With Netflix continuing to add to their catalogue of sports documentaries in recent weeks with the release of Full Swing and Break Point, the influence of Formula 1: Drive to Survive can be plainly seen.
The documentary series following F1 debuted in 2019, and has led to a boom in popularity for the sport, which golf, tennis, and rugby are all now trying to replicate with Netflix series of their own.
Drive to Survive is still the crown jewel for Netflix, though, and season five is on its way on February 24.
The first trailer was released on Thursday, and Balls.ie have been given a sneak peek of what's in store for the fifth season of the series.
Drive to Survive: Season five trailer hints at major drama
Netflix released the trailer for season five of Drive to Survive on Thursday afternoon, and it sets the scene for a gripping ten-episode run.
The most exciting element for fans will be the return of Max Verstappen to the "chair", after sitting out season four in protest against the series' depiction of Formula 1.
Though 2022 was not as dramatic a season as 2021, with Verstappen sealing the drivers' title with several races to spare rather than on the last lap, Netflix will nonetheless make sure to get plenty of drama out of the season's leading narratives.
Balls.ie have been shown the entirety of the upcoming season, and can reveal what's in store for Formula 1 fans.
Of course, the fall from grace for Mercedes was one of the main storylines of 2022, with the eight-times consecutive champions falling to 3rd in the standings. Fans can expect a fiery behind the scenes look at life at Mercedes in '22 in episode two of the season, as Lewis Hamilton and his team battle through an unexpectedly tough season.
It wouldn't be a Drive to Survive season without some prime Haas content, and it doesn't take long for Gunther Steiner to arrive. Episodes one and three focus on the American team, with episode one dealing with Kevin Magnussen's last-minute arrival at the team in place of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, while episode three (Like Father, Like Son?) focuses on Mick Schumacher.
Another Drive to Survive fan favourite is the focus of episode seven, but in a much less cheery manner than in previous years. Nice Guys Finish Last looks at Daniel Ricciardo's ultimately doomed 2022 season, which culminated in him losing his McLaren seat after just two years at the team.
At the centre of 2022 was the title battle, and the differing fortunes of the main protagonists of Red Bull and Ferrari.
Ferrari started the season strong (shown in episode one - The New Dawn), before things began to fall apart for the 'Prancing Horse' (Matter of Principal). The downfall of Charles Leclerc's title charge will be fascinating to watch as a fly on the wall
There are also Red Bull-focused episodes, with the drama of Checo Perez's Monaco Grand Prix win taking centre stage in episode five (Hot Seat), before the cost cap scandal is dealt with in episode nine (Over the Limit).
The full episode list for season five of Formula 1: Drive to Survive is:
- The New Dawn: As the season begins in Bahrain, Ferrari hopes new cars will finally propel them to the top, and Haas makes a risky bet on a last-minute driver switch.
- Bounce Back: Mercedes principal Toto Wolff works to combat the team's unexpected struggles, while Lewis Hamilton navigates a bumpy ride in the team's redesigned car.
- Like Father, Like Son?: Crashes and costs mount for Haas as driver Mick Schumacher fights to live up to his father's racing legacy and prove his worth to the team.
- Matter of Principal: Ferrari drivers and decision-makers feel the pressure of high expectations at a star-studded new event in Miami and a game-changing race at Silverstone.
- Hot Seat: As the Red Bull team pushes to build on their lead against Ferrari, all eyes are on Sergio "Checo" Pérez during a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix.
- Pardon My French: Otmar Szafnauer's efforts to overhaul Alpine bear fruit — until a new round of driver musical chairs throws his plans for the future into question.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Daniel Ricciardo's future starts to look uncertain when McLaren team managers set their sights on new talent, while Alpine weighs the best way forward.
- Alpha Male: When Pierre Gasly announces he's leaving Alpha Tauri, Yuki Tsunoda faces losing a teammate and a friend. Can he step up to show that he's ready to lead?
- Over The Limit: With both championships within reach, Red Bull's team faces incendiary accusations that they've cheated by violating a league-wide spending cap.
- End Of The Road: The 2022 season hurtles toward a conclusion in Abu Dhabi, where Ferrari fights to hold off Mercedes and McLaren hopes for a miracle to overtake Alpine.
Keep an eye on Balls.ie next week for our review of season five of Formula 1: Drive to Survive season five, before the ten episode season drops on February 24.
Feature photo credits: Netflix