F1 in trouble? Drive to Survive Season 6 suffers ratings drop

Have fans grown weary of Drive to Survive? The latest season of the Netflix show sees a decline in viewership

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Packed with drama and sometimes questionable editing, the sports docu-series Drive to Survive has often been credited with playing a significant role in the growing popularity of Formula 1, but the latest season of the show has suffered a drop in viewership.

The show follows the world of F1 and the inner lives of its drivers, with episodes dedicated to key narratives from each season. The latest season, which focuses on the 2023 F1 season, was released on 23 February. However, recently released figures show that it premiered to a somewhat lukewarm reception from fans. 

Figures released by Netflix have shown a drop-off in viewing figures of Season 6 of the show, compared to the performance of last year’s season. A total of 2.9 million viewers watched the show across its first three days on the streaming platform — a sizeable drop-off in viewership from numbers taken from the same time period last year. 

Have F1 fans got DTS fatigue?

Drive to Survive, which has been a flagship Netflix series since its first season in 2019, has often been attributed with helping to drive the popularity of F1. This is particularly the case within the United States, where the average TV viewership of races has seen an increase of over half a million viewers.

But despite the show’s apparent role in generating interest in F1, Drive to Survive has suffered a 23% year-on-year decline in viewership.

SeasonAverage AudienceTotal Hours Watched
Season 4 (2022)4.04 million28.01 million
Season 5 (2023)3.85 million25.76 million
Season 6 (2024)2.96 million21.80 million

Not only did Drive to Survive suffer a reduction in viewing numbers, but total viewership hours took a hit too. Viewers clocked in 21.8 million hours of watch time across Season 6’s first weekend on Netflix. Season 5, by contrast, enjoyed greater viewership across its opening weekend, with 25.7 million hours viewed.

Adding insult to injury, the latest season of Drive to Survive doesn’t appear as popular with Netflix users.

Season 6 has registered as only the eighth most watched series on Netflix in the week of its release. Season 5, on the other hand, was the sixth most popular show on the platform. And Season 4, which chronicled the infamous Hamilton vs Verstappen title battle debut fifth across the entire platform.

Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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