The big boys have arrived. After the huge success of Netflix’s first series of the in-depth sports docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’, eight teams who gave full access has become ten as Mercedes and Ferrari join the rest of the crews. Put simply, this fact alone elevates this series above the first.
We see the inner workings of the most successful team on the circuit and this means that this time around nothing is off-limits for Netflix. Last season we were blown away by the access and behind the scenes workings of one of the most competitive sports on the planet, yet this time around, somehow they have taken things to a whole new level.
This documentary also allows us to get to know Lewis Hamilton more, in his natural environment. The British public have failed to fall in love with Hamilton but in the season he won his sixth world title, perhaps it is documentaries like this which will go some way to banishing the stereotype he appears to hold amongst the public. He truly loves this sport.
There are more fights between drivers and the gloves come off at various points throughout the show. We get to see another side to the disagreements between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc and Haas’s Magnussen and Grosjean while we also get to see the dilemma Daniel Ricciardo faced as he surprisingly chose to leave Red Bull for Renault mid-way through the season. This was devastating for Red Bull and we see the chaos that ensues as they struggle to replace him with varying success.
Episode Two is a particular highlight, albeit not for those involved. Aptly named ‘boiling point’ it goes behind the scenes at Haas with team principal Guenther Steiner. If you don’t know anything about Steiner then that is even more reason to see him in full flow here, an F1 legend who deserves more airtime. Without spoiling it, this particular episode shows a fall-out with sponsors, both drivers and trouble with an unreliable car. It is simply must-watch viewing which ends with a smashed door and perfectly encapsulates the pressures of top-level sport.
The fact that Haas enjoys almost an entire episode in the spotlight proves that despite the inclusion of the two biggest teams in the sport, there are still plenty of stories from all of the smaller garages and teams. They’ve got the blend absolutely spot on. A touching point in the second series comes with the news that Nicki Lauda passed away in May 2019. The whole sport unites to commemorate the passing of one of their own.
From Williams’ female team principal Claire Williams leading the team and several other personalities we are introduced to over the episodes, you barely have to like the sport to be gripped by it. The human aspect of the series is beautifully conveyed and you can really feel the pressure each individual is under. During this review, we’ve not even scratched off how much incredible content there is packed into this.
Netflix has a blueprint for a successful sports docu-series and this one is no different. Inside access is fascinating for sports fans and this is yet another series that brings it to us by the bucketload. If series three is in the pipeline, it has an awful lot to live up to.
All ten episodes of season two are available on Netflix from the 28th February. That’s next weekend sorted.