Drive to Survive producer reveals who will replace Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo will play a typical large role in the fifth season of 'Drive to Survive', which will be released on Friday.

With season five of the hit Netflix Formula 1-based docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ (DTS) just a matter of days away (launches February 24), producer Paul Martin has revealed who he believes could fill Daniel Ricciardo’s “role” on the show, with the Aussie having been a leading star of it.

Since the show began, Ricciardo has been somewhat the heart and soul of it, with the Red Bull development driver having often been on hand to share a joke or an incredibly personal moment.

Ricciardo shared his emotions on the show more than the vast majority of the drivers, with him having been one of the true characters of it.

His presence on DTS has been so large, in fact, that Martin doesn’t think the show would even exist without the 33-year-old, highlighting how important he is to both the series and the sport.

READ: Lando Norris breaks silence on Daniel Ricciardo’s potential F1 return

Whilst he will heavily feature in season five, the Aussie won’t be playing anywhere near as big a role in season six, given that he’s not actually racing in the forthcoming season.

Ricciardo’s absence leaves a huge hole to be filled, given what he brings to the show in terms of entertainment and personality.

Martin revealed that he felt “very emotional” when the Aussie’s F1 departure was announced towards the end of last season, with Ricciardo having always been one of the kindest drivers to the filming crew.

“Without Daniel I think there probably wouldn’t have been a Drive to Survive,” Martin told The Post.

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“He was the first driver that we talked to about it, the first driver that invited us to his home in Australia. I felt very emotional with him leaving.”

With Ricciardo leaving such a big hole, who is on hand to fill it?

According to Martin, Pierre Gasly is the best fit, with the producer believing that the Frenchman has “always been” in a similar role to Ricciardo.

Gasly has certainly been one of the more emotional drivers in front of the cameras, who captured his axing from Red Bull in 2019 and also the death of his friend Anthoine Hubert.

“For me, Gasly has always been in that role as well. The show’s been on this amazing journey with Pierre and I feel quite emotionally attached to him,” Martin explained.

“We’ve seen him go through some incredible lows: the season where he was demoted [from Red Bull Racing] and Anthoine [Hubert] died. So to see him finally get a chance again in a competitive car is going to be great.

“He’s grown on screen as a driver and as a person, so I think he’ll be someone who will really fill the gap that Daniel leaves.”

Whilst Ricciardo isn’t competing in the forthcoming season, the former McLaren driver has expressed his intent on returning to the grid next year.

READ: ‘It really takes it out of you’: George Russell admits concern heading into 2023 season

Martin is convinced that Ricciardo will find a way back into a seat given that “he’s such a character”, something only time will tell.

“I’m a big fan of the old ’80s soap operas so it feels a bit like Bobby Ewing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniel pop up in the shower at some point this year,” Martin laughed.

“He’s such a character … if a few teams start to go wrong and it doesn’t feel like their drivers are working out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniel back in a seat.”