Netflix Renews Drive To Survive For Next Two Seasons
Netflix has announced the renewal of Formula One (F1) documentary series, Drive to Survive, for another two seasons.
Having already aired four seasons, F1 confirmed in a press release, that Drive to Survive will be back for its 5th and 6th seasons.
The upcoming seasons will focus on the 2022 and 2023 championships and will offer unprecedented access to behind-the-scenes footage.
Fans can expect to witness first-hand how the drivers and teams prepare for this year’s and next year’s championships with exclusive interviews from the league’s biggest names.
Since the documentary’s release, Drive to Survive has grown F1’s audience base to create one of the world’s most widely followed sports.
In 2021, the league averaged 946 000 viewers per race, up 41% compared to 2019, and 56% compared to 2020, with 2021’s Grand Final Prix final reaching the 7th largest cable audience in US history.
The latest season of Drive to Survive attracted its biggest audience to date, with season four holding a Netflix’s weekly top 10 position in 56 countries.
ESPN’s director of programming and acquisitions, John Suchenski, said that although positive to the sport, there is no way to quantify if the Netflix series has contributed to the audience increase.
“Having additional F1 content out there that reaches a wide and different audience helps increase awareness and interest and hopefully incentivises them to tune into the race,” Suchenski said.
Drive to Survive executive producer, Paul Martin, said the league’s former managing director of commercial operations, Sean Batches, was the driving force behind the show’s success.
Batches pushed to land F1 on a streaming platform until he eventually struck a deal with Netflix and Box to Box films to produce and air the show.
Martin said the show helps general audiences and fans connect with the teams to incentivise emotional investment in the sport.
“If you’re really into Formula One, you sort of knew who they [the teams] were, but above and beyond the hardcore fans, nobody knew who they were and why they were so powerful and why they were trying to do what they were doing,” Martin said.
The show’s behind the scenes footage fills an entertainment gap that the audience was missing and humanises the sport, its athletes and their drive.
Drive to Survive’s success has catalysed a variety of leagues creating their own behind the scenes shows.
The World Surfing League (WSL) is planning to release its own Apple TV series with WSL’s APAC general manager, Andrew Stark, saying he hopes the series follows a similar path as Drive to Survive.