F1’s growth down to Daniel Ricciardo? ‘Without him, there’s no Drive to Survive’ | F1
The fifth season of Drive to Survive is set to be released on Friday, with it covering the events of the 2022 season.
Ricciardo has often featured heavily, with his likeable personality making him one of the stars of the show alongside Haas boss Guenther Steiner.
However, the Australian will not race in F1 2023 having been dropped by McLaren.
Instead, he will be Red Bull’s third driver for the year.
In an interview with The Post, Paul Martin – producer of Drive to Survive – spoke about the role Ricciardo has played in the series and who could replace him in that leading role.
“Without Daniel I think there probably wouldn’t have been a Drive to Survive,” Paul Martin told The Post. “He was the first driver that we talked to about it, the first driver that invited us to his home in Australia. I felt very emotional with him leaving.
“For me, Gasly has always been in that role as well. The show’s been on this amazing journey with Pierre and I feel quite emotionally attached to him. We’ve seen him go through some incredible lows: the season where he was demoted [from Red Bull Racing] and Anthoine [Hubert] died. So to see him finally get a chance again in a competitive car is going to be great.
“He’s grown on screen as a driver and as a person, so I think he’ll be someone who will really fill the gap that Daniel leaves.”
Martin reckons we will still likely see Ricciardo pop up in next year’s series, even though he’s not officially on the grid.
“It is a soap opera: characters get killed off, they come back, new characters come on,” Martin added. “I’m a big fan of the old ’80s soap operas so it feels a bit like Bobby Ewing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniel pop up in the shower at some point this year.
“He’s such a character … if a few teams start to go wrong and it doesn’t feel like their drivers are working out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniel back in a seat.”