The first race of the F1 2023 season is in Bahrain next week. This weekend however is testing, which began yesterday. And that’s why season five of Netflix’s smash docuseries hit Drive to Survive dropped today.
This is the show that attracted a whole new audience to the sport, especially in North America. That popularity is unlikely to wane this season, not with three races scheduled in the United States. As The Athletic just noted in a report published yesterday, “2023 is the year America takes over F1”. In large part because F1 is coming to Las Vegas. And EVERYONE has that marked on the calendar.
“The U.S. market has become our No. 1 market for social engagement across all of our platforms, (and for) all of our teams and all of our drivers,” Brandon Snow, managing director of commercial at F1, said on a panel at the premiere of ‘Drive to Survive’ in New York last week. “It’s simply right now a big engine for us across the business. That’s why we’re doubling down and bringing Vegas to life.”
They’re even breaking tradition in Vegas, as the race will take place on Saturday night, 10pm local time. Which means that with the time difference, audiences in earlier time zones will be able to watch on what, for them, will be Sunday. And in North America it becomes a primetime event. Like Fight Night, but on the track.
That’s November though, and right now we’re just starting to get a sense of how the drivers and the cars are performing. Speaking of drivers, though, and Drive to Survive, Max Verstappen had a suck attack and refused to participate in season four after complaining that the storylines were inaccurately portrayed. Out of all the drivers on the grid, he was the only one who sat out.
Max is back for season five though, explaining that he met with the show’s producers and told them that he wants to be “in control with what I'm releasing”. OK, suck. You do you.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, is hoping to get his title back. It remains to be seen whether or not Mercedes has done enough with the car this year to put him in a position to win and win consistently and we’ll have a better idea of how Lewis performs on the track in the weeks ahead. At least in the car. When he’s out of the car, it’s always a winning performance. New season, new fits.
He kicked it off yesterday with a gorgeous quilted print jacket over cargoes and Timberlands:
And today a little more casual…but that just means next weekend, for his first race of the year, it’s definitely going to be a moment.