Netflix has renewed the popular Formula 1 documentary series Drive to Survive for a fifth and sixth season. The news was confirmed by the streaming service on Thursday, with filming for the new series already underway.
Drive to Survive premiered in 2019, giving viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the sport. Long-time F1 fans were impressed, but perhaps more importantly, millions of newcomers were drawn to a world of fast cars, big personalities, and high drama.
The sport’s popularity has soared in recent years, particularly in the United States, with Nielsen Sports estimating that over a billion people around the world tune in every week to watch drivers like Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Sir Lewis Hamilton compete.
While Netflix does not release viewership figures, the fourth season of Drive to Survive, which premiered in March just a week before the first round of the 2022 season in Bahrain, is said to have drawn the largest audience to date.
Despite its commercial success, the show has been criticized for its dramatization of Formula One, particularly in regards to driver relationships.
Despite being one of the most popular personalities in the sport and the show, Verstappen announced last year that he would not be participating in the upcoming fifth series.
The 2021 world champion told The Associated Press, “I understand it needs to be done to boost popularity.” ‘However, as a driver, I don’t enjoy being a part of it.’ They made up a few rivalries that don’t exist.
Despite being the show’s biggest breakout star, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner recently admitted he hadn’t watched a single episode of Drive to Survive.
‘How come I didn’t watch it?’ ‘I don’t want to change because it’s my personality,’ the Italian told Crash.Net.
‘When I watch it, you try to do something different and [be] better, whatever that is. But then it’s no longer me. Then I have to exert effort in order to do so, and I am unable to focus on my job.
My job is not to be an actor, but to run an F1 team. ‘As much as people say, ‘Oh, you’re a good actor,’ I’m not an actor; I’m just doing my job.’
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously stated that he intends to speak with Netflix about these concerns.
The fifth season of Drive to Survive will most likely premiere in March 2023.