It’s official now: The fifth season of ‘Drive to Survive‘ will hit Netflix on February 24. As expected, it will arrive in the build-up to the upcoming Formula 1 season, which will host its first race in Bahrain on March 5. The exact date is rather curious, as that puts it right in the middle of the pre-season testing (also in Bahrain) ahead of the upcoming season.
The first season came out on 8th March 2019, just about 9 days before the start of the season. It documented the 2018 season and was well-received by fans and critics. But the audience scores (taking the example of Rotten Tomatoes) have gotten progressively worse with each season. The first season currently holds a 92% audience rating. This decreases to 84 percent for the second season, 59 percent for the third season, and a dismal 17 percent for the fourth season.
It’ll be interesting to see if this trend breaks. ‘Drive to Survive’ has done quite a bit to increase the sport’s exposure, especially in the US, so it’s clearly an important marketing tool for F1. It has also helped the sport reach the younger generation of fans better. The show has already been renewed for a sixth season, which is just a testament to its popularity. But despite this, it is still very controversial – and divides fan opinion. The response to the recent announcement reflects that.
‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ continues to divide fan opinion
This divisiveness is not only limited to the fans. Max Verstappen refused to get involved with ‘Drive to Survive’ during the 2021 season. This was obviously quite problematic, considering he was involved in what was probably the most exciting title battle in recent years. He had even claimed that the show ‘faked a few rivalries’ that did not actually exist. This is actually quite a common criticism.
So, the reaction is not entirely positive. Some people even replied that they are not excited about the show at all. Max Verstappen’s criticism of the show about ‘fake rivalries’ and the over-dramatization comes up quite a bit. This season as a whole wasn’t particularly exciting either, at least on the surface. But there’s at least one thing to look forward to: An inside look at the driver merry-go-round that unfolded over the summer, and the Alpine-McLaren and Oscar Piastri saga.
It’s certainly proven hard for fans to let go of the Will Buxton memes.
But some people are actually quite excited about the show. Despite the over-dramatization, it’s sometimes entertaining, and there are still some insights to gain from watching it. Of course, sometimes you just want a few laughs – even if the show intends it or not.
The teams and official accounts certainly do seem to be excited, rather unanimously. Do you know why that’s the case?
It’ll be interesting to see how the upcoming ‘Drive to Survive’ season matches up with the previous ones, both in terms of quality, reviews, and content. In any case, it’s here to stay, especially considering the sport’s burgeoning popularity in the United States and the fact that they’ll be three races there next year. It’s helped F1 ‘crack the case’ in America, and the sport is not going to part with so much increased exposure that easily.
Aniket is a Journalism student, and a Ferrari (and Fernando Alonso) fan with much love for Bayern Munich, cinema, music, and literature - and really, all art.
Aniket's first exposure to the world of Formula 1 was through social media, though there was not immediate attraction. But after seeing 'Rush' (2013) there was no going back. Apart from F1, he is also an avid watcher of football - the 2014 World Cup had made him fall in love with Thomas Müller and the German national team, which later led him to Bayern Munich.
Aniket has been working for FirstSportz for more than 7 months, and has written over 800 articles for the organization. He currently serves as 'Content Head' for the Formula 1 team.
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