Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019) s04e08 Episode Script

Dances With Wolff

1 - Here we go again.
- Here we go again.
- The training has gone well all winter.
- It was a good winter.
It's been diverse.
Pretty much the best shape I've been in.
Yes, I think so.
If the races go badly it won't be because of me.
Definitely not.
Every single driver would do anything to get into my seat.
If I wanna stay with the team, I need to perform.
That's how it goes in this sport.
I'm racing for my future.
The hungry wolf runs the furthest.
Do you work for your future or leave it to your agent? I try to focus on driving, so yes, I leave it to the people helping me.
This season is huge for Valtteri.
Coming into 2021, there's a lot of speculation that this could be Valtteri Bottas's fifth and final year at Mercedes.
There's a question mark over Valtteri.
With many young and upcoming drivers in the teams, we have always looked into the future.
That's the nature of the game.
Mercedes will change at the end of the year.
I need to learn German.
Obviously, you're our works driver in Mercedes in Formula E, but you and I will always discuss what the career opportunities are.
Yeah, I think we should have a chat, you know.
The drivers are refreshing, the next generation coming up.
Lando and George as well.
That's really where the future lies.
There is an incredible stable of young drivers who would do anything for that second Mercedes seat.
But there's one clear favorite.
The race for the second seat is between Valtteri and the excitement of a new young driver.
A very difficult decision.
Like that photo I sent you last night? Yeah.
Did you buy it or no? Yeah, I did buy it.
There's some fake merchandise that they're sort of taking down.
"Racing Babes" had some underwear with my face on it.
So I got it for my girlfriend's birthday.
I won't show you the photo of her wearing it! Aleix is a great trainer, but the exercises he has me doing makes me look like a right dick.
This here is one of my personal favorites.
A combination of wrestling and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Come on, come on.
Williams is like a a family to me.
Between the mid-'80s and the late '90s, Williams were the most successful team in Formula 1, but unfortunately, we've finished last for the past two seasons.
George is exceptional.
It's not just his driving skills.
He is motivating the team to do the very best for him.
And of course there is a huge interest in what he's doing in the future.
I would love to him to stay.
Everyone knows what George's future is.
It's fighting for victories.
It's fighting for world titles.
So of course George wants Valtteri's seat.
And there's good reason why he could get it.
George Russell's been part of the Mercedes junior team for a number of years.
They have a very close relationship with Williams.
They provide their engines and other support to the team.
However, the very smallest percentage of academy drivers will make it then to the top team.
But George was given a golden opportunity to prove himself last year.
All different this evening, even though there are two Mercedes on the front row.
Valtteri Bottas on pole.
It's George Russell deputizing for Lewis Hamilton.
The world champion tested positive for COVID-19.
I lined up second on the grid and it felt natural.
I didn't think, "Fucking hell, I'm on the front row of a Formula 1 race.
" George Russell's previous best qualifying was 12th.
I seen George, a very ambitious and talented young racing driver that hasn't been able to drive a competitive car.
It's exciting to have a young driver, give him the opportunity, and find out whether he can one day take over the baton.
Russell does get away well and takes the lead of the Sakhir Grand Prix! What the fuck was that? The overtake on Valtteri created this spark and this tension between the two of us.
That was committed, it was brave, it was brilliant.
So I thought, "We're gonna bloody win this.
" And then suddenly This is a genuine puncture.
I don't know what to say! I'm absolutely gutted, but I hope we get this opportunity again.
You really showed strength.
George, I'm sorry for that.
That was a brilliant, brilliant drive.
A puncture.
You're fucking kidding me.
You know, I just missed out on winning my first ever Formula 1 race, something I've dreamt of my whole life.
I obviously got an incredible opportunity with Mercedes.
What we achieved over the course of that weekend filled me with confidence because I thought, in the right car at the right time, I know I can do it.
- I've no idea what he said.
- Imagine if you didn't understand.
"George! George!" - Can I have a iced americano? - Yeah.
- With Sorry, do you have soya milk? - Yeah.
With a bit of soya milk.
- Thank you.
- And an iced latte for me.
Any milk.
Normal milk's fine, thank you.
Thank you very much.
Have a lovely day.
Excuse me, would I be able to get a photo? - No worries.
- Massive fucking fan.
- With her? - Um If you want! Want me to take it? Literally a massive fan.
Jesus Christ, I didn't expect this today.
- Nice one.
Have a good day.
- Cheers.
I definitely noticed a difference in how known I was after that race in Bahrain.
Just more of a spotlight around me.
It's not something I'm chasing at all, but it just comes with the job.
I want to drive cars and I wanna win.
Thank you very much.
How are you feeling about this season? I don't know.
Still just too far away.
You know, the car's just still not quick enough.
And it's Even when we do an amazing job, it's just not enough.
- It will come.
- I know.
I'm not patient.
I'm not patient with anything.
I want my food now and I wanna win now! I want everything now.
This is my last season contracted to Williams.
That means Mercedes and Toto decide whether I end up in a Mercedes Formula 1 car next year or not, but I need to go out there and um, show them that I'm the one.
Welcome along to the second running of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Hey.
Speak Italian.
Crofty, do they still employ you? They do employ me.
Do they still employ you? Just! Just! Are you team boss or just fixing broken wings? Are you a TV commentator or a fucking ball-breaker? Sixty-three laps to come today.
All about to fast blast around this circuit.
Who's got the most pace? Driver decision.
What are your factors you want to secure? Keeping Valtteri happy or looking to the future? We had a very stable, well-working relationship between Valtteri, and then you have the exciting young talent coming up, and you just need to evaluate one, um, against the other.
We're gonna sit with the drivers and discuss and come up with a decision.
- Before the summer break? - Maybe.
At Mercedes, I've been pretty much always through my career with one-year contracts.
And of course they're always looking at options, if they think they can find a better driver pairing.
I know that George is gonna come after my seat.
Of course I'll fight for it.
Can George Russell, starting a brilliant 12th, find his way into the top ten? It's gonna be a great race here.
We know the track is narrow.
There are no margins for error.
It's gonna to be a thrilling Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas starts in eighth.
George Russell will be looming large in his rearview mirror.
The Mercedes driver will be conscious of the target on his back.
George is one of the upcoming stars.
Valtteri knows very well that George could be somebody to reckon with.
15 seconds.
They will fight it out on track, and may the best driver win.
It's lights out and away we go.
Valtteri Bottas, disappointing start.
Dropping down to tenth place.
No grip at all.
George Russell has gained a spot.
He's up into 11th.
George, these tire temps are good.
Need to make these last for another ten laps or so.
What's up with Valtteri Bottas? He can't get past the Aston Martin.
Come on, Valtteri! Pace is good, George.
Pace is good.
You've got good speed on him.
George Russell ahead of Tsunoda and up to tenth place.
An incredible feat in that car.
Currently losing time behind Stroll.
Valtteri Bottas struggling for grip.
Let me know on Bottas.
Bottas ahead.
You are faster than Bottas.
We're racing Russell.
Russell half a second behind.
DRS enabled.
Russell trying to get past Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.
What the fuck was he doing?! What a fucking cunt.
Is he a fucking prick or what? - Are you okay, Valtteri? - Yeah.
At first, I thought, like, maybe he was there to check if I'm okay.
Obviously that wasn't the case.
He was pissed off.
In response, gave him a hand signal.
I said, "Are you trying to kill us?" I don't think he heard me, and he just called me a C-U-N-T, um and stuck his finger up at me.
He wasn't very happy.
And I didn't understand what it was all about.
Clearly it was his fault, so it was quite surprising.
A lot more important, because zero points from that race.
George had an opportunity to overtake.
I think it was a bit of a kamikaze, um, project.
Ending up in the wall with 50-plus G is never nice.
Valtteri could have been, um, injured.
Good job you're in one piece, huh? Talk us through it.
Tell us what happened.
Just as I pulled out, he jolted very slightly to the right.
Because it was Valtteri, because of the history, and because of everything that's going on, you have these thoughts.
"Did he do it because it was me?" Have you spoken to Valtteri and George? I have spoken to Valtteri, who didn't have a lot of friendly things to say.
Um, and I haven't seen George yet.
- He's okay.
- Did he tell you why? I've spoken to them.
We went outside and had a chat.
Came back in and said, "Stop attacking each other.
" With a young driver, you need to expect mistakes, but things that would be inexcusable are arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a approach of "It wasn't my fault.
" "It's always someone else's mistake.
" Take out the car of the team that you're trying to impress and then refuse to apologize for it? For Toto, moments like that are going to allow doubts to creep in.
Of course Toto wants a fast driver, but he also needs somebody who's reliable and isn't reckless if they're gonna sit next to Lewis next year.
Is George ready? Does he have the right mindset, the right mentality? Is he a team player? 'Cause Valtteri, look, he might not have ultimate pace, but he's not smashing the car up every weekend.
Sharply up from there.
Two more still.
Give the last one your all.
That's enough squatting.
Throw it back firmly.
One more.
Let's see how the season will go.
If there are crashes, you just gotta reset.
You can't lose any energy to the fact that you mess up or anything.
It can get to you for a little while.
It's always the same thing.
To get through those moments and take it one race at a time.
And stay levelheaded.
I need to make sure I don't screw up.
What's the biggest target for the races? The fact that when we get to the end of the season, I want to be able to look in the mirror and say I gave my everything.
It's a funny sport.
It's so much about in the head and the mental performance.
Knowing that you have a few months to prove your worth, it can affect you.
But at this point in the season, no wins yet, so I need to focus on this championship right now.
Welcome, everybody, to Silverstone, the birthplace of the Formula 1 World Championship ahead of the British Grand Prix.
Coming into the British Grand Prix, it's clear who fans want in that Mercedes seat next year.
- Amazing.
Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
Cheers, everyone.
- You want a signature? - Yeah, on my cheek.
You're holding up everybody.
I cannot even park.
Over the past few weeks, there have been growing rumors that Mercedes are about to announce George Russell in front of his home crowd.
- You want me to sign here? - Yeah.
- It's a Mercedes cap.
- Yeah.
That's next year, isn't it? - Cheers, mate.
- See you later.
Good luck for the weekend, and you should be a Mercedes driver.
Thank you.
All of a sudden social media starts lighting up.
Multiple sources are claiming that this is gonna happen.
It takes on a life of its own, and even F1 itself dropped a press release saying it could happen this weekend.
- We're both going up, yeah? - No.
Silverstone is the penultimate race before Toto's summer-break deadline, so the timing makes perfect sense for an announcement about the second seat.
What's going on here? Right, give us a cheer.
Instagram story shortly.
Don't you worry.
Don't you worry.
I feel like a rockstar here.
George Russell! George Russell! George Russell! - How we doing? All right? - How you doing? - I'm good.
You? - Yeah, good.
I'll just skim through it, just the the key points.
Obviously, um, F1 had it in their broadcasting notes that went out this morning that, um, apparently an announcement from Mercedes, announcing you, was imminent, uh, which Mercedes questioned, and they've now removed that.
That wasn't particularly helpful to, uh to tell broadcasters that was happening when it's not happening.
Thanks, guys.
Have a good one.
Mercedes were very swift to cut those rumors down and say that nothing been decided.
Negotiations over driver contracts are notoriously precarious.
You could think that you're a shoo-in, and drivers have.
And they've had everything pulled from underneath them at the eleventh hour.
It happens every year.
Thought you'd remember this beautiful face.
Yeah, of course I do.
It's a pity you don't smile more.
I'll see you, mate.
Have a good weekend.
- All good? - Yeah.
Yourself? - Ready for it.
Have a good one.
- And you, mate.
- Are you ready for today? - Yes.
Treat it like any other race.
Just go out and try and win.
Thanks, honey.
- Easy, right? - Yeah.
That's what everybody thinks.
No, I'm sure you'll be fine.
Every race is important, but I think at this moment of the season, and, yeah, my situation, I think it's very important.
After this, I'm ready.
I've always been alongside Lewis in the support role.
But I wouldn't be at Mercedes if I wasn't selfish at times.
The best way for my future, I guess, is to win races, so that's, of course, the goal.
What's gonna be the plan? One stop.
Fuck them all.
Hi, James.
- Hi, Toto.
- Hi.
It's about Valtteri.
Can you talk briefly? Yes.
So, what do you want to tell him? The only way to win this drivers' championship and this championship together is by applying team orders in a strict way.
"If you're ahead of Lewis, we can safely invert the cars.
" It's likely that if we can safely do team orders, we will do.
And it's very harsh and it's very straightforward.
And he'll be frustrated and upset.
I know that.
Yeah, I'll do that.
Team orders are a situation where you're reversing your own cars on track in order to maximize the point-scoring of the championship leader.
It is the last thing you want to do, but sometimes every team owner and team principal needs to make tough decisions.
Coming into Silverstone, Toto is desperate for Lewis Hamilton to stay in contention for this World Championship.
Toto is fully prepared to sacrifice Valtteri Bottas's position in this race to help Hamilton.
However, this is a man who wants to show off to the rest of the paddock how good a driver he is so that he gets a seat next year, so will he be inclined to help Mercedes? Welcome.
This is gonna be the hottest Silverstone race in over ten years.
Nice one.
The leading teams have already secured contracts with some exciting young talent for next season.
But there is still uncertainty about that second seat at Mercedes.
How long before Toto announces his decision? Max Verstappen on pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas is third on the grid, and Britain's George Russell, who, despite some reports, looks set to stay at Williams for now, starts 12th.
Radio check.
Loud and clear.
Last car approaching the grid.
And we're racing in Silverstone.
Hamilton goes for the inside at Copse.
And there's contact! Fuck! Verstappen's in the wall and out of the race.
And Hamilton has been given a ten-second time penalty for causing a collision.
Valtteri, fastest man on track.
Half a second quicker than the leaders and Norris behind.
In comes Hamilton, but he'll have to wait ten seconds before the tire change.
Ten-second penalty, so we'll serve that.
Hamilton out of the pits, but he's behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who now finds himself in second place.
Valtteri, so race situation, you are P2.
You are fastest man on track, Lewis.
It's getting harder to follow Valtteri.
Can't get close, man.
Get Valtteri, out of the way.
Get out the way.
Okay, Valtteri.
We invert the cars into turn 15 this lap.
Do not fight with Lewis.
I think the situation is quite clear for me.
I don't have a contract for next year, so sometimes you need to be selfish.
It's a bit of a survival game.
Sometimes it's about individual wins.
But in this sport, if you want to aim for long-term success, you need to play as a team.
Valtteri? Copy.
Thank you, Valtteri.
Lewis predicted to catch Leclerc before the end, so just try to follow him.
Hamilton tries to get past Leclerc.
Has Hamilton gone through? Yes, he has! Hamilton chases the checkered flag.
He wins the British Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas, a podium for him, third place.
Valtteri, it's James.
Well done.
Thank you.
You are the reason why we won.
Thank you.
Great job.
Well done, guys, good job.
Bottas sacrificed himself for the team and Lewis Hamilton's championship bid.
That it? Yeah, that's it.
That's it.
Team orders again, though.
Bottas had to get out the way.
You need to give it everything.
As much as we, you know, love opportunity for everybody, the fight is just too close.
Valtteri was such a great team player.
How does that feel? It's not the first time, but the season I've had so far, um, obviously, I'm pretty much out of the title fight, so we play as a team.
Really grateful to my teammate.
A great teammate.
And today, without his participation, we wouldn't have won the race.
In third place, Valtteri Bottas of Finland! Valtteri's understood the big picture.
He has the maturity and experience that these young guys don't have yet.
Valtteri is an exceptional driver and teammate.
There's a great energy and flow within the team.
I think he deserves to be able to keep his position.
Just keep it the way it is.
It works.
I want to prove myself against the best.
I'm not here to celebrate zero points.
Look, Valtteri's made his move, played the perfect wingman at Silverstone, but is that enough to keep his seat? Drivers, what are you thinking at the moment? If you wanna drive the Mercedes, you need to be able to sustain the pressure.
You need to be able to be thrown in the cold water and swim.
I think you can't underestimate the challenge of being Lewis's teammate.
It's You talk about Valtteri having fluctuations.
It mu It's hugely challenging to be up against Lewis in the same car.
For stability reasons, collaboration on setup with Lewis, pushing Lewis, Valtteri would be the call.
And he behaves like a Mercedes driver.
He's He looks like a Mercedes driver.
He's, uh, intelligent.
He's been a foundation of what's been, so far, the longest sustained run of success of any team.
You have all these kids now in all the other teams, in the top teams, and George, when you look at his career record, uh has been the most successful of all of them.
Choosing to replace Valtteri or not, it's a huge decision.
George is obviously so much younger.
It's not just about how quick they are.
It's how socially intelligent they are outside of the car, how they can cope with the expectations that are put on them.
It's a huge amount of pressure.
It's all really on Toto's shoulders.
Valtteri or George.
Toto said that we will know who the driver of that second Mercedes will be by the summer break.
The longer it goes on, the more you think that there are doubts for Toto about George.
When you have the safe, solid, dependable Valtteri, the known quantity suddenly starts to look a lot more attractive.
Hey, Jost.
All good? - Yeah, all good.
- Good.
The drivers returning after their summer holidays to some very miserable weather here in Spa.
- How was your break? - It was good.
I was in LA.
- I was in Mexico.
- It's summer there or winter? Yeah, it's always summer in Mexico! - Need to get the thermals out.
- No, the race is gonna be dry.
Please! You're up with George this weekend, Valtteri, in the press conference, um, which will be fun.
Um, F1 say they don't like to editorialize or play mischief, so maybe it was just names out of a hat this weekend.
They're motherfuckers.
Yeah, tell me about it.
How are you doing? Good? - How are you? - How are you? Well, this is a joy.
- Both of you guys early.
- How are you? - Good.
You? - Good.
Question to both of you.
Do you know yet what you're doing next year? Who's starting? There's no news to share.
I think it's the same for me and George, that we have a job to do here, and, um, there's no news, and we're gonna focus on racing and getting maximum points for the teams we're racing in.
Good luck for the weekend.
Thank you.
Uh, well, Valtteri said more than I said, so, uh, maybe he knows something I don't.
Who knows, hey? Seems like it'll pour it down.
- How you doing, Will? - You okay? - Very good.
You? - Yeah, good.
Here we are at Spa, returned from the summer break, still no news.
It suggests this is the last chance for both drivers to impress the guy that you want to impress, which is Toto Wolff.
Delayed start, then, to qualifying and finally, the drivers will get their first taste as to just how wet it is out there.
In the rain, it's incredibly dangerous.
The drivers don't really know where the perfect amount of grip is.
You've got to take more risks.
You put it all on the line, but no risk, no reward, and that's why I love it.
Nine minutes of qualifying to go.
The conditions are absolutely treacherous.
Someone's gone off.
And that is Nicholas Latifi, George Russell's teammate.
Rejoin safely.
So some aquaplaning reported around turn eight.
I just nearly lost it on the straight.
We need a tidy lap.
Spray makes a big difference in perception.
- Come on, Valtteri, bring it.
- I'm trying! It looks so painfully slow there for Valtteri Bottas, but he daren't go much quicker.
We finished P8.
Fucking hell! The rain is falling harder and harder.
I think the track's gonna get worse.
- Happy to go for slow then fast after? - Yeah.
Here comes Norris, who's been so impressive today.
No, he's lost it! It's a huge shunt.
Lando Norris has had a big off.
Red flag.
Red flag.
Red flag.
Copy, copy, copy.
Norris has shunted.
Is he all right? Lando, are you okay? Yeah.
Sorry, boys.
Yeah, Norris is okay.
The track is now clear and just two minutes of qualifying remain.
I think we need to get the lap in and see what happens.
In that moment, it's all instinctive.
You're not thinking about anything.
You're just going as fast as you can.
You're so focused.
You know, the helmet's on.
Nothing else in the world matters.
You've just got one goal.
You see the spray before the car.
George Russell now sets the fastest first sector.
Supreme skills and bravery going on out here.
These are sketchy conditions.
Hang on a minute, George Russell half a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton, in a Williams! You're really pushing the limit.
You're on the edge of the cliff.
One step more and you're off and you're in the wall.
George Russell so far, the star of qualifying.
When it comes together, everything is sounded out, you feel at one with the car, that buzz is just like nothing else.
You feel electric, you feel alive.
Every corner, one after another after another, it's what you dream of as a racing driver.
Just get it through the chicane, George, straight-line it, get to the line, and we'll see what happens after that.
Across the line goes George Russell.
George Russell.
- P2.
- Yes, guys! It's a front row for George Russell in Spa in a Williams! Come on! Yes! Yes! - Woo! - That's a stonking lap.
You've outqualified Mr.
It's Williams' first front row since Italy 2017.
Fucking hell, that was hard.
Amazing, guys, amazing.
Well done, everybody.
Quite impressive in a Williams, you know.
Well done, George.
That's fantastic, George.
You were outstanding.
Thanks so much.
Hey! Hey, George.
How great is this, huh? - Not bad, eh? - No, good! These are the moments you live for.
George has the coolness and the professionalism to get everything, and this last lap was fantastic to see, and I think this lap will be a lap that made history.
George's lap at Spa was phenomenal.
One of the best laps you'll ever see.
The risks that he had to take, when to push, when to hold.
You were on it the whole whole session, man.
George showed in that moment that when the chance comes, he can be relied on.
George did a fantastic job in Bahrain with us and, on several occasions this year, has shown that he can outperform the car and, against the odds, be right there, and Spa has been one of those examples.
As a team, you need to look to the future.
You cannot just concentrate on this very current championship.
Therefore, we need to look at the next generation.
I made my decision.
- Finally you've come.
- All good? - We do this? - Yeah.
It's really difficult for us because Valtteri has been such an important part of the team in making us win all these championships.
The bad news is you're driving against Lewis.
The good news is you're in a Mercedes.
Thank you, seriously.
Let's have dinner.
At Mercedes, for me, it wasn't meant to be, to win probably the world title.
It's hard to accept.
I don't have a contract for next year.
As a driver, it's not ideal, you know, when you don't know what the future holds, but that's the sport.
There's only three races left.
It is getting extreme.
Boiling over.
- This sport is brutal.
- Bottas in trouble.
- It's not a kids' club.
- Winning in the right way He just brake tested me! is as important as winning.
Oh, shut up.
The guy has no fuckin' idea.
It's gonna be the biggest race of a generation.
- Get him! - Lewis is gonna get it.
It all points to one person.
Max Verstappen.
It's winner takes all.

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