Drive to Survive Season 3: Episode 1 Recap- “Cash is King”

Published 03/19/2021, 8:21 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Racing Point’s Lance Stroll in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

It’s officially here. The content that F1 fans desperately want to see other than the cars on track – the drama that goes down off of it. Netflix’s Drive to Survive Season 3 landed today, and we are here to recap the 1st episode so that you can make sure you don’t miss out on the finer details of the show.


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The first scene of the episode saw fan favorite, Daniel Ricciardo, traveling in the back of a Renault road car. It did not disappoint as the aura around the Aussie meant that the jokes were flying. His crew was poking fun at a ‘pink suit’ he wore.


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But reality sets in when his mother phones to remind him to wear a mask. Typically, Daniel makes light of the situation by referencing the Corona beer as something that can build immunity against the fatal virus. We really wish that were true, Daniel!

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 31: Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Toyota drives during the final practice session prior to qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on October 31, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Racing Point/Pink Mercedes arrive at pre-season testing

It is no secret that Racing Point were the talk of the paddock during pre-season testing in Barcelona. They had done a decent job of shielding their car until now; not really revealing the RP20 at the car launch. But as soon as they took the covers off, it dropped the jaws of other team bosses.

Christian Horner was amazed by the lap times that Lance Stroll set in his RP20. Cyril Abiteboul was taped sneaking around their garage while McLaren CEO Zak Brown was caught pacing up and down the paddock. All this while, Lance Stroll couldn’t help but grin, and understandably so. Nevertheless, the consensus was that the car was ‘illegal’.

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – Owner of Racing Point Lawrence Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Racing Point walks in the Paddock before final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Perhaps Otmar Szafnauer went too far to please his new boss, Lawrence Stroll. The Canadian was received as a domineering figure in the first episode, as Otmar was adamant that his job was on the line if they failed to perform.


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“Cash is King”- Lewis Hamilton’s critical remark makes its way to title

The 2020 F1 season truly began with unparalleled drama. Now, the Pink Mercedes controversy paled in comparison to the COVID-19 debacle that unfolded in Melbourne. Seeing everyone in the paddock talking about the virus without no masks almost seems blasphemous now.

Murmurs start going around the paddock that claim that a member of McLaren’s crew was suffering from symptoms of the virus.

That means that the drivers were asked for their opinion on whether the race should go ahead or not, with a ’50-50′ divisive stance among them.


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However, all of that changed when they were made aware of the tense situation in the States; the NBA season stood canceled while the US shut its borders down in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

That begged the question – why hasn’t the FIA canceled the Australian GP yet? Why are the teams still in Australia? “Cash is king,” quipped Hamilton. Being the face of F1, his comments played a huge part in pressuring the FIA.

They ultimately settled on postponing the season, admittedly to the fans’ dismay, most of which were heard demanding for refunds.


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Claire Williams‘ fear of her team’s survival amidst an impending financial crisis pulled the curtain down on an exhausting and eventful episode of Drive to survive with more to come. Stay tuned!


Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.