Feb 23, 2023 - Sports

Miami shines in Season 5 of Netflix's "Formula 1: Drive to Survive"

A small part of the sprawling Miami International Autodrome. Photo: Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Netflix's popular docuseries "Formula 1: Drive to Survive" is back with a new season this week. The show follows F1 racing teams through the 2022 season, including a glamorous stop in Miami Gardens for the city's first grand prix.

Why it matters: Formula 1's expansion into the United States with a 10-year contract for the annual Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium illustrates how much the Netflix show has converted large numbers of Americans into fans.

Why it matters to Miami: Beyond the reported $350 million economic impact to South Florida, the grand prix further cemented Miami's status as a global entertainment hub.

Yes, but: Neighbors were opposed to the race, suing to stop the event from taking place over noise concerns and racial discrimination claims. Both legal challenges failed.

Some fans also poked fun at the Miami Grand Prix for over-the-top showmanship not typically seen in the sport, including the fake marina built around the circuit and staged with real yachts.

Of note: The exorbitant ticket prices – among the highest in F1 last year – also highlighted inequality in Miami.

Bad Bunny and countless other celebrities were in attendance at Miami's first grand prix last year. Photo: Peter J Fox/Getty Images

What to expect: The Miami episode is full of celebrities, parties, yachts and luxury cars.

  • You'll see Paris Hilton, Caitlyn Jenner, Serena and Venus Williams, David Beckham, Shawn Mendes and more.
  • In one scene, Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are filming what appears to be a commercial at a Shell gas station. West Miami locals will recognize it as the station on Southwest Eighth Street.
  • In another, we get a close-up of the fake water around the track with yachts "floating" on top. "The waves are not too high?" Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali jokingly asks a group of fans a few minutes into the episode.
real boats sit on fake water in a marina
Real yachts rest on a fake marina near the Formula 1 track ahead of the grand prix in Miami Gardens. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The whole 45-minute episode feels like one big ad for Miami's cool factor, especially when you compare it with the old-school Silverstone race later in the same episode.

Zoom in: F1 fans will get the opportunity to root for a hometown driver this year. Fort Lauderdale native Logan Sargeant signed with Williams this year, making him the only racing representative from the U.S.

  • Of course, there's also Haas, the only U.S.-based team, which has offices in North Carolina's NASCAR country.

Tune in: The new "Drive to Survive" season premieres Friday, Feb. 24, on Netflix.

Fort Lauderdale native Logan Sargeant is racing for Williams this season. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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