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F1: How Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’ Fueled The Sports Popularity

This article is posted in collaboration with an outside partnership client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.

Formula 1 is experiencing a surge in global popularity as more people become interested in the sport. Due to its recent success, racing has been introduced to several new regions across the globe, the most recent of which will be the 2023 Vegas Grand Prix.  A startling factor driving this revival of Formula 1 is the success of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive,’ which has brought Formula 1 into people’s homes worldwide.

With its behind-the-scenes access, “Netflix’s Drive to Survive” immerses fans in the high-stakes lives of drivers, team managers, and owners both on and off the track. It’s not just the races that have fans buzzing; Formula 1-themed slots, now ranking among the top 6 slots at Highway casino, showcase the enduring appeal of this thrilling sport. In this article, we will look at the role ‘Drive to Survive’ has taken in the recent popularity of Formula 1.

First Docu-Series Of Its Kind

Formula 1 was looking for a fresh way to attract fans into the sport ahead of the 2018 season before Netflix came calling about the prospect of filming a never-before-seen behind-the-scenes look at the teams, drivers, and other notable personnel. It was a sport-altering decision to accept this opportunity, as the first series was a major success, with viewers able to get a closer look at what happens behind the scenes and what is actually at stake for each driver throughout the season.

The popularity of seasons two and three only increased after the first season’s instant renewal due to its success. The third series went deep into Romain Grosjean’s nearly tragic crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix, demonstrating how dangerous the sport can be if things go wrong. The fourth season followed the titanic race for the championship between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen before keeping an eye on the aftermath of the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Bringing Fresh Eyes To The Sport

One of the most important factors that Drive To Survive has succeeded is that it has brought new fans into the sport. It has offered almost a beginner’s guide to F1, showing what is at stake aside from the battles for the championship. Through in-depth interviews with drivers, the series sheds light on their immense pressure each week to maintain their status as elite drivers of these mechanical masterpieces.

The series on Netflix has been most important for engaging an American audience. F1 had long struggled to attract North American fans to watch the sport, with many needing help understanding what is at stake every week. However, the show’s success has meant that two further races have been added to the schedule in North America, with the latest coming in the form of the showpiece race across the streets of Las Vegas.

Critics Of Drive To Survive

Drive to Survive has been, without a doubt, a major success for both Formula 1 and Netflix, with the show consistently ranking inside the top ten when it was released. Such has been the show’s success that other sports have allowed Netflix behind the scenes in their bid to raise popularity, with rugby and golf being the latest to have the Drive to Survive treatment. However, despite attracting millions of new fans to the sport, the series hasn’t been without its detractors throughout history.

One of the main concerns experts have had is that the show doesn’t necessarily follow the season, with each team given their time to showcase what they are about. That means the dominance achieved by Red Bull was not mentioned extensively in the previous series.

Many also claim that the show heightens potential rivalries that don’t exist, with teammates typically pitted against each other for the reality of Drive to Survive. But, there could be signs of this changing after Max Verstappen appeared in the most recent season after producers announced that they would ‘keep it real.’

Conclusion

There is little doubt that Drive To Survive has had a major impact on Formula 1’s success in recent years. That success will continue following the release of the sixth season in February 2024. It will be a perfect binge-watch for fans before the season-opening race in Bahrain on March 2, 2024.

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