Formula 1: Drive to Survive Season 5 – What to Expect

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A Screenshot Of The Introductory Promo For Netflix'S Formula 1: Drive To Survive Docuseries.

A screenshot of the introductory promo for Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive docuseries. Credit: Netflix

Formula 1: Drive to Survive is the perfect gateway to the Real Housewives drama of motorsport.

We all love Real Housewives because there’s something deeply soul soothing about watching a group of rich folks engage in the kind of drama we’ll never experience in our daily lives. Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive is that exact same premise, except it involves a lot of rich European men who race fast cars for a living. (I bet you’re already starting to see why your girlfriends have been falling head over heels for this show.)

Let us offer a little context. Formula 1 is an international sport that’s about to enter its 73rd year of successive competition. For many people outside the United States, F1 is like Premier League soccer but with wheels: It’s a big deal. But we here in America, with our deep sporting roots in the NFL and NASCAR racing, have been a tough nut to crack. F1 has tried for years without success — and now, thanks to DTS, America is one of the sport’s fastest growing markets. Back in 2019, it was totally possible that F1 would no longer come race in America because no one really seemed to care. In 2023, demand for an American race is so great that there will be three races here: one in Austin, one in Miami, and one down the strip in Las Vegas. All that, largely thanks to a single Netflix show we binged during lockdown!

As a longtime Formula 1 fan, I’ve been unable to ignore the growth of interest in racing here in America as a result of folks tuning into DTS. The show has done an incredible job at wrangling American attention, which is something. The more people to gossip about Christian Horner and wife Geri Halliwell (and their glorious English estate, with their impeccably British children, and their casual horse rides through their property) with, the better!

Related: Meet Real Housewives with Hybrid Engines: A Girls Guide to Formula One

No, You Don’t Have to Watch Every Season

The upcoming season of DTS will be its fifth, but if you want to check out the series, don’t feel like you have to start at the very beginning! While you may miss a little context, the series writers have done a great job at providing necessary context each season, so you won’t have to worry about what happened in Season 1 if you just want to catch up on the goings-on of 2022.

After all, Season 1 was a little… misleading. F1 is a notoriously private sport, so massive, Championship-winning teams like Ferrari and Mercedes declined to participate. Showrunners had to dig deep to find interesting stories about the lesser-known faces on the grid, and to great effect — but no, there won’t be any Lewis Hamilton that first year. If you’re brand new to F1, it can be a little jarring!

Watching DTS seasons out of order is a little bit like watching The Bachelor seasons out of order. It’s totally fine to do it — but if you do start from the beginning, you get to watch both the storyline in the sport and the storytelling done by Netflix evolve.

Related: Baby Steps Lead to Giant Leaps: Infiniti Ramps Up a Luxury Hybrid with F1 Technology

What’s Coming in Season 5? 

The 2022 Formula 1 season was a spicy one, so you can expect a few different storylines to emerge:

  • Red Bull Racing’s Teammate Drama: Red Bull driver Max Verstappen may have won the 2022 Championship, but as the season came to a close, tensions sparked with teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen refused to trade track position with his teammate after Perez spent all season blocking competition from reaching Verstappen. The two got into such a fight that Verstappen’s mother took to Instagram to accuse Perez of infidelity!
  • Success for America’s Team: The Haas Formula 1 team is based right here in North Carolina, making it the only American F1 team on the grid. It has had a difficult few years, but 2022 was its most successful season since 2018 — and that means we can expect to see plenty of joy from feisty team principal Günther Steiner, who’s known for his creative cursing and acerbic personality.
  • Social Media Drama: Last year, it turned out that two different teams signed the same driver for 2023, Oscar Piastri. The Alpine team claimed Piastri as its own, but Piastri took to social media to refute the claims. Instead, it emerged that he’d be racing for McLaren… but McLaren, too, had signed a whole slew of drivers for the coming season! Expect to see the drama unfurl in DTS.

How to Watch

Drive to Survive Season 5 will be released via Netflix on Friday, February 24, 2023 — though the previous four seasons are currently available to watch if you want to whet your appetite. The release of DTS generally coincides with the start of the season; one week after DTS is the first race of the year, the Bahrain Grand Prix.


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Related: Get Ready fRor a Thrill Ride! Season 4 of Formula 1: Drive to Survive Is Here

You Don’t Have to Watch F1 to Be a DTS Fan

If you spend your Sunday mornings sleeping in or tending to the kids instead of watching sports, we totally get it. Drive to Survive is a great series, but it’s not a commitment. You don’t have to tune into any races to enjoy the show — and with the season kicking off in countries like Bahrain or Australia, we won’t blame you if you’re not interested in setting a middle-of-the-night alarm. Trust me, you really don’t need to know anything about F1 to enjoy DTS! 

However, if you do want to compare a live race to a DTS episode, there will be plenty of Grands Prix that are much friendlier on the American system, including three races here in the United States. You can check out the full F1 calendar and its air times on ESPN to make that call for yourself.

I'm Elizabeth Blackstock, managing editor of AGGTC, blogger, journalist, novelist, editor, MA/MFA graduate student, wife, motorsport fanatic, and bearer... More about Elizabeth Blackstock