Saturday, May 21

We’re Getting At Least Two More Seasons of Drive to Survive

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Photo: Robert Cianflone (Getty Images)

This weekend, Formula 1 visits Miami for the first time. It’s a race that would never have happened without the runaway success of Formula 1: Drive to Survive and the scores of new American fans that it has generated. So it fits that the sport and streaming service jointly announced Thursday that DTS will be back not only for next season, but the year after as well.

This is interesting, because it marks the first time that F1 has ever confirmed plans for more than one season at a time, as points out. Chalk that up to Season 4 attracting the largest audience yet, per F1’s press release, and cracking Netflix’s Top 10 list in 56 countries.

Unsurprisingly, this announcement holds nothing else worthy of note. Seasons 5 and 6 promise yet more “unprecedented access” and “never-before-seen footage and interviews,” though you have to wonder if the show’s producers will be able to convince the reigning World Champion to play along by then. Season 6 will also coincide with the first Las Vegas Grand Prix in nearly four decades, another event that likely wouldn’t have come to fruition without DTS’ influence.

It’s hard to imagine DTS ever ending. Even if the rapid growth of F1’s fanbase begins to plateau, it’s still the best possible tool for corralling new fans who aren’t going to randomly flip on a race on a Sunday morning. Dramatizations and embellishments aside, the show writes itself, so to speak. I personally gave up watching the latest season somewhere around the sixth or seventh episode, and have had zero interest to revisit it. But then, it’s not really for me; F1’s already got me and likely anyone reading this, too.

Meanwhile, NASCAR’s long-rumored take on the DTS formula is still gestating, and IndyCar’s is perpetually up in the air. MotoGP gave it a shot to mixed reception — though a dubbing snafu, very little marketing and the fact the docuseries was given the name of a streaming service for some reason probably didn’t help. To make matters worse, MotoGP Unlimited was on Amazon Prime video — a platform lots of people are clearly subscribed to, though I wonder how many of them are actually aware that they are.

Netflix doesn’t have that issue, but then again Netflix is actively cracking down on account sharing. Look, I love watching Daniel Ricciardo say “balls” en route to or from an airport as much as anyone else, but I ain’t going to pay for it.

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