Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen’s 2021 F1 Clash Highlights ‘Drive to Survive’

“Drive to Survive” perfectly captures the intensity of one of Formula 1’s all-time great mano-a-mano battles for the world championship. 

A seven-time champion with a record 103 wins, Lewis Hamilton said he declines to allow the 2021 screenplay-worthy season to “define” his career.  

That’s fine, but with Netflix’s popular 10-part, behind-the-scenes series starting Season 4 with the clash between the upstart Max Verstappen and the glory-seeking Hamilton, last season’s on-track and off-track grapple will be immortalized in … 

Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive:’ Season 4, Episode I, ‘Clash of the Titans’ 

During the previous three seasons of “Drive to Survive,” Netflix has produced a behind-the-scenes look at F1 that gives casual viewers a fresh look at the sport. Season 4 premiers on March 11 and the first episode, “Clash of the Titans,” rehashes the opening volleys of the 2021 campaign.

Spoiler alert!

With Verstappen electing not to participate in the creation of Season 4, the first episode’s voice on the aggressive Red Bull Racing-Mercedes rivalry is decidedly one-sided, leaving Christian Horner as Red Bull’s chief commentator.

An early verbal jab is thrown by Horner, claiming Mercedes chief Toto Wolff “inherited” the organization, and he climbed the industry ladder as a “finance guy,” as reported by motorsport.com.

Wolff responds sly grin.

Max Verstappen loses a strategic matchup against Hamilton 

Emma Walsh attends the Formula 1 “Drive To Survive” Netflix Season 4 exclusive screening at Ham Yard Hotel on March 02, 2022 | Jeff Spicer – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

The seeds of a season-long rivalry were born during the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Verstappen claimed the lead after passing Hamilton with four laps remaining but was forced to return the track position because he ran off the track to make the move. After falling back on the call by race control, Verstappen failed to mount another challenge, creating a familiar top three of Hamilton, Verstappen, and ex-Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. Fourteen times the trio will stand on the post-race podium during 2021.

It was a hard fall for Verstappen, who started P1 and appeared to make a dramatic come-from-behind pass. When the call came over for Red Bull to return the position, Verstappen complained vehemently but to no avail.

Hamilton and Verstappen swapped the lead several times. Hamilton “undercut” his opponent to claim the lead and held it through his second pit spot. On the other hand, Red Bull stayed out for another 11 laps, gambling it would have fresher tires at the conclusion.

Hamilton raced ‘horrible’ car to a season-opening win 

 

The strategy appeared to work when Verstappen made his move with five laps remaining along Turn 4. But he oversteered slightly, sending the machine around Hamilton but off the track.

Penalty. Game. Set. Match.

Hamilton, who shares the F1 record for most series titles with Michael Schumacher, endured a “horrible” qualifying effort, starting P7. Hamilton described the day to Netflix: “We had a bad day. The car was horrible to drive, and we knew we were in trouble. This weekend I’ve got to work harder.”

The “horrible” car delivered a season-opening win and an interesting start to Season 4 of “Drive to Survive.”

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