Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3 review: A must-watch for F1 fans

During the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photograph by Vladimir Rys)
During the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photograph by Vladimir Rys) /

The fast-paced world of F1 racing is an exhilarating affair to experience for fans everywhere, and most of them only get to see certain amounts of coverage on their favorite races. Thankfully, there is one exceptional Netflix original docuseries that offers fans an unprecedented amount of access to all of the behind-the-scenes action, drama, and controversy that goes on.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3 offers up the best installment of entries the high-octane non-fiction show has ever put out.

When the first chapter of Drive to Survive raced on the scene, it gave subscribers an unprecedented amount of access to Formula 1, and right out of the gate, Netflix knew they had a hit. No other service covers the sport like this, and every iteration is just as enthralling as watching the World Championship season unfold.

The second run of Formula 1: Drive to Survive expanded things with even more coverage, including more access to drivers, teams, pit crews, and the front office of many of the biggest names in the industry. The fantastic follow-up proved the initial outing was not a flook and solidified the Netflix original series as the premier go-to event for unparalleled and exclusive insight into what makes this world-renowned sport run.

When it came to Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3, many fans wondered what to expect, considering how the 2020 World Championship, the subject of the Netflix original’s third endeavor, was delayed several times thanks to the pandemic. But that less than ideal ordeal didn’t seem to slow down F1 as there was plenty of drama and even more tension than usual captured by the riveting sports docuseries’ cameras.

Is Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3 good?

Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel or change the game by any means, and this latest batch of entries follows the same successful formula that put the previous iterations on the podium. Instead, what fans get is an upgraded and enhanced version of what works, and thanks to all the action the 2020 season had happen, one can confidently say this run holds the number one position when it comes to the best installments of the Netflix original series.

The idea of watching race cars whiz around a track comes off as a boring, mundane experience unless there are wall-to-wall crashes like in a movie for most people. This is unfortunate because, according to Drive to Survive, there is a realm within the world of F1 racing that resembles the treachery and conflict for a crown from different prestigious houses. The show basically turns the sport into Game of Thrones simply by following the drivers, owners, engineers, and more around all season.

What really stands out is the execution and presentation of the documentary series, which really sells the intensity and high stakes world the major players of Formula 1 operate in on a day-to-day basis. It’s dangerous enough driving at those speeds, but the cutthroat politics and “do whatever it takes to win” attitude from everyone to the front office all the way down to the pit crew make for some serious must-see TV.

The flow of the series is just fast enough to not feel boring but not too fast as to leave viewers feeling left behind. The graphics and editing are really what help the Netflix original stand out from the rest, and the music selection and placement are as good as a Hamilton, Botas one-two Mercedes victory.

All of the filler from the season is left on the sideline, and all of the focus is on the good stuff, which there was plenty of in 2020. And the beauty of Drive to Survive is no punches are pulled, and nothing is out of bounds in terms of what is captured on the show’s cameras.

Teammates insult teammates, drivers question leadership, and head honcho’s let out their frustrations with little regard for any consequence stemming from their comments. In other sports, these types of things would be considered a big deal, but it’s just part of the game in Formula 1.

Some of the highlights of the third season include the coverage on the once glorious Red Bull and Ferrari teams. The two powerhouse’s struggles are put on display in a very compelling manner offering up some much-needed insight on their tribulations during the past year.

Another riveting subplot that feels very similar to GOT’s blonde rich family, the Lannisters, was the controversy surrounding Racing Point’s almost identical design of lasts season’s best car, the so-called lenient penalty, and all of the other drama that unfolded from the racing team owned by Billionaire, Lawrence Stroll who happens to be the father of the team’s driver Lance Stroll.

But nothing was more intriguing than the rivalry between Mercedes teammates and two of the best in the sport, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Botas. One big moment covered exceptionally was when Hamilton’s quest to make Mike Schumaker’s record was put on hold after a questionable penalty and Botas racing in to take home his ninth career win. It’s no fun being designated number 2 to the best, and their story plays out like Talladega Nights: The Ricky Bobby Story but if it is was helmed by the talented folks from Ford v. Ferrari and Rush.

Some of the events that took place in the series feel very reminiscent of plotlines in a hit drama series. Just when fans thought the thrilling world of Formula 1 racing couldn’t get any more intense, Drive to Survive proves that’s just the tip of the iceberg as it consistently blazes on the scene after the last checkered flag of the season to illustrate what it really takes to win it all masterfully.

If subscribers are looking for gripping content with twists and turns like the other hit Netflix originals Ozark, Bloodline, The Outer Banks, Peaky Blinders, and many more, Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 3 will not disappoint.

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