FEEDBACK: "Drive to Survive" - Season 1, Episodes 1-3

On the next Rewind-A-Wai, we will be reviewing Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” with a look at the first three episodes of Season 1.

This selection was made by Espresso Executive Producer @czek21.

This is your chance to leave feedback or any questions or thoughts on the first three episodes of the series, whether you are a long-time fan of F1 or just finding it now.

All three episodes can be streamed on Netflix.

Episode 1: “All to Play For”
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo prepares himself for the opening race of what he believes to be the most important season of his career. A penalty in qualifying makes his race more difficult, and he goes on to finish fourth. Meanwhile, Haas enjoy their strongest qualifying to date, but their race ends in heartbreak when mistakes in the pits mean both their drivers retire.

Episode 2: “The King of Spain”
Carlos Sainz Jr. reflects on the opening races of the season, his ongoing battles with his idol Fernando Alonso and life as the son of a World Champion. He secures a career-best result in Azerbaijan, and prevails over Alonso in the Spanish Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner must deal with the fallout from a collision between Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan that takes both drivers out of contention.

Episode 3: “Redemption”
Ricciardo enters the Monaco Grand Prix weekend questioning his future with Red Bull. An accident in free practice means that Verstappen is unable to qualify and starts the race from last place. Ricciardo qualifies on pole and leads the early stages of the race, but an engine failure leaves him down on power. He ultimately withstands pressure from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to win. Meanwhile, Williams struggles with a poor run of results as they fall further down the grid.

This edition of Rewind-A-Wai will be released on Tuesday, July 12 for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

I decided to tuck into this series over the past couple of days, and it’s no surprise I’m enthralled. I’ve been a big fan of this type of sports docuseries dating back to the ‘NHL 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic’ on HBO in 2011. Who could forget Ilya Bryzgalov talking about how humongous big our solar system is.

One of the more under-estimated aspects of this show is the sound design, adding in the foley sound effects for every race, like when they go over debri or crash, just adds so much.

This series gave me the appreciation of the mid-field race. Without it I feel I’d only really care about who came first and be bored whenever they weren’t showing the race leader. As a result, when I watched the Austrian GP, I was over the moon for Haas who gained double points. Total rockstars, not wankers.

The rise in F1 popularity over the past 4 years, especially in the United States is obviously attributed in part to this series. Do you think a docuseries like this could work for a wrestling promotion like an AEW, a shoot style, backstage, character driven reality miniseries and could it attract new viewers to the product? I know the first thing people would say is that WWE have already done this with shows like 24 and Breaking Ground, but I’d argue these are completely different. The production for WWE docs are still very restricted in terms of what they are allowed to show and the intended audience is existing wrestling fans rather than new ones, at the time locked behind their own network. It’s not like wrestling is without plenty of drama to be extrapolated. Or are wrestling promotions just too obsessed with their own self-image and image of the talent? For 2022 I could see some story arcs being: Cody Rhodes departure, the Injury Bug, Jon Moxley return from rehab, FTR draped in gold and, if there is a workable resolution, the Jeff Hardy story. Call it Meet the Elite. If I pitch it to Tony will you give me a reference?

P.S. On behalf of Australians, I apologise for Daniel Ricciardo constantly talking about his scrotum.

I got into this series after listening to you guys talk so glowingly about it. After American Vandal, I figured any show you recommend is worth a shot.
I used to follow f1 in high school back when schumacher was still racing and none of the announcers could pronounce ricciardo properly and It’s been great to get back into F1. It’s crazy seeing how far F1 has come in terms of their online presence, before this show they’d have only like, a few thousand subscribers on youtube and not much content.

As for this season, I think my main takeaway was that Verstappen seems like a jerk and I want him to lose. However, not sure how much of that is the doco’s presentation with Ricciardo as their babyface. Nothing’s changed my mind since though and I felt the same about Checo and Christian horner in this season, and now they’re all together… is Red Bull the ultimate heel team in f1?

Looking forward to more f1 content in the future.
PS. Another great f1 podcast is “shift+f1”, it’s hosted by THE blinking white guy from the memes.

Cory from Long Island:

While - in retrospect - overdramatized, I cannot think of a more perfect entry point to any sport more than Drive to Survive. Their format of only focusing on 1 to 2 teams at any given time on a roster as small as F1’s pays dividends as it really allows you to get to know the group of characters at any given time. Whether it’s the story of young upstart Carlos Sainz being in the shadow of one of the all time greats in Fernando Alonso, or the down on their luck Williams team; there is a level of pathos that is imbued with all of these figures that you cannot help but become invested in them.

Speaking of relatable - outside of someone like Lewis Hamilton, I cannot think of a single more perfect “main character” for this series than Daniel Riccardo. Right from the jump we are introduced to his past, his present, what he wants for his future, and his incredibly charismatic personality. It is somewhat coincidental timing that we put a spotlight on him right now as the conversation continues to be had about his future in Formula 1 after a major slump these last couple of years. With names like Indiecar’s Colton Herta, fellow Australian and F2 upstart Oscar Piastri and even AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly being thrown around as potential McLaren roster members; we may soon be living in a world with Riccardo’s name missing from the F1 roster.

I am sure you talked about him in length, but no conversation about Drive To Survive can be had without mentioning Haas. Everyone I know has come out of this show becoming a Haas fan, and it’s very easy to see why. At any given moment, this team is on fire - sometimes in more ways that one. Guenther Steiner is a firefighter armed with a tiny spray bottle. Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen seemingly have the chemistry of Oil and Water and the fact that Steiner constantly has to play the angry nanny had my friends and I laughing. The timing is also coincidental - Haas have had one of their best weekends in years this past weekend scoring double points and a Driver Of The Day in the form of Mick Schumacher after an incredibly impressive weekend. I hope Guenther got good sleep that night.

Fairus from Malaysia,

I was a jaded F1 fan prior to the release of Drive to Survive (DTS) due to the dominant Mercedes winning all the titles since the beginning of turbo-hybrid engine era with no constant competitors apart from occasional wins by Ferrari or Red Bull. DTS is a near perfect story heavy recap series that can captivate viewers to tune in to look back at past season of F1, getting a glimpse into the once unseen backstory of each teams and drivers. From the first season, I was hooked back into F1 and never missing out on a race weekend. The stories and characters chosen to be highlighted for each season was near spot-on, from the always underdog Haas, the historic Williams team trying to survive, the intense midfield battles between various teams, and the redemption arcs of various drivers - thus making it a very anticipated series to watch after the season ends.

I am throwing some prediction for next year’s DTS for this season thus far:

-the struggle with new 2022 spec cars
-Haas season (firing of Mazepin, hiring of Magnussen, Mick’s resurgence).
-Ferrari vs Red Bull battle for title
-Ferrari’s race strategy woes
-Albon coming back and getting points for Williams
-Ricciardo’s swansong?

Robbie from London, Ontario

This series I had never heard of and probably would have had no interest without John & Wai. But because of you guys I dove in and absolutely loved it. My Dad was always an F1 fan so I had seen bits and pieces of races, as well as knowing who Lewis Hamilton is. But since he was largely missing from these episodes it was a brand new world. This series made me a huge fan of Daniel Riccardo, Carlos Sainz, and a big hater for Verstappen lol. Best part is, it created a bonding opportunity that every race weekend i head over so me and my Dad can watch the races together. So thank you Post for bringing this into my life!


I watched season one of Drive to Survive a long time ago. So don’t really have specific points on the first 3 episodes. Just some general thoughts on the show.

Been following Formula One for around 20+ years. And without even realising it myself, in the middle of the 2010s, the sport had an aging fan base problem. I was at the US Grand Prix in 2016 in Austin, TX and they booked Taylor Swift to perform. To again try to capture a younger audience. It wasn’t working.

This show changed all that. I’ve been part of a F1 Facebook group for 12 years. It was the same 20-25 active members chatting for years. Then with Drive to Survive, that changed overnight. Huge influx of new fans, mostly under 25. Huge influx of female fans as well.

While Drive to Survive isn’t really for me, I for one welcome the new fans. Also, Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal next year. Let’s all go.

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Hearing you guys gush about DTS on post-shows drove me (pardon the pun) to give it a shot and I gotta say that it’s gripping. Beyond the driving team’s preparations and the Burnout-style crashes (and there’s a lot of them throughout the season) lies each driver’s motivations of getting over any physical and mental hurdles.

I’m convinced to keep going and i’m on season 2.

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Hey guys, really glad that you have decided to go through the beginning of Drive to Survive, hopefully this reaches you before you record :crossed_fingers:t2:and apologises if this is lengthy or not fully relevant to what you are talking about in relation to season 1

Have been a very big F1 fan for a couple of decades, so when the concept of DTS was first approached it was very exciting to see what would actually go on behind the scenes, as F1 had previously only done season reviews which would just go race by race of what happened on the track

The first season is very strange considering the two main teams were absent, in Mercedes & Ferrari, which removed a large part of the story from that season however thankfully there seems to be a lot more buy in from almost all parties now. The first three episodes are the perfect way to get anyone into the sport, and gives you a good overview of the major players from that season. My own complaint of DTS has always been that the series jumps around the calendar instead of going through race by race, so it can seem to edited to fit the narrative that the producers want rather than actually follow the natural stories that can occur from race to race.

I do have one question for you both, what are you looking forward to seeing in season 5, because from my viewpoint, I think it will be interesting to see how they treat season 5 after having a lot of pushback from teams & some drivers, mainly Lando Norris, that stories & feuds were being made up and having a lot more eyeballs on the product than ever before there will likely need to be an adjustment to how the series is produced as season 4

Also one possible recommendation for you both regarding the history of F1 would be a documentary called 1 - Life On The Limit. It gives a really good overview look at the origins and how the sport has evolved from its very dangerous beginnings

David from Aberdeen