Thoughts on Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix

Skipping the preamble. Here’s the trailer.

Ok. Slight preamble. These guys are freak athletes. Similar to figher pilots or astronauts with the amount of force on their bodies and the reaction times needed. When you get the onboard view and see them maneuvering through the streets of Monte Carlo, it’s intense even from your living room. As I watched, three things jumped out.

  1. Money is Everything

If you have the most money whether from investors or sponsors, you will have the best car. Period. End stop. If you drive for Mercedes or Ferrari, you essentially guarantee yourself a podium finish every race and a first or second finish for the year.

2. The Podium Means A Lot

When Mercedes or Ferrari are winning almost every race and nearly always in the top positions, getting a third place finish as a lesser team means everything. I never thought non-winners were celebrated, but in Formula 1 it’s huge.

3. Qualifying is Almost More Important Than the Race

In F1, it’s extremely hard to pass anyone. So the best (only?) way to win is to qualify for a top position. Otherwise, it’s too difficult to make a run. The drivers push so hard in qualifying and it’s wild to see how many crashes happen.

3b. Also, Don’t Crash on the First Turn

Happens a lot, but seems like a bold strategy. If you get a bad pole position in qualifying, your dream is a pile-up where you come out clean.


4. Calling the Drivers Teammates is a Joke

There are 20 drivers in Formula 1. Ten teams. Two drivers per team. The math checks out. So if you and another driver are part of the Red Bull umbrella, you are supposed to be buddies and root for each other and not get in each other’s way. This is insane to me. So if your teammate wins and you crash into the wall on the first lap, the team principal wants you to still be happy. No chance. Do I get a piece of his salary? Every driver hates each other and rightfully so. They respect each other, but are more than willing, sometimes more so, to take out their teammates.


You know what they say. Rubbing is racing.

P.S. Formula 1 is awesome.


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