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slightly OT: Netflix F1 series...

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  • slightly OT: Netflix F1 series...

    I am an avid IndyCar fan, but merely the proverbial "casual fan" of F1. By that, I mean that I probably watch only 1-2 races per year when they happen to be on as I'm channel surfing or eating out. However, I try to keep up with the point standings and general news on racer.com.

    Over the weekend, a new Netflix original series called F1: Drive to Survive appeared on my recommended list. I watched the first episode and was completely drawn in. I invited my wife to watch the first episode with me (a second viewing for me) and she RELUCTANTLY agreed. After watching, she was also hooked. We immediately watched the second episode, and now it's must-watch material until we have finished the entire series.

    I also got texts from two different friends about the series. One friend was simply telling me how great it was and that I should watch it (not knowing that I had already discovered it). The other friend copied a few other people and essentially told the group: "Watch this amazing series... then join the F1 fantasy league I set up!" All 4 of us have now ponied up $75 and have joined a fantasy F1 league, texting constantly about F1. Of the 4 of us, the sender of the text was an avid F1 fan already. As stated, I'm just a casual fan. The other two people in the group knew nothing about F1, other than being able to generally identify an F1 car.

    While Netflix doesn't release viewership stats on its programming, the series is already getting great reviews and exposure. It made me wonder if a series like that could have succeeded with IndyCar as the subject. As an IndyCar fan, I believe that the racing and the personalities would make for a very compelling mix of storylines. But a friend in our new F1 fantasy league disagrees wholeheartedly. He said, "Remember the show 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'? Do you REALLY think it would have been popular if it would have been 'Lifestyles of the Upper Middle Class'? F1 is a playground for billionaires. That's why this Netflix series is so compelling."

    I think he has a valid point. After all, I've taken my wife to the Indy 500 (in 2013). And while she enjoyed it, she has never really wanted to go back. But after watching just 2 episodes of this series, she asked, "Are there any F1 races in the U.S. that we could go to?" (Looks like COTA F1 could be a possibility this year!)

    What do you think? With equal production value, film crews, etc., could a docu-series following IndyCar be popular on Netflix?

  • #2
    I also think it's a swell series and am in the process of watching. It would be outstanding for IndyCar to advocate similar programming, but IMS closely holds the rights and IMS controls production. I doubt we will see anything similar for the foreseeable future. although it would be outstanding.
    Supporting Indy Car racing since 1959

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    • #3
      My son told me about it. I have watched four episodes and really enjoying the series. Seems kinda like no holds barred!!!
      Is it May yet?
      Take me back to a world gone away-James Pankow

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      • #4
        I've watched the entire series and I'm an avid fan to be sure. It's excellent! Just a damn shame both Mercedes and Ferrari were just too full of themselves to participate. ICS cold do something similar if anyone cared … which they don't.
        @porscheman121 on Twitter #+200HP!
        237.498/241.428/242.333 Speeds from the olden days!

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        • #5
          FWIW it was directed by the same guy who did Senna and Amy Winehouse documentaries so it was in good hands before they even started filming.
          I'd rather have 10% of the world interested in the ICS than 50% of US that NASCAR currently has

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          • #6
            Netflix seems to have a good steady stream of racing documentary content. They recently rolled out "Gentleman Driver" about the tycoons that frequent major teams within the WEC series. It's a very different take on racing documentaries, given that the subject matter is guys that have to work very hard to try and show that they are worthy of the task laid before them.

            It debuted earlier last year, and might still be available, but a complete jaw dropper of a short series I was on Amazon Prime a few months ago was "Grand Prix Driver". The makers didn't know it at the time, but they set out to cover the 2017 McLaren F1 team's season that turned out to be the breaking point in their relationship with Honda. They did an amazing job putting on display what a total s%#@show that engine program was at the time. It seemed like something that even Hollywood couldn't make up, but they filmed the first time Honda showed up with the new engine at the McLaren shop and it was discovered that a design screw-up meant that they couldn't mount the engine to the chassis... and after modifications were made on the fly to get the two parts joined, the Honda engineers couldn't get the engine to start. That turned out to be some Biblical grade foreshadowing! As F1 fans know, it didn't get much better after that.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by porscheman View Post
              I've watched the entire series and I'm an avid fan to be sure. It's excellent! Just a damn shame both Mercedes and Ferrari were just too full of themselves to participate.
              I really didn't miss Mercedes and Ferrari (knew how the season ended), but this series did a great job on how intense the mid field battles were. Gave you some insight into those drivers/teams. Highly recommend it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by porscheman View Post
                I've watched the entire series and I'm an avid fan to be sure. It's excellent! Just a damn shame both Mercedes and Ferrari were just too full of themselves to participate. ICS cold do something similar if anyone cared … which they don't.
                They weren't too full of themselves - they (or at least Mercedes) were afraid it would be a distraction in a tight championship race:
                https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/n...cedes/4354011/

                The teams who did were participate were not championship contenders.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by porscheman View Post
                  I've watched the entire series and I'm an avid fan to be sure. It's excellent! Just a damn shame both Mercedes and Ferrari were just too full of themselves to participate. ICS cold do something similar if anyone cared … which they don't.
                  If you watch NFL Hard Knocks you would realize that a camera crew following you everywhere during the season is nothing but a distraction. I can see why contending NFL teams don't want it and I can see why contending F1 teams want nothing to do with it as well.

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