5 Parts In ‘Drive to Survive’ Season 4 That Threw Logic Out The Window
From excluding groundbreaking moments to scripting errors, ‘Drive to Survive’ S4 is entertaining to watch but for the wrong reasons
You just need to read the title of this article to realize, like many members of the Formula 1 community, I too happen to be somewhat… skeptical of Netflix’ hit series Drive to Survive.
Sure, things started off innocently enough. The show brought in millions of fans (and their wallets) to the races, and apart from a few overdramatized bits and extra sound effects, we didn’t have much to complain about.
Now four seasons in, Netflix’s editors have begun taking liberties with the footage that may make a good fan might raise an eyebrow or two. From excluding groundbreaking moments to straight up scripting errors, season four Drive to Survive is entertaining to watch but for all the wrong reasons.
Here are my 5 biggest problems with Drive to Survive’s fourth installment:
1. No Max Verstappen
After witnessing the grossly overhyped rivalry between Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr. in season 3, reigning champ Max Verstappen publicly stated that he would no longer be associated with Drive to Survive… right before clinching the title in one of the most hotly debated championship battles in F1 history.
The result is a watered-down version of Max vs. Lewis, told primarly through the voices of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Hamilton does feature in the season, in some of his most vulnerable exchanges with Wolff, but it’s unfortunate that the season’s greatest highlight was told with one of the key people missing.
The culprit is none other than Netflix’s tendency to write their own on-grid relationships, which Max wanted no part of. Shame!
2. No Kimi Raikkonen Farewell
Possibly one of the greatest missed opportunities in motorsports entertainment — Drive to Survive simply glossed over Kimi Raikkonen’s departure from F1 after a record-breaking career that established him as the most experienced Formula 1 racer of all time.
Even during his last race, the editors simply hover the camera over Kimi with no comment, ignoring the Iceman at the end of one of F1’s most celebrated careers.
3. Mishandling Alonso’s Season
Ah, Fernando Alonso. Two Formula 1 championships, three top-level endurance championship wins… if there’s a man that could tell you everything you need to know about the last 15 years of racing, it’s him.
…which is why the Drive to Survive creators chucked any faith we had left in them into the bin, as they compared the 40-year-old legend to 26-year-old Pierre Gasly. Alonso was also somewhat ignored by the editors with barely any footage or documentation, despite providing a god-tier wheel-to-wheel battle versus Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Seriously. Not only does Alonso have nearly two decades of experience over Gasly in the grid, he’s also got a win record 32 times that of his young ‘rival’.
4 . Numerous Editing Gaffes
There’s honestlyway too many of these to count. With every passing day, the r/Formula1 subreddit fills up with example after example of sneaky edits, constantly reused footage, and even misplaced clips from the wrong tracks. Here’s a few that I’ve managed to spot:
- Using the same five seconds of George Russel taking the ‘Eau Rouge’ corner at Spa, five times over
- Using commentary celebrating Max Verstappen’s win at the Red Bull Ring, over footage of the driver celebrating at Zandvoort
- Taking nearly a minute of runtime to show Hamilton’s 10-second stop-and-go penalty at Silverstone
- Tsunoda, Russel, and Hamilton randomly switching between medium and soft tyres in-between cuts
- Showing the Belgian GP weather radar while in the Russian GP
The list keeps going on and on.
5. Using Team Audio to Create Fake Narratives
Sure, we get that simply watching the race play out can be boring to F1 newcomers — the show’s main audience. But after one of the most dramatic and exciting seasons of the modern era, was it really that necessary to cut-and-paste audio from all over?
The result is a strange, inaccurate mess, with a few unchecked errors to boot. Here’s a few more examples of this shifty editing trick:
- Fake repeated audio during the Abu Dhabi GP that put Verstappen in first long before his controversial overtake of Hamilton at the end of the race
- Several fake inserts of audio portraying Tsunoda as reckless and angry with his team
- Audio claiming that Verstappen won the Brazil Sprint race, over Bottas who actually won
Drive to Survive Season 4 is currently streaming on Netflix. Don’t say you’ve haven’t been warned.
(Featured Image Credits: Netflix, FIA)