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No 'Drive to Survive' without Ricciardo says producer

‘Drive to Survive’ executive producer Paul Martin says the popular docu-series on Netflix would have not seen the light of day without Daniel Ricciardo.

‘Drive to Survive’ which chronicles life behind the scenes in the F1 paddock premiered on Netflix in 2019, and the series was a resounding success from the outset and has even been credited as one of the main drivers of Grand Prix racing’s growth in popularity in America.

But on a global basis, the series has attracted to the sport a new, younger demographic of fans.

Produced by Box-to-Box films, Paul Martin who founded the production company, singled out two F1 drivers whom he believes have been central to DTS’ success over the years.


“Without Daniel, I think there probably wouldn’t have been a Drive to Survive,” 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.”

Indeed, Ricciardo will be absent from the F1 grid this season, having been replaced at McLaren by rookie Oscar Piastri.

  • Read also: Verstappen heals rift with Netflix over Drive to Survive

However, the Aussie still has a foot in the door in F1, having returned to Red Bull – the team with which he won seven of his eight victories in F1 – as a reserve driver.

And Martin wouldn’t be surprised to see Ricciardo return to the fray in the future.

“It is a soap opera: characters get killed off, they come back, new characters come on,” he said.

“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 show 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.”

The second driver credited by Martin to have enhanced the success of DTS is perhaps an unexpected name, and one that the producer believes can fill the void left by Ricciardo with the series’ fans.

Pierre Gasly (FRA), AlphaTauri F1

“For me, [Pierre] Gasly has always been in that role as well,” said the DTS producer. “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.”

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