‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ Returns to Netflix Feb. 24 for Season 5

F1’s first season with its new ground effect cars serves as the dramatic underpinning of Netflix’s successful Drive to Survive docuseries.

byJames Gilboy|
2022 F1 Mexican Grand Prix
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Netflix's racing docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive will return for its fifth season Feb. 24. The series' new trailer hints at its possible storylines, which could revolve around F1's updated cars and how they upset the grid.

For the 2022 season, F1 updated its technical regulations to overhaul cars' aerodynamics, making them more dependent on a phenomena called "ground effect." The intent was to increase the ease of following and passing, and therefore the quality of racing, with potentially shaking up the grid being a welcome side effect. Indeed, the hierarchy of teams changed, and their varying fortunes are likely to be central storylines in the new series.

The season's first trailer gives away little of what to expect (aside from the focus on updated cars), but it's not hard to guess which of 2022's most prominent moments will get airtime. Ferrari's early-season resurgence before falling to Red Bull could be a theme of early episodes, while Mercedes' yearlong struggles culminating in a single race win may build throughout. Various drivers' successes and struggles—such as Daniel Ricciardo's continued underperformance—will likely get their own spotlights.

Drive to Survive's continuation beyond its fifth season isn't guaranteed, as F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali emphasized last March that the series must continue benefiting F1's brand. Yearly recaps won't be enough to justify producing more seasons of the show, which has been criticized for fabricating drama, overlooking important moments, and disrespectfully dramatizing others. Drive to Survive has already served its purpose of digging F1 a foothold in the United States, and the show is only guaranteed to carry on as long as it serves F1. It may not be long before F1 waves the checkered flag—if Netflix doesn't cancel it on its own.

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