F1 top brass hails Drive to Survive season 4 a ‘huge success’ despite widespread criticism

Max Verstappen has been especially vocal in his criticism of Netflix's Drive to Survive docuseries.

Drive to Survive season four was released on Netflix in March ahead of the 2022 F1 season, featuring 10 episodes as it covered the intense championship fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton last year.

Plans for a fifth season of Drive to Survive have not been officially confirmed yet, but Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has revealed that season four is already on track to outperform the figures from season three.

Netflix launched the Drive to Survive docuseries in 2019, showcasing the personalities and behind-the-scenes stories through the F1 paddock.

The show has proven to be hugely popular in the United States, where it has played a pivotal role in the recent boom in F1 interest.

It has recently been announced that Formula 1 will have three races in the US for the 2023 season, following the addition of a grand prix in Las Vegas.

“We’re happy to report, and I think our Netflix friends would be happy to report, that it was the number one show in 33 countries around the world already,” Maffei said during the launch of the new Las Vegas Grand Prix.

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“The season four audience is already larger than the season three audience. So, it’s a huge success.”

“I think there are a lot of other factors that have helped drive our popularity, but that is certainly one that we don’t discount.”

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Season three was released in 2021 and hit a new peak for Drive to Survive’s popularity, going number one worldwide on Netflix and recording an audience to be around 20 percent greater than season one.

Season four has also peaked at number one worldwide on Netflix.

While drivers and team figures have spoken warmly of the influx of new fans Drive to Survive has brought to F1, some have raised concerns over their portrayal in the series.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen revealed in 2021 that he would boycott the series due to concerns about how he was portrayed.

Verstappen confirmed a few weeks ago that he had no plans to change his mind about participating in the docuseries.

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali said that talks were planned to ensure the creative use is not taken too far so drivers would continue to take part in Drive to Survive for the benefit of the sport.