Since 2018, Formula One has been in a partnership with Netflix, every year producing a documentary series looking at the lives of Formula One drivers, teams and families behind the scenes – and stories and moments the TV Cameras never catch or cover throughout the years.
Today (March 11th, 2022) marks the release date of the 4th Season of Drive To Survive covering exhilarating 2021 Formula One Season all the twists and turns that it contained – but before that, it’s worth remembering whom we lost to get where we are today.
For the first time since Jules Bianchi in 2015, 2019 saw yet another young driver loses his life, doing exactly what he loved.
In the fifth episode of the second season of Drive To Survive (covering the 2019 season) the series looks at the Belgian Grand Prix and in particular Red Bull (every episode covering a different team/story).
Red Bull was probably one of the best – if not the best team - to cover during the Belgian Grand Prix Weekend – so much of the news that weekend revolved around them and they (Netflix) managed to wrap it up in a professional, respectful, informative, and interesting package.
It’s incredibly hard to cover a death in a series that all about drama, excitement and controversy – especially as the fatality that happened was in a support race – but with the connection of Pierre Gasly being both an (Ex-)Red Bull Driver and a young Frenchman who had an incredibly close connection with Hubert, Netflix managed to tie the two “parts” of the episode together – Starting with an introduction to who the drivers are (on and off-track) before going into the section covering Hubert.
Netflix has masterfully crafted this episode in such a way that every time you watch it, you don’t see it coming – there’s no warning or mention of it before-hand, which is exactly as it happened on the day – nobody saw it coming, no-one was expecting it and it was the last thing anyone could have predicted waking up that morning.
The very first indication we get that something is wrong is during an interview with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes F1 Driver) – a loud thud is heard in the diegetic background, and Lewis looks up to see what it was – the commentator mentioning of a “big crash there” – before showing a frame or two of the accident.
From Lewis to Albon’s girlfriend and friends, the episode shows the immediate reaction of the paddock after the accident at the horror and confusion of who it was and what happened – Lewis in particular looks disturbed as he saw the accident live from the live TV Pictures.
The commentator later informs us it was Anthonie Hubert and Juan Manuel Correa before saying “we keep our fingers crossed that they are okay” - following this, It fades to black.
Whilst on the black screen the words “Sunday – The Race” appear.
We are next informed by a newsreader that Anthonie Hubert was killed in the accident at only 22 Years Old.
There is next a tribute for Hubert, all of the drivers on the F1 grid surround Hubert’s helmet, before archive and old footage of Hubert play – him giving an interview for Drive To Survive before his passing.
It was incredibly touching and saddening – seeing someone so young and with so much passion – as of writing this review, I’m only a year younger than the age he was when he died and he had such a bright future ahead of him.
Following this tribute, the episode focussed on how it affected both Albon and Gasly – Gasly knowing Hubert since he was 13, being a best friend, class-mate, room-mate and good karting friend.
As difficult as the death may have been to tackle mentally, every one of those 22 drivers had a race to get on with, and couldn’t let the thought of Hubert get in the way of delivering their hardest work.
The episode ends with another tribute to Anthonie and shows that #19 has been retired from Formula 2 out of respect.