Netflix ‘Drive to Survive’ Season 6 Review

Formula 1

Drive To Survive Season 6 Is All About Broken Wrists, Broken Spirits, & Broken Trust

A new season of heated Formula 1 moments — both on and off the track.

The 2024 Formula 1 season is already in session. With testing currently underway in Bahrain, Netflix is also bringing back its fan-favorite docuseries Drive to Survive for its sixth season. Like its past iterations, fans worldwide are treated to 10 episodes filled with behind-the-scenes access into the drivers and the teams from 23 races (22 considering the canceled Emilia-Romagna race in Italy) — the most race weekends of the sport's history.

Drive to Survive Season 6 picks up on F1’s off-season, with the teams relaxing ahead of the 2023 season. There’s lots to look forward to, but it’s not long before chaos ensues, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll breaking both his wrists and one of his toes in a biking accident before the first race — and it’s not the only injury we see this year. The following episodes capture the decline of Aston Martin’s performance, even with a new driver, Fernando Alonso, and the sudden rise of historically underperforming teams in recent years like Williams and McLaren. There are waivers in team loyalty and some unprecedented swaps — Nyck De Vries is kicked out of AlphaTauri mid-season, team principals get the boot, and drivers like McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton question their futures in their respective teams.

For serious F1 fans, Drive to Survive tried to turn the so-called “uneventful” season into something interesting for the cameras — especially considering how the sport’s most successful drivers, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, opted out of the Netflix spotlight. Not only is there little insight into the rookie season of the grid’s new faces, like McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Williams’ Logan Sargeant, but the show also glazes over 2023’s controversies, like discriminatory remarks toward Pérez by Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko and Lance’s attitude problem in the paddock.

Despite that, Drive to Survive is still packed with many unforgettable moments from the competition — and the 2024 season is slated to be even messier. Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 2, see the most anticipated moments from Drive to Survive Season 6 below.

Drive to Survive Season 6 is available to stream on Netflix Feb. 23.

Injuries Abound

Frustrations run high at the start of the 2023 season. The first episode highlights Aston Martin’s speedier-than-ever car and new driver, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. But on the eve of the race weekend in Bahrain, Lance Stroll suffers from two broken wrists and a fractured toe. He miraculously bounces back to shape from an urgent procedure and helicopters in right before qualifying — he is a billionaire’s son, after all.

Speaking of injuries, Daniel Ricciardo returns to F1 in the AlphaTauri seat after a six-month hiatus on the sidelines as a reserve driver for Red Bull. The Australian driver fractured his wrist at the Dutch Grand Prix, leading to a nearly two-month recovery period and temporary replacement by Red Bull’s current reserve driver Liam Lawson. The 22-year-old New Zealander scores a couple of points, making the Aussie sweat as contract renewals approach, but spoiler: Ricciardo does, in fact, end the season with a renewed contract for 2024.


Back Of The Grid Rivalries

Drive to Survive gives a fair amount of screentime to the sport’s underrated teams. It starts off with McLaren, a once championship-winning team that’s now struggling to keep up. McLaren must rank higher in the Constructor Standings — higher rankings equal more prize money — forcing the team to progress quickly or risk losing its key driver, Lando Norris. Ultimately, McLaren turns its season around with new car updates, scoring fourth in the championship and nine podiums from Norris and his rookie teammate, Oscar Piastri.

Another team struggling in the midfield is Alpine. Drive to Survive Season 6 kicks off the Alpine storyline with an exaggerated retelling of the drama between French drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon going back to their childhood karting days. Alpine gets a new round of celebrity investors, including Ryan Reynolds and Travis Kelce, with the Hollywood group taking a 24% stake. The pressure mounts for Alpine to not only keep their drivers in check but to perform as well, but unsatisfied higher-ups lead to the team principal Otmar Szafnauer being dismissed from his role halfway through the season. In the end, Alpine scored two podium finishes but not without its fair share of on-track crashes and paddock conflicts.


AlphaTauri’s Driver Swaps

There are a few new faces in the paddock this season, but the most anticipated (and ultimately disappointing) prospect was Nyck de Vries, the Formula E and Formula 2 champion who came in ready to continue his victory streak. De Vries has a “fall from grace,” failing to deliver what it takes to last in Red Bull’s junior seat. Despite De Vries’ claims to be “more experienced, mature, and complete” than his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, Tsunoda consistently outperforms him, leading to speculation and his sudden removal midseason. “It hurts that something you dreamed of and worked towards for so long ends prematurely,” De Vries says in Episode 2. “It definitely came by surprise.”

Amidst De Vries’ sudden hero-to-zero moment, Daniel Ricciardo fills in the AlphaTauri seat, thanks in large part to Christian Horner’s soft spot for the driver. But Ricciardo suffers a broken wrist just two races in, leading to yet another replacement while he recovers. That driver is Liam Lawson, the 22-year-old from New Zealand who impresses with his immediate adaptation to the car, even snagging some points in the championship. Even with an exceptional and unexpected debut, the Kiwi driver didn't land a contract from any team, and AlphaTauri (now renamed to Visa Cash App RB) stayed with Tsunoda and Ricciardo for the 2024 season.

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Where Is Red Bull?

Much to our disappointment, Max Verstappen — the 2023 world champion and Drive to Survive villain — avoided Netflix’s cameras with his teammate Sergio Pérez. (The only time we really see the pair in action is on the track or the occasional clip from the paddock.) The absence of the drivers and a Red Bull storyline comes laced with controversies: In 2023, Red Bull’s adviser Helmut Marko made discriminatory remarks against Pérez; Red Bull is also recovering from the cheating allegations with the 2022 “Cost Cap” investigation — and the allegations don’t stop there. Much is expected to change heading into 2024 regarding the team, and hopefully, it’s caught on camera for Drive to Survive Season 7.

Lewis Hamilton Rumors

In lieu of a Red Bull episode, Drive to Survive offers a lens into Mercedes and Ferrari’s championship battle for second place. Season 6 first touches base with Lewis Hamilton, who struggles with Mercedes' progress over the last few years. The seven-time world champion says he’s “forgotten what it feels like to win” and is desperate to make progress with the team that could lead to his eighth world title. As Hamilton struggles with the 2023 car, rumors emerge about a potential move to Ferrari. While Episode 6 ends with Hamilton signing a two-year contract with Mercedes, the rumors proved true: He officially joined Ferrari for the 2025 season alongside Charles Leclerc.

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Haas’ Superstar

The game of F1 musical chairs is already causing a stir ahead of the 2024 races — especially in the throes of "silly season." In the Drive to Survive finale, Haas' team principal Guenther Steiner was booted from his role and replaced by longtime engineer Ayao Komatsu after a tumultuous seven years.

Steiner became a Drive to Survive fan favorite for his nonstop cursing and cheeky pessimism. ("F*cking done with this sh*t Gene, we look like f*cking idiots out here,” being one of many examples.) His on-screen fame even boosted Haas’ relevance and his own career outside of the track, from an exclusive merch line to his very own book. There’s always potential for a new personality to arise in 2024, but it won't be the same; the absence of the sport's "biggest loser" will undoubtedly be felt by fans.