Netflix Drive to Survive Season 3: What to Expect From the Much Awaited F1 Docuseries

Published 01/30/2021, 7:00 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell leads and Valtteri Bottas is second placed after the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Drive to Survive, one of the world’s best documentary series made its way onto Netflix in 2019, detailing the behind the scenes of 2018 and 2019 F1 seasons.

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Although both seasons only produced a minimal amount of exciting moments, the series still witnessed massive success. Amid such an impressive history, one might wonder how good is the third season going to be?
Well, although the initial predictions point out to a much better Season 3, the outcome could go either way.

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So, let’s decode the season and take a look at the moments that might lift the upcoming S3 to success.

Sebastian Vettel dropped by Ferrari F1

One of the biggest moments of the 2020 season had to be this. The German had an incredible run with his dream team for five years, only for 2019 to disrupt the flow. Charles Leclerc made his way into the team after briefly driving for Alfa Romeo.
From the moment he joined, Vettel found it extremely hard to tame the aggressive Monegasque. In the end, the latter managed to beat the four-time world champion over his debut Ferrari outing.
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Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari talk after practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Although 2019 was only the second time Vettel lost to a teammate, Ferrari felt that the season was enough of a justification and terminated their relationship with the German over the 2020 season.
Following the official announcement, it looked like the priorities turned drastically towards Leclerc. Meanwhile, Vettel was left all by himself. Not once did the Ferrari driver look happy, as his classic smile vanished.
Consequently, the German started criticizing the team for making strategic errors, and occasionally slammed them. The team responded to Vettel’s claims, and the exchange went on for weeks before the two cleared the air between them.

Sergio Perez’s criticisms on Racing Point F1

The moment Vettel fell into the driver’s market, he was subsequently on Racing Point’s (now Aston Martin) radar. One would have assumed that Lance Stroll was going to leave the team.
However, the fact that his father Lawrence Stroll runs the team meant that Sergio Perez had to be pushed towards the exit. But there was a problem with kicking the Mexican out.
His contract was active until the end of 2021. Hence, the team found an exit clause to terminate the contract midway. And, unsurprisingly, the news did not go well with the victim.
His disappointment was evident for almost a month from the announcement, as the fear of missing out on the 2021 season crept into him. He was quite disappointed with the decision and alleged that the team started hiding things from him.
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Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India looks on before the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
However, the two managed to prevent the relationship from further falling apart as they talked it out and kept their love for each other afloat.
One would feel for Perez, considering he dragged the team out of administration and helped Stroll buy the team from the former owner, Vijay Mallya, saving hundreds of people’s jobs.
Perez’s loyalty definitely cannot be underestimated. Amid such a healthy relationship with Racing Point, it was painful to watch him bid adieu to the team.

Nico Hulkenberg’s adventurous 2020 season

When Hulkenberg‘s career looked all but over, he found a glimmer of hope when Racing Point approached him. He was asked to take over the seat from Perez for the weekend in Silverstone, as the latter fell victim to COVID-19.
He joined the team for the practice sessions over the first of two weekends in Silverstone. It definitely was a chaotic weekend for Racing Point, as he had no time to get used to the newly designed car. Hence, the German had to rely on simulators to get a hang of it.
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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during practice Kamran Jebreili/Pool via REUTERS
Although Hulk failed to start the race over the first weekend, he drove incredibly to take P4 in qualifying. He almost held onto it through the race before a pit-stop mishap halted his brilliant run over the second outing at Silverstone. In the end, he still secured P7, just behind Stroll.
Then came the Eifel GP, which was much chaotic than the previous two outings. This time, Hulkenberg had to take part in qualifying straight-away. Unsurprisingly, he couldn’t escape Q1, as he lined up last on the grid. However, a brilliant race from the homeboy found him seeing the checkered flag in P8.
Over the three race weekends, it is pretty undeniable that the cameramen were running behind the Racing Point team. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if these specific events make their way into an episode.

The Steiner-Haas F1 drivers’ rivalry

Guenther Steiner, Haas’ team principal, had to be the star of Drive to Survive’s season 2 for the famous quote, “He smashed my f***ing office door.”
He could continue lifting that mantle through the upcoming season 3 as well. Only this time, Romain Grosjean might be at the receiving end. The Frenchman clearly was unhappy with how the Haas cars had been performing.
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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -Haas’ Kevin Magnussen during practice Giuseppe Cacace/Pool via REUTERS
Hence, he couldn’t resist complaining about the car. One might feel that such venting is fine; however, the problem was that he expressed his disappointment through the media and team radios deliberately, which left the team principal fuming.
At one point, Steiner even mentioned that Grosjean was making it easier for him to terminate the Frenchman’s contract. Hence, it would be interesting to see how Steiner actually reacted to Grosjean’s claims, behind the scenes.

Romain Grosjean’s Bahrain GP incident

The French lad experienced one of the biggest crashes in years, as the incident shook the entire world, which believed that F1 had gotten much safer for its drivers.
Considering such a crash’s rarity, how great would it be to take a look at the reactions from the Haas F1’s paddock? Well, unfortunately, F1 failed to show the shocking faces to the fans during the race.
The only way fans are going to get an inside view is from Drive to Survive. If at all the series covers the incident, the fans are likely to get the reactions from each of the drivers and the teams who were watching the crash unfold on their screens.

The chaotic Sakhir GP F1 race

Lewis Hamilton joined the COVID-19 club and had to isolate for a week, and unfortunately, it was the race weekend. The team subsequently rang up Russell’s phone and called upon the Briton for his service over the weekend.
The weekend was looking extremely good for Russell until half-way through the race that Sunday. Mercedes decided to go ahead with their usual ‘precautionary’ pit-stop with the two drivers. What followed was nothing but agony.
Massive miscommunication within the team led to the tire mix-up between Russell and Bottas. While the latter had to stall his car in the pit box for almost a minute, Russell had to go around the circuit and pit again for a proper change of tires.
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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez sprays sparkling wine as he celebrates winning the race on the podium with third placed Lance Stroll Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace
Meanwhile, Perez, who drove brilliantly until that point, found an empty road ahead and pushed for the victory. Russell, despite the massive blunder, had Perez ahead and was catching up rapidly before a tire puncture forced him for a painful fourth pit-stop.
In the end, while the Racing Point ruled the pit-lane with celebrations, there was Mercedes, completely torn apart, dejected and furious with the mistake-filled race day.

Hamilton’s visit to the Stewards during the Monza race

The Briton was looking good for the race win at the Italian Grand Prix when the Stewards decided to shower him with a huge penalty.
During the race, the safety car was called in while the marshals cleared Magnussen‘s stranded Haas car just meters away from the pit-lane entry.
Hence, the pit-lane had to be closed, which Lewis failed to notice. By the time Mercedes realized it, Lewis had already pitted. What followed was a terrible announcement for Lewis.
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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace
The Stewards decided to take their penalties up a notch and handed the seven-time world champion a 10-second stop-go penalty. However, before he could get rid of the penalty, Leclerc wrecked his car, going into the main straight, calling for a red flag.

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Lewis parked his car in the pit-lane, took his customized scooter, and rode to the Stewards’ office to demand a clarification. Unfortunately, nobody knows what really happened during the discussion. Thus, it would be a blessing if Drive to Survive captured that moment.
Overall, the 2020 F1 season delivered everything from celebrations to agony. If Drive to Survive manages to uncover the above events, the much-awaited season 3 is a guaranteed success.

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Rohit Kumar

582 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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