By Madison Pena
Between the revving engines, smoke collecting from car tires and the thousands of screaming fans, the environment and high stakes of racing are truly like no other.
Last month, Netflix dropped the second season of its docuseries, “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” which chronicles the Formula 1 2019 racing season. The show gives fans and viewers a behind-the-scenes glance at what goes into the most expensive, high-risk sport in the world.
Not only does the show provide an unfiltered view of what goes into building and racing these cars, but it also highlights the toll that the competition and sport take on the drivers.
While season one provided an inside look into eight of the ten teams competing in Formula 1, the second season brings front-runners Mercedes and Ferrari into the mix, which refused to be a part of the first season.
It’s safe to say that the second season lived up to, if not surpassed, the first one. After successfully binging all 10 episodes in two days, I debated rewatching the entire season just so I could experience the raw drama and intensity again.
Each episode follows a new team as they prepare for the upcoming Grand Prix on their journey to becoming world champion racers. Part of the beauty of Formula 1, as I came to realize, was the fact that it’s anyone’s game. While there may be certain front-runners that are given the engine power and car construction, at any given point, someone can spin out or have an engine failure, leaving the underdog to lead the race.
While it takes a few episodes to get the hang of how things work in the sport, the dynamic between teammates and competitors is enough to get anyone hooked.
With only 20 racers in the world being able to compete at the Formula 1 level, the stakes are higher than ever, and everyone is replaceable.
Witnessing the rivalries that continued from season one was thrilling, especially when it comes time for personal vendettas to be settled on the track. The competition between teammates that steals the season comes from Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen of the Haas F1 Team, who each fight to solidify their spot on the team for the following season.
With contracts coming to a close, drivers feel the heat when it comes time to perform and prove their worth.
Pierre Gasly, a newcomer to Formula 1 on the second season, feels the heat as he struggles to keep up and perform for the renowned Redbull Racing team. After failing to meet expectations, he moves to Redbull’s second team, Toro Rosso, and is quickly replaced by one of Redbull’s Formula 2 drivers.
Almost ironically, the series ends with a nod to the third installment of the show, which is set to follow the 2020 Formula 1 season. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the precautionary measures that have been taken to contain it, Formula 1 has announced the cancellation of several Grand Prix’s, leaving fans and teams devastated for the delay of their favorite sport.
The series does an excellent job at capturing each racer’s personality. This makes it easy for the audience to pick out favorites, even if they’ve never heard of Formula 1 before. The constant highs and lows of the sport leave viewers on the edge of their seats and make you wish you didn’t watch the show so quickly.