The series has been groundbreaking for veteran fans and new fans alike. It expresses the raw, emotional, and human stories of the drivers and their teams. The show also goes behind the scenes to reveal the drama of the tire compound discourse and Degree-level engineering that exhilarates viewers when they witness the marvels and brilliance of scientific and technological innovation alongside raw human emotion.
In 2022 F1 successfully added a second race in the US- the brilliantly well received Miami GP. Last time there were two races in the US was 1984: In 2023, F1 added and confirmed Las Vegas to the mix. When Liberty Media took over F1 in 2017, they made their intention clear — to build F1’s profile in the US and Drive to Survive has been pivotal towards this endeavour.
The series was launched in 2018 and
has produced four seasons, of which the most recent season attracted its biggest audience, achieving the Netflix top 10 status in 56 different countries when it aired earlier this year. Up until now the sport has maintained a steady viewership, but Drive to Survive has exponentially increased these numbers, particularly a targeted younger demographic.
F1 is broadcast by ESPN in the US and in May, the Miami GP produced F1’s second-highest audience figures on cable TV ever, second only to the 1995 Brazilian GP. Viewership went up by almost 400,000 compared to the 2021 season opener. ESPN has enjoyed increased ratings since it took over broadcasting F1 in 2018 shooting up from an average of 554,000 to 927,000 in 2021, yearly rises tallying with the growth in popularity of each subsequent series of Drive to Survive.
All of this sounds fantastic right! Then where is the curse….?
As an avid vet fan who enjoys watching the races on TV, I LOVE the live fan experience more. However, I have no doubt that I speak for a majority of other live race fans when I say: for a sport that was already excessively expensive for most… drive to survive has blown it out of the water on the massive increase in excitement for the sport from fans, old and new, then it goes without saying, it’s also the “evil” responsible for the prices that feel like I am going on a trip to Mars. The world was closed for 2 years, and then some, savings accounts dwindled as covid racked it havoc but now that the world is back open, everyone and their squad are ready to get on track and experience this marvel of a sport.
Hosts/Promoters everywhere are racking in the dough by playing “sold to the highest bidder” with ticket pricing. Just last week, Silverstone froze ticket sales after seeing the demand. When the ticket sales opened back up, the price margin magically went up considerably. Most tracks show races as SOLD OUT…….miraculously as months grow closer to a race, more tickets are released but at a crazy “sell a kidney” cost.
This year, the Miami GP ticket sales soared over the first week of sales and prices sky-rocketed as the race grew closer.
Prices are soaring and tickets are still selling out but who is attending the races? Is it the vet fan who has faithfully watched the sport for decades and saved up money and vacation time to attend that one race every year? Or is it the Instagram influencer looking for their next photo opp? Has Liberty Media stayed true to their vision of growing the sport and providing accessibility to the fans? Or has F1 once again become yet another sport that is only concerned with the bottom line? But hey, on the bright side… a Netflix subscription is only $9.99/month.