PSA: if you have an interest in the sport whatsoever, you need to watch this Netflix series. The reason the races each Sunday are so great is because I feel like I'm on a first-name basis with all of the drivers and coaches. It's so much more fun to watch and cheer for them when you know everything that goes on behind the scenes.
If you live in the States, you probably grew up watching NASCAR racing. Or, at the very least, your dad would throw on the Dayton 500 when it came around once a year just out of curiosity, and other than that, you stuck to football, basketball and maybe golf. That's how it was in my house, so it's safe to say that now, as an adult, it's a bit of a shock that I have fallen in love with Formula 1 racing. You're probably thinking, Oh, you mean those little cars like Danica Patrick drives? Yes...kind of.
Formula 1 is an international racing circuit featuring drivers from all over the world. And yes, they drive the small, single-seater racing cars specifically designed for these kind of tracks. But these cars also just happen to be the fastest regulated road-course racing cars in the world. Drivers participate in ~21 races each season, traveling all over the world to do so (though about half of the races happen in Europe).
How did did a lifelong football fan with no previous interest in racing of any kind get so into Formula 1, you ask? As with many things, it was all thanks to Netflix. My best friend and her boyfriend had started watching Netflix's series "Drive to Survive" and would NOT stop talking about much they loved the series and how it had inspired them to start watching the races every weekend. The series follows the drivers, coaches and staff from the various racing teams, each season of the show corresponding with one season of races (there are two seasons so far, focusing on 2018 and 2019, respectively). I gave it a try purely to appease them. And here we are, six months later -- I've barely missed a race weekend all season and stalk the drivers on Instagram nonstop.
In the Formula 1 world, most people either choose to cheer for a specific team, no matter who's driving for them that season, or for a specific driver, no matter which team they're driving for that season. And since many drivers tend to switch teams every few seasons, you kind of have to pick one and stick to it or it can get real confusing, real fast.
I cheer for Daniel Ricciardo. Partly because I think he is a genuine sweetheart who is so passionate about this sport and truly just wants to do his best. And partially because he's nice to look at and has an Australian accent.
I mean, come on.
We love him.
Like Lewis Hamilton...
Fans love to hate on him. Partly because everyone thinks he's a d*ck most of the time. But mostly because he's the best. And it's hard to cheer for someone who wins every. single. weekend. I get it.
That said, don't tell my best friend but...I don't hate him. I secretly love him. And his dog.
It's hard NOT to cheer for Max Verstappen when he's always right there two steps behind Lewis Hamilton. I'm truly curious to see what will happen if/when Max switches teams or Lewis retires and that spot at the top is open.
Of course, there's Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, the two best friends that anyone could have.
Admittedly, Ferrari has had a rough season this year. Charles Leclerc? He always
looks does well.
What? Sorry, lost my train of thought there for a second.
George Russell normally races for Williams Racing, but got to drive for Mercedes last weekend when Lewis Hamilton was out with a positive COVID test. And I may be a fairly new fan, but IMO that race will go down as one of the most nail-biting in F1 history.
Obviously, there are oodles of other drivers not on this list. Trust me -- give the Netflix series a chance. Try watching a race on a Sunday morning before football starts. Or, ya know, just stalk the drivers on Instagram for fun. I won't judge.