After the success of season 1, the series on Formula 1 « Drive to Survive », criticized for its ultra scriptwriting

Two gross errors in ten seconds, in a trailer of less than a minute. A first image of Alex Albon, Redbull driver in 2020, to illustrate Max Verstappen, the 2021 World Champion, then one of the Mercedes to illustrate Lewis Hamilton, except that it is his teammate Valteri Bottas. Formula 1 fans did not ask for so much to criticize the new season, the fourth, of the series of Drive to Survivewhich premieres this Friday on Netflix.

Criticisms already formulated by certain members of the paddock against Drive to Survive, like Toto Wolff, the boss of Mercedes. “They give a twist to the story. They put together scenes that didn’t happen. I guess the fans will think that’s different from what actually happened, » he said. Bloomberg. When the 2021 World Champion, Max Verstappen, simply refused to participate in this new season. The reason ? «  They invent a lot of things « .

“Small assembly errors”

This reproach of excessive screenwriting has come up often, since seasons 2 and 3. “Small errors in editing, you are put on a radio on board at one time when you know it happened at another. They mix the images of Grand Prix, Monza and Spa are mixed to talk about the same race, not to mention the errors in the trailer for the 4th season”, Clément list, from Multi 21, an editorial staff of seven motor sports enthusiasts.

Since the release of season 2, then 3, they are a little less, each season, to follow the series at Multi 21. And some will simply not watch this 4th installment, even though they really enjoyed the inaugural season. “She aroused a lot of curiosity at the start with us, and we were really won over by this first season. The plot with Ricciardo, the Renault engine with Redbull, the underside of certain stories… On one side was what was happening on the track, and on the other the career choices of the drivers, their training, the stable management. It was an excellent complement”, considers Clément.

« I even surprised myself to watch the qualifications »

Series, Pilots of their destiny, in its French version, and whose first season was broadcast in March 2019, has undeniably attracted a multitude of new fans to Formula 1. In the United States, the main target market, but also in France. “I had old childhood memories when I saw my father watching the Grand Prix, but I had never been interested in it. For me, it was cars going in circles and it didn’t speak to me at all. Until I see good reviews on Twitter, and watch. And I loved it! “, testifies Titouan, 31 years old.

The series sounded like a homecoming for Baptiste, 37. “I was a fan of F1 when I was little, of Alain Prost at Ferrari. We went in a tent to follow the Magny-Cours Grand Prix with friends. And then I settled down, I didn’t have Canal+ to follow the Grand Prix. Until I watch the series, ”he says. Since then, he has started to follow F1 again: « I watched YouTube channels on the subject, and I even found myself watching qualifying ». Titouan watches the series « as much for the debates on Reddit [un réseau social]than for the sport itself”.

“It loses credibility”

As for writing Multi 21, the two new fans liked “the dramatization” and the “modern day knight” side of the first season. But since the following seasons, Baptiste has also perceived “a lot of things pulled out of the ordinary”: “One season, you see the complicity between Norris and Sainz, as the most solid duo in the paddock and the next season they hate each other. It’s a bit of a tug of war. There are some ultra-exacerbated things, like Vettel leaving Ferrari. To the point of now watching the series wondering “what else are they going to tell us? « .

Since he got into F1 after watching Drive to Survive, Titouan “dissolves inconsistencies, small omissions and it brings an extra share of fun”. And loves having fun with this ultra-scripting: “After realizing that it was scripted, I made the mistake, like anyone who starts a hobby, of going to the F1 page of Reddit. I love this absolute snobbery on the part of connoisseurs who have followed F1 since the 70s, towards those, like me, who have been interested in this sport since the series. »

For Clement, Multi 21, Netflix was caught at its own game in this over-scriptwriting, after the huge success of season 1. “That’s the whole problem with sports series, each season is very different from the previous one. In 2020, there is a big domination of Hamilton, they had to create tension by copying and pasting a little from season 1. They surely want to fill a gap, but it loses credibility, ”says he. And if the argument of attracting new audiences is often put forward to justify this scripting, purists and novices alike have the right to a series, which is intended to be documentary, of quality.

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