I watched the Dutch Grand Prix last night. Max Verstappen won and moves to first on the Championship standing. And Lewis Hamilton came second, got the fastest lap, which means he also gets a bonus point.
And Verstappen has a deal with Red Bull that if they don’t deliver a car that places him in the top three at the end of the year, he can terminate the deal and find a team which can support him.
I haven’t watched an F1 race from start to finish since the mid 90’s. And then it wasn’t on free to air anymore and I had no desire to pay for it, then young kids and other life events moved me further away from it. But I still followed the sport by seeing highlights or checking the standings or reading an article on a race or a team.
And it’s the Netflix series “Formula1: Drive to Survive.” which made me a fan again. It actually made my whole family fans of F1. We are not car lovers or motor enthusiasts by any means, but goddamn I couldn’t turn it off. The racers are all characters, the teams are trying their best and strategizing, there is always a driver within the team who is given the shortest straw in the hope that the other driver performs better.
And of course there is Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo who is a character and gets a lot of screen time.
I probably wouldn’t go to watch a race as the best seat is in your living room. You get to watch the race and you know who is winning and who is battling it out for other spots.
And the teams get excited when they come tenth, which means they get a point for their efforts.
While the drivers are racing, the car needs to function, the pit stops need to be fast and without issue and the team must have a plan as to how many tire changes they would do, what kind of tires to start with, soft, medium or hard. And the tires they bring to the race are the tires they qualify with and race with. They need to make those tires usable for the Friday practice session, the Saturday qualifying and the Sunday Race.
And if you don’t know F1, there are ten teams who are allowed to have two drivers. In total 20 drivers. But only three can get a podium. And if you place between fourth and tenth you get points, which all add up.
It goes around the world, like a travelling circus. And the show isn’t just about the racing.
It’s the amazing stories of the drivers and the team principals and team owners.
Speaking of team principles, Cyril from Renault is emotional and passionate, Gunter from Haas is doing it tough, as if the car is good, the drivers crash or the mechanics stuff up a pit change and on some days the car is just bad. Toto from Mercedes is the strategist while Christian Horner from Red Bull won four straight titles but the last seven have been won by Mercedes. So he’s working hard to get the crown back and in the process landed himself a pop star wife in Geri Halliwell.
No one can forget of the images of Grosjean in the burning car for close to 3 minutes while the track crew tried to extinguish the flames and he managed to jump out eventually.
And in the first season of the show, Ferrari and Mercedes don’t get any screen time because they didn’t participate as they wanted to protect their image. But when the first season ended up being so successful, suddenly they wanted to be part of it.
Season 3 is the best one, with Season 4 being filmed right now.