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Netflix Excludes Red Bull From Drive to Survive as All 10 Episode Descriptions Get Released

Published 02/21/2024, 8:25 AM EST

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via Reuters

“You’ve got a problem, change your f**king car.” The iconic dialogue from Christian Horner, as seen in Netflix’s Drive to Survive. Even the F1TV commentators used this dialogue to explain how Red Bull themselves have now adopted the zeropod concept after Horner asked Toto Wolff to change it. But alas, Red Bull will not be there in the latest season due to release this Friday. Wait what? Well, yes, that is what the episode descriptions suggest. 

2023 saw the most dominant season in F1 history, spearheaded by Max Verstappen & Co. at Red Bull. Together, they won 21 out of 22 races held in the year, with Verstappen taking 19 of those victories. Multiple records were broken during the season, including the most consecutive wins, the most points scored by one driver, and many more. Yet it seems that Netflix binned Verstappen’s dominance. 

Why are we saying so? Netflix just revealed the description of all 10 episodes of the latest season of Drive to Survive. And who or what’s not in any episode names and descriptions? Max Verstappen or any other Red Bull member’s name. The closest they came to the Milton-Keynes team’s drivers were Daniel Ricciardo and Nyck de Vries, who are (or were, in de Vries’ case) a part of the Red Bull family, who were AlphaTauri drivers (the sister team). 

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According to Netflix, Episode 2, “Fall from Grace,” talks about Nyck de Vries and how he could not manage the ever-mounting pressure. Episode 9, “Three’s a Crowd,” talks about Daniel Ricciardo’s return to F1 after Nyck de Vries was sacked, followed by Ricciardo’s accident at Zandvoort that sent him to rehabilitation. And then, about how Liam Lawson replaced him and impressed everyone on the grid. 

Not once were the words Red Bull or Max Verstappen mentioned anywhere. This came after the three-time world champion decided to participate in the show’s fifth edition based on the 2022 F1 season. After saying, “I’m not really a dramatic show kind of guy. I just want facts and real things to happen,” in 2021, he did give it a shot last season. And it looked like he’d be part of it again. Especially after Drive to Survive’s poster release in November 2023.

It featured Max Verstappen front and center, standing on his winning machine that was the RB19. However, on February 20, Netflix basically confirmed that the Dutchman wouldn’t make a repeat appearance this season when the trailer was released. How, you may ask? 

Watch this Story | Formula 1 Drive to Survive Season 4 Review: Has the Latest Season Lived Up to the Fans’ Expectations?

Max Verstappen is absent from the Drive to Survive: Season 6 Trailer

Max Verstappen is a pure racing driver at heart and doesn’t like the marketing and PR activities around F1. All he cares about is racing and winning. Maybe that is one of the reasons for his possible absence from the DTS docuseries. The Dutchman was the one to suggest that the Netflix series makes up rivalries that aren’t really present in actual life. 

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Commenting on season 4 of the series that focused on the 2021 season, he talked about his good friend Lando Norris. Alluding to an episode about Norris and his then-McLaren teammate Ricciardo, Verstappen gave his thoughts on how the Brit was portrayed. He said, “They made Lando look [like] a bit of a d**k. I know Lando… And you look at the episode and think, ‘Who is this guy?’”

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Given all the added drama, it led to him commenting, “So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show.” Earlier this month, when the trailer and post for DTS: Season 6 was revealed, Max Verstappen wasn’t present in any of those, giving us the idea that he might be present this season.

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The episode descriptions only further confirm the doubts about Verstappen’s absence. What do you think? Will Max Verstappen be there in the docuseries?

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Written by:

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay is an F1 Content Analyst and writer at EssentiallySports who effortlessly blends his technical knowledge and passion for F1 in his writing. He has a knack for unique content research and specializes in trend-setting articles. Pranay’s coverage of the departure of Guenther Steiner from Haas received appreciation from readers.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare