As we run out of live sport to watch, what are our alternative fixes? Season 2 of ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ is due to arrive on Netflix on April Fools Day (ironic?), but Netflix’s most recent sporting output brings us back to the fascinating world of Formula 1.
Made available shortly before the (scheduled) start of the 2020 Grand Prix calendar, the second season of ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ builds on the success of the first, with two notable additions; after refusing to let Netflix to film in their garages during the 2018 season, Ferrari & Mercedes have allowed some access this time around (one race each) and given the way episodes are structured, that limited access certainly improves the overall output.
The format remains in line with Season 1; 10 episodes lasting between 30 and 40 minutes each. There is superb footage throughout, whether it be from the racetrack itself, onboard the cars, on the pit lanes or in the garages. The key personnel, i.e. the drivers and team principals, have microphones hooked up Throughout which means we get an unfiltered listen to their thoughts before, during and after races, and the results are often captivating.
Rather than a chronological look at the 21 races, each episode tends to concentrate on one team, and from that a storyline is forged. Even if you know your F1, there’s plenty to enjoy, but if you don’t, then the structure of those storylines really produces some edge of the seat scenarios – it’s very impressive.
If you watched Season 1, you’ll remember the likes of Haas team principal Guenther Steiner and Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul; they were entertaining then and remain so now. The Haas team storyline in Episode 2 is particularly gripping.
Episodes 5 and 6 covers driver developments and drama at Red Bull, but there’s unexpected tragedy too in Episode 6 that rocks the sport and gives us a stark reminder just how dangerous it can be.
I dread to think how much footage Netflix had to choose from to get down to approx 6 hours of output; the production and editing team have done an amazing job. As something that was originally a timely addition Netflix’s programming to accompany the new F1 season, these 10 episodes are now much more – for the foreseeable future they are F1. I’m confident there will be a third season of ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’; there certainly deserves to be, but we might have to wait a while to see it.
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