F1 Drive to Survive Season 6 episode synopsis: what happens in new Netflix series?


The Netflix F1 series Drive to Survive is back for Season 6 – we detail what features in the new show

Nyck de Vries Alpha Tauri Netflix Drive to Surive S6

De Vries: gets the chop


The new series of Netflix’s hugely successful F1 docudrama Drive to Survive has just been released.

Focusing in on and off-track drama of the 2023 season, this sixth instalment follows a number of fascinating story lines which made up last year’s world championship.

From Lando Norris’s McLaren contract agony to Alpine’s complete meltdown, we’ve detailed the key narratives throughout latest version of the seminal sporting documentary.

Episode 1: ‘Money Talks’

Aston martin Lawrence Stroll with drivers

Stroll says he aims to do the talking with his wallet. Interesting

Getty Images

Aston Martin, formerly taking on the guises of the plucky Jordan team and budget-busting Force India outfit, is now the new heavyweight in F1.

Netflix uses a glitzy Aston road car launch, led by chairman Lawrence Stroll, as a metaphor for the Canadian making a big splash in grand prix racing and grabbing the attention of other big hitters  – both F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff are present.

Lawrence says he wants to push the team forward with his “vision, business acumen and wallet.” Double-world champion Fernando Alonso is the big money signing, as well as Red Bull aerodynamicist Dan Fallows.

Aston’s other driver – Lawrence’s son Lance – should be able to use all this as a platform to challenge too in what looks like a promising new car, but he breaks both his wrists in a mountain biking a couple of weeks before the season.

The Canadian makes a remarkable comeback at the opening race of the year in Bahrain, scoring points on his return while Alonso grabs a podium.

At Alpine, sporting director Alan Permane asks team boss Otmar Szafnauer how Aston climbed the grid. “They hired a load of  aerodynamicists from Red Bull,” replies the latter.

Episode 2: ‘Fall From Grace’

Daniel Ricciardo Alpha Tauri Netflix Drive to Surive S6

Ricciardo breezily re-enters F1


The second episode is a theme which will be familiar to previous viewers of Drive to Survive – a Red Bull Junior driver finding themselves under pressure from Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, before eventually being fired.

This season’s victim is Nyck de Vries, whose downfall Netflix dovetails with the return of Daniel Ricciardo.

After being given the cold shoulder as a McLaren development driver, De Vries worked his way back up the ranks out side grand prix racing, winning the Formula E title for Mercedes and now being given a shot at AlphaTauri for 2023.

As the far more experienced driver, he’s expected to dominate new young team-mate Yuki Tsunoda – but it doesn’t happen.

De Vries attempts to ingratiate himself at the Red Bull annual clay pigeon shoot, but he can’t hit the target in the races.

While the pressure mounts on the Dutchman Red Bull, who has employed Ricciardo as its third driver, gives the Australian a test at Silverstone  – which he aces.

Netflix is there to capture the drive and Horner telling Ricciardo he has a seat at AlphaTauri if he wants it, which Ricciardo is clearly delighted with.

De Vries is left to pack his bags and make a quiet exit.

Episode 3: ‘Under Pressure’

Lando Norris 2023 Mexico City

Norris considers whether to stay at McLaren

Getty Images

McLaren comes under the spotlight as it tries to get back to the front of the grid. The season starts terribly in Bahrain, with new hotshot Oscar Piastri retiring while team leader Lando Norris finishes dead last.

With the latter’s contract up for renewal, team boss Zak Brown finds himself under pressure both in persuading Norris to stay and getting the car to perform.

In an emotionally-charged round of golf before the Miami GP, Brown tells Norris to remember how long they’ve been working together – the American was the young Brit’s manager prior to F1 – saying if they make it to the top together it will be all the sweeter.

Things get worse in the Floridian race when McLaren is again largely outclassed, Norris swearing under his breath as he gets lapped time and again.

When asked by journalists if he sees himself at McLaren in 2024, the Brit is unable to give an answer.

The series moves to the British GP though, when the Woking squad has new car upgrades – which work even better than it might have hoped.

Norris qualifies second then takes the lead at the start before eventually finishing runner-up to Max Verstappen in an incredible turnaround for McLaren’s fortunes.

Episode 4: ‘The Last Chapter’

Guenther Steiner Haas Netflix Drive to Surive S6

P45 looms for Steiner


The fourth episode is the story of two teams fighting for their lives at the back of the grid: Haas and Williams.

While the latter appears in the ascendancy, the former is struggling to keep forward momentum under the leadership of principal Guenther Steiner, who is feeling the heat from owner Gene Haas.

Despite hiring quick veteran Nico Hülkenberg alongside incumbent Kevin Magnussen, the Haas car suffers the same old problems from previous years though – reasonably quick over one lap, the car can’t make its tyres last over a race distance.

At the same time Steiner’s star has clearly risen – as a result of his brilliant cameos in previous DtS series, the Italian now has own book out. The cameras follow him to a tome signing in London to see the Netflix effect in full flow.

Meanwhile things are more positive on-track for Williams, with Alex Albon scoring points regularly for the team with the good vibrations flowing through Grove.

Things get emotional as Steiner goes to visit another old F1 mate, former Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto on his vineyard. The former is clearly considering his future – as he’s often quoted saying: “I’m ****ing done with this ****”.

Episode 5: ‘Civil War’

Hungarian Grand Prix 2023

Alpine in a nutshell

Grand Prix Photos

Jovial Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer is optimistic for the year ahead, but finds himself under pressure from the French executives who feel results aren’t coming fast enough.

Friends-turned-enemies-team-mates Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly aren’t helping matters. A karting PR event ends up with Ocon in the barrier, and on the Australian GP restart he careers into Gasly, taking them both out and losing a shedful of potential points.

Despite the fact that on this occasion he was sat powerless on the Alpine pitwall, it’s Szafnauer who takes the blame – Alpine motor sport director Bruno Famin is clearly itching to take action.

This will play out later on the series, but in the more medium-term attention turns to Monaco and redemption for the French team.

Esteban Ocon aces qualifying to start third, and does the same in the race, taking a brilliant podium for the team.

It’s just the tonic after a difficult start to the year, but you still get the impression trouble is brewing at Enstone.

Episode 6: ‘Leap of Faith’

Lewis Hamilton Ferrari 2025

Hamilton ponders F1 future

Getty Images

DtS turns its attention to Lewis Hamilton’s deliberation over his F1 future. Will he sign an extension at Mercedes?

The seven-time world champion was disappointed with Brackley’s poor effort with its 2022 car, and his frustration mounts after his complaints weren’t heeded for the 2023 design – his tetchy behaviour at a client event giving hot laps used to illustrate this.

Rumours swirl that he could be on his way to Ferrari, as Hamilton looks to Alonso’s successful Aston switch for inspiration and wonders if he too should make a change.

As Hamilton says he can’t even remember what it feels like to win anymore, team boss Toto Wolff and wife Susie go for a karting session with their son.

As the German Mercedes principal asks the mechanics to “try the bigger engine”, so viewers are asked to join the dots between this and the new Silver Arrow.

Hamilton eventually signs for another two years, saying he can’t imagine not being a Mercedes driver – six months before he changed his mind and signed a 2025 contract for Ferrari.

Episode 7: ‘C’est La Vie’

Otmar Szafnauer Alpine Netflix Drive to Surive S6

Sacrificial Szafnauer


The Szafnauer saga continues as its appears the Alpine suits are giving him no let-up despite a Monaco podium.

Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds is the new celebrity investor in the team, but it remains to be seen if any magic can be sprinkled magic over the Enstone team.

Pierre Gasly goes to talk over the Alpine issues with basketball legend Tony Parker while they take in a San Antonio Spurs game – as you you do.

Things aren’t getting much better in the F1 arena though, no points in Silverstone, then the two Alpines clatter each other in Hungaroring.

The marque’s motor sport director Bruno Famin has seen enough – in the middle of the Belgian GP Szafnauer is axed, to the incredulity of the rest of the F1 paddock.

“So you’re the new boss – OK…” says Christian Horner in an awkward pre-press conference meeting.

A redemption of sorts comes when Gasly scores a brilliant podium for the team in Zandvoort, but the DtS ‘victory theme’ which plays isn’t exactly convincing in the light of the recent strife the team has been through.

Episode 8: ‘Forza Ferrari’

Fred Vasseur on Ferrari pitwall at 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Vasseur is mulled over in the espresso bars of Italy


The customary Ferrari episode focuses in on the fact that now the Scuderia has hired a non-Italian team boss (shock horror) in the form of amiable Frenchman Frédéric Vasseur.

Can he turn things around after the team took a nosedive in the second half of 2022? The Tifosi debates the question as the Netflix cameras enter the garages and cafeterias of an expectant Italy.

Monza is the scene of the first run at glory when Carlos Sainz takes pole. The crowd goes wild, but eventually Verstappen gets past in the race to break Italian hearts.

Then Sainz and Charles Leclerc squabble over third place, sending Vasseur’s Apple Watch heart tracker off the scale (probably).

They get a mild chiding from the team boss during a very civilised lunch afterwards, before the championship moves on to Singapore.

Sainz takes pole again, this time he clings on to the win while a selfless – and slightly forlorn – Leclerc sacrifices himself by backing up the pack. Everyone is happy (apart from Leclerc, probably).

Episode 9: ‘Three’s a crowd’

Liam Lawson smiles

Lawson lights up episode 9, but goes unrewarded

Getty Images

Three into two won’t go as Daniel Ricciardo and young Kiwi challenger Liam Lawson vie for a 2024 AlphaTauri seat alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

The Aussie makes no bones about the fact he’s aiming for a route back to Red Bull, but things quickly go wrong when breaks his wrist during practice for the Dutch GP.

Enter Lawson – the Red Bull junior has a slightly mopey scene where says he doesn’t live in Monaco (yet). Lawson is subtly complaining about the fact he currently resides in Milton Keynes, but doesn’t mention it by name (unlike Yuki Tsunoda in S4: “most boring place in the world”)

Lawson looks right at home though when he takes his classic boy racer Mazda Supra to the garage and has a heart-to-heart with his mechanic about his F1 prospects.

After a promising showing in Zandvoort, Lawson then stuns the F1 world by qualifiying ahead of all the other Red Bull cars in Singapore before finishing in the points in the race.

However Horner and co still decide to pick crocked Ricciardo for 2024 – Lawson is not happy: “It’s meant to be me.”

Episode 10: ‘Red or Black’

Carlos Sainz's F1 car is recovered to the pitlane after 2023 Las Vegas GP practice

Vegas manhole covers, baby

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The final chapter of DtS S6 is ostensibly supposed to hone on the battle for second in the title race between Ferrari and Mercedes, but really is just one big pat on the back from F1 to itself.

The Scuderia has a mountain to climb – Leclerc does it literally for the Netflix cameras, just in case we were in any doubt – and the grand prix showcase in Las Vegas is chosen as the first scene in which to observe this battle.

The event doesn’t get off to a great start when a Sin City manhole cover gets ripped up by the immense suction power of Sainz’s ground effect Ferrari, wrecking the underside of the car.

Team boss Fred is fuming, but Netflix nicely glosses over the fact that this ruined the Friday of the event, essentially cancelling first practice and forcing the second session to be run behind closed doors due to employment laws of security staff RE the safety of spectators.

Leclerc then takes pole, nearly wins the race but doesn’t, then puts on some heroics in Abu Dhabi too – but Mercedes finishes second anyway.

“I think we can be happy with what we achieved,” says the Monegasque afterwards, not entirely full of conviction.

More on Netflix's hit F1 show Drive to Survive