Formula 1 Drive to Survive Season 4: Netflix release date, preview and updates

Racing Movies

The release date for Formula 1 Drive to Survive Season 4 has been announced: latest news on the Netflix series - including release date and featured teams

Red Bull of Max Verstappen is lifted into the air after hitting Lewis Hamilton Mercedes at Monza

Verstappen and Hamilton played out on of F1's most dramatic seasons – will it make for ripe dramatic Netflix material?

Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

Season 4 of the Netflix F1 series Drive to Survive will be released on March 11, it has been confirmed. Following the roaring success of Season 3, the next instalment is likely to be more highly anticipated than ever.

The new series will cover the 22 races that made up F1’s longest series to date, dominated by the Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen title battle that many have dubbed the greatest yet seen in the sport.

With its familiar blend of new camera angles, behind-the-scenes footage and revealing interviews Drive to Survive Season 4 could be the most extraordinary yet.

 

When is Drive to Survive Season 4 released? What time?

Netflix has announced that Drive to Survive Season 4 will be released on March 11, with every episode of the series expected to become available just after 8am. It will arrive in the middle of the second pre-season test in Bahrain so avid fans will be able to choose between live coverage of this year’s cars on track in Bahrain or watching Netflix’s take on last year’s season.

 

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How will they film Drive to Survive Season 4?

Film crews adopted a similar approach in 2021 as the previous year, either remaining within a team’s social bubble, so as to minimise the chance of spreading the Covid-19 in case of infection, or maintaining social distancing for the same reason.

In previous years, team members have been shown letting their guard down in front of the cameras, but growing audiences mean that they are increasingly aware of the impact that a comment can have. Have the filmmakers been able to coax the same level of openness out of their subjects?

One driver they haven’t got anything from is Max Verstappen, who has refused to co-operate and carry out one-to-one interviews. He has been critical for the “staged” nature of the series, which has not been shy of ramping up rivalries and editing together unrelated footage to tell a story.

The drama of 2021 may mean that there’s less need for this, and producers may be warier too now there’s an audience of seasoned fans, drawn into the sport by earlier Drive to Survive episodes, who are familiar with the key points of last year.

 

Who will make Drive to Survive Season 4?

Executive producers Paul Martin and James Gay-Reese, whose company Box to Box Films also oversaw the first three series, have remained at the helm for Season 4.

The pair have also produced successful films on Ayrton Senna, Diego Maradona and Amy Winehouse.

With the team now having developed a clear aesthetic, expect even more Guenther Steiner door-smashing, Toto Wolff laying into race director Michael Masi on the radio and and Lewis Hamilton reporting his tyres have gone before miraculously coming home to another win.

 

What will be in Drive to Survive Season 4?

If ever there was a season of grand prix racing that didn’t need to be dramatised, it was 2021 – but it’s happening anyway.

Many feel that 2021 was F1’s best year yet – and possibly its most controversial. As a result, Drive to Survive Season 4 is sure to feature some of the Netflix series’ most arresting storylines to date.

In an ideal world, the titanic scrap-to-end-all-scraps between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the drivers’ crown would form the centrepiece of its dramatic narrative, culminating in that season finale – which saw the Dutchman snatch the title from under the Mercedes driver’s nose, to the joy of some fans and unalloyed outrage of others.

As it is though, Mercedes and Hamilton have only featured in one episode in each of the last two seasons, whilst Verstappen has announced he isn’t taking part after describing the storylines as “faked”.

Still, we all know Christian Horner loves to get in front of a camera, so expect plenty of the Red Bull boss commenting on events from the first round in Bahrain, where Hamilton just clung on to win when his rival passed by going off track, his view of Verstappen barging past in Imola and Barcelona, the catastrophic tyre failure in Baku, the collisions in Silverstone, Monza and Jeddah, and that’s before we even consider what might be shown of Abu Dhabi and the aftermath.

Even ignoring the top two, there was enough action up and down the field to fill several series and then some.

McLaren’s season was its best since 2012. A first Macca win nine years was delivered at Monza courtesy of Netflix darling Daniel Ricciardo, who otherwise had a season of startling mediocrity. His struggle to turn it around will make for good watching, as as being in sharp contrast to this year’s standout performance from Lando Norris.

The papaya team’s anointed hero was scintillating throughout, taking pole in Russia and almost winning the race but for a misguided tyre call at the death. Drama in spades will make hopefully provide some of the most watchable of material.

Could the Red Bull ‘drive masher’ have met its match in Sergio Perez, the man who could potentially take on and beat Max Verstappen? It was a stuttering start for Sergio, but he secured an opportunistic win in Baku before becoming the hero at Yas Marina by holding up Lewis Hamilton, gaining his team-mate precious seconds. In magnifying the action, the Netflix cameras would only amplify Perez’s pain and then joy.

Hamilton’s nearly-but-not-quite attempt at a record eighth title would make for historic documentary footage. That said, Netflix barely mentioned Hamilton’s record-equalling seventh title in series 3, instead deciding to focus on his pummelling of Valtteri Bottas, week in, week out, so the directors might find another angle yet.

On the subject of Bottas, his coming together at Imola with Mercedes junior (and threat to his seat) George Russell elicited emotional reactions from the pair of them. Russell has already revealed he’s being interviewed by Netflix this year, surely setting up a delicious narrative for DtS makers. Now announced as a Mercedes driver for 2022, will we get the behind the scenes scoop on how the Brackley driver decision developed?

On to one of the most important questions – will Haas continue to bring the laughs? Nikita Mazepin already seems to be the F1 villain grand prix racing doesn’t want, and looks likely to stir up controversy sooner or later. His spin or bust mentality so far looks sure to produce good DtS fodder if it were to be the case.

Sebastian Vettel season’s was the so-so midfield water-treader many feared. Spins, penalties and self-combusting brakes will make for great DtS viewing if featured. there was a fortuitous Azerbaijan podium and solid Monaco to consider too though.

Make sure to check back on this page to find updates on what could well be an even better instalment of the world’s fastest – and indeed most thrilling – Netflix series: Drive to Survive.