One of the big selling points of this new series is that Mercedes and Ferrari are now involved, with the former featured for two episodes and the latter for one, after refusing to participate in the first season.
The Mercedes episodes have been much anticipated. Originally pencilled in for just the German Grand Prix, their performance was so appalling that they invited Netflix back for a second go later in the season.
In the first episode, Mercedes pulls out several stunts to commemorate 125 years of involvement in motor sport, one of which involves team members dressing up in 1950s costume.
Much befitting their gimmicky get-up (and to the delight of many F1 fans), Mercedes deliver a Wacky Races-style Grand Prix performance, with wheels going missing in pits, both cars hitting the barrier and Lewis “Still I Rise” Hamilton asking if he can park the car and go home.
This episode is another which demonstrates the series’ strength in displaying the excitement and anguish of Formula 1. Hamilton’s contrition post-race illustrates the levels the team expect of itself at every Grand Prix weekend. Or perhaps he’s just being a bit overdramatic.
Viewers deal with, rather than watch, the insipid Ferrari instalment, where Sebastien Vettel, Charles Leclerc and others wax lyrical about “what it means to drive for Ferrari” without really explaining what they mean.
The moment we see what it actually does “mean” is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which Leclerc wins to send Ferrari’s loyal tifosi into complete ecstasy.
This is not where we get to see “behind the scenes” though. Instead we are invited sit through a rather dull US Grand Prix weekend, where proceedings are marginally livened up by one of Vettel’s rear wheels falling off at one point.
A painful but also fascinating watch is the implosion of Williams during pre-season preparation.