The New Netflix F1 Documentary Drive to Survive Looks Intense (Updated)

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If you’re a car or racing enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys good films, you’re truly missing out if you haven’t seen the 2010 documentary Senna. Most racing documentaries are appallingly dry or vanity projects, or both, but that movie stands above the rest in capturing the human drama around the life and death of one of Formula One’s greatest and most tragic stars. Now one of that film’s executive producers is behind a new racing doc series on Netflix, and it’s called Formula 1: Drive to Survive.

Here is the trailer, which went live this morning:

It’s a 10-part documentary series on the streaming network, and it’s co-produced with F1 itself. James Gay-Rees is listed as an executive producer, and he produced Senna. Normally I’d write such an attempt off as a glorified advertisement for the series, but I’m willing to check this one out.


According to F1, the series is aimed at not only showing the fight for world champion on the track, but the lives of the drivers and their families off the track as they regularly risk injury and death in pursuit of speed.

Thematically, it almost looks like a kind of spiritual sequel to Senna, in that it doesn’t shy away from the inherent dangers of the sport that accompany the glory.


Here’s the official description:

As a new generation of drivers step out of the shadows, Formula 1 has opened its doors to give unprecedented access to the top drivers, team principals and owners, to set the scene for a new wave of gripping competition and challenges. Not only does the series focus on all the latest action on the track, but also takes time away from the circuit to provide a unique insight to the teams and the people that make the championship what it is.


The series launches globally March 8. You should tune in.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the series was directed by Senna director Asif Kapadia; it is not. The story has been updated, and we regret the error.