Formula 1: Drive To Survive — Episode 1, Cash Is King Review

Cash Is King

By Mark

With the 2021 season just around the corner, Netflix is bringing us up to speed on proceedings in the high-octane world of Formula 1 with their behind the scenes look at the pinnacle of four-wheel motorsports.

The first episode, title Cash Is King for reasons that will become apparent later, begins with the Racing Point team and the takeover of the team by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

Stroll Senior, for those that don’t know, is also the majority stakeholder in the Aston Martin brand and brings his 2016 Formula 3 Champion son, Lance Stroll, from Williams to partner Sergio Perez.

From here we jump to McLaren and Zak Brown with some focus on Lando Norris as the younger driver of the team as he lines up alongside Carlos Sainz. If you have seen any Norris interviews or footage you will know how laidback he is, and this shows in this episode too.

We flip back to Racing Point as their car becomes the focus for the pre-season testing. In particular, there’s interest from other teams over how much it looks like the previous seasons Mercedes car. Inevitably, there’s much protesting from the other teams, something that will come to define the 2020 season.

As the season is about to get underway, we head down under and the Australian grand prix. Behind the scenes there’s much rumour and speculation about Covid-19, still in the early days.

People are worried, whispers can be heard about this team having had people tested positive or this team have. No-one seems to know, and we hear that the paddock is split 50/50 about whether they should even be there and racing.

During a press interview Lewis Hamilton is asked why he believes they are in Australia and getting ready to race. Up to this point it is fair to say that Hamilton is the only driver, or person in the paddock, who will happily speak about his surprise as to why they are there and racing.

Anyway, he’s asked why they are there, his answer is a joking, “cash is king”.

Shortly after this it is revealed that a McLaren mechanic has indeed tested positive. Without hesitation team principle Zak Brown takes the team out of the race and then the FIA cancels the whole weekend.

The 2020 Formula 1 season has stalled before it even starts.

You can see that the teams are getting used to having this Netflix crew following them around and they all seem relaxed about them being there, which is good, as it means there’s much joking and candour, or so it appears anyway.

Originally published at on March 13, 2021.



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