive to Survive means the beginning of the Formula 1 season after a long winter break. Drivers, teams, management, fans, media – everyone is waiting for the lights to go out on Sunday, March 5. Pre-season testing and race one is already finished, but let’s relive and enjoy the moments of the past year. As usual, Netflix always makes drama happen, making you relive the most dramatic parts.
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So, here is Drive to Survive, Season 5, 10 episodes, and our five reasons why it’s worth watching the series if you still need to do it.
It is revving up for drama. Stock up on popcorn and handkerchiefs because season 5 continues to bring the drama on and off track. This time, there are many reasons: the ups and downs of Ferrari, exceeding the spending limit at Red Bull, the porpoising effect, the hunt for Oscar Piastri and other unexpected transitions of drivers, the traditional drama in Haas with the hope of points, the situation around Mick Schumacher.
Pardon my French
The situation around Team Alpine is shown very interestingly: how Otmar Szafnauer, the Team Principal, came from Aston Martin, where it was morally challenging for him, and how he got support in a new place from a new boss. Laurent Rossi, the Alpine CEO, said to Netflix: “Otmar brought what I wanted – the connection of people in the team. It’s hard not to get along with him; he knows how to manage difficult people”. And everything is going well. Alpine is slowly increasing in the WCC standings thanks to a strong team and good drivers. But Fernando Alonso’s sudden decision to move to Aston Martin sets off a chain of events. And it begins…
The Piastri saga
Oscar Piastri is an outstanding talent, as he is called in the Paddock. “He could be the next Max Verstappen,” says Red Bull boss Christian Horner to Netflix. Many would like to get him on their team, given his track record. He is the reserve driver for Alpine, and the French squad invested about $4 million in him. After Alonso’s departure, it would seem logical that the Aussie would be promoted to Esteban Ocon’s teammate in 2023. But Alpine should have corrected it. McLaren outpaced them. Formula 1 is a tough place for contract disputes, and the top of motorsport is the most ruthless business.
The “piranha club”
This phrase is repeated very often during the series. The rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner continues. This time the teams are fighting not on the track but outside of it. The porpoising effect is the biggest problem with the new technical rules. It hurt the teams, especially Mercedes, a lot. During the Canadian Grand Prix, a meeting of Team Principals was held, where Toto suggested making changes to all cars since Mercedes had severe issues.
Toto, well, change your car. You’ve got a problem. Change your ****ing car!
Horner accused Wolff of playing in front of the cameras and told him to change the car if something didn’t suit him. But this is not the only skirmish between the teams. Red Bull’s “exceeding the spending limit” will come up a little later, with rumours, an accusation of cheating, and an open letter to the FIA from Zak Brown. The development of this situation and its conclusion are worth seeing.
Ferrari’s Title Hopes and Disappointments
The story of 2022 around this team will be hard to watch, not only for Scuderia fans. It all started well. A great beginning of the season: Charles Leclerc takes the pole position and wins the Bahrain Grand Prix, coming to Miami as the championship leader. The team says: “Ferrari craves victory in its DNA!” Then a series of failures begins, confusion in strategy and silly mistakes. Teams say in the Paddock: “Ferraris created their problems.” As a result, hopes for the title are fading, but is it possible to compete for the vice-championship in two sets: “Driver Standings & Constructor Standings?” Let’s not deny that it was the best chance for the championship in the last ten years for Ferrari…
In addition, there are many more exciting moments and stories in the season. Storytelling has always been a masterclass in Drive to Survive, and Season 5 is no exception. Each episode is carefully made to take viewers on a journey, and tension and excitement build as the season progresses.