This week, Netflix announced their new film The Formula. A gritty drama based around F1.
But surprisingly it isn’t just about John Boyega dramatically not seeing a yellow flag on a qualifying lap or throwing a cap across the COTA cool down room.
It doesn’t seem like the grit is from those a passive aggressive moments Robert De Niro pretending to be best friends with Mattia Binotto after having just called him a cheat.
No, for some reason the grit comes from the dramatic tale of an F1 star who has to become a getaway driver to save his family.
Now crushing debt from that failed first F2 year can take a toll but when Callum Ilott didn’t get an F1 seat for 2021, a life of crime to repay the Ferrari Driver Academy probably wasn’t weighed up.
It seems an unrealistic, Hollywood storyline. Anyone who’s seen Sylvester Stallone’s Champ Car flick Driven is presumably having uncomfortable flashbacks.
But there is one caveat.
An F1 driver would be apt for the role.
They would just never be caught, right? These are the best drivers in the world.
They can beat some comedy cops. Surely.
This serious analytical piece is going to pit the 2021 F1 grid against themselves in the MOST INTENSE COMPETITION OF THEIR LIVES!
Ok then, which 2021 F1 Driver will make the best getaway driver?
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way scored arbitrarily, how dare you suggest such a thing? That’s just rude.
Sir Lewis Hamilton
On the one hand, he’s the best of the lot. 7 time champion, 95 victories and 98 poles. He’s quick enough to drive away from a bank and shake the police off his tail faster than you can say “Michael Schumacher”.
But on the other hand, he’s too famous, he’s too good. He would be recognised. He has distinctive tattoos, outrageously cool style and so many fans. Lewis would unfortunately be identified too easily.
And, on the biologically impossible third hand, he doesn’t actually have a contract so isn’t actually a 2021 F1 driver so is disqualified from this competition.
Sorry Lewis, I don’t make the rules.
He’s fast over one lap with no one in the way. He only has a one year contract, so he has motive. And he’s Finnish so he can see in the dark and can hide easily.
He thinks he’s cool (To whom it may concern, he is cringey) so might get involved with the wrong crowd and end up out of his depth. Poor Valtteri could end up being blackmailed into bank robberies.
So far, so realistic.
But Valtteri is let down by his sheer tenacity. Or lack of. He is supremely fast but he simply lacks the natural ability to clear traffic and out do the rozzers when needed.
Poor lamb would be caught in a few blocks.
Obligatory pace is there. Max can trounce the police in a car chase, no doubt.
But Max is brash. He would cause carnage and would get caught up in a ridiculous accident when he jumps a red light. The clever getaway driver who would discreetly disappear into the distance would not be Max.
This is full on Fast and the Furious 5 dragging a whole safe down a motorway style.
Not subtle. Good for one or two heists, but there is no longevity in this side hustle for Max.
Fast, but not feasible.
Now we’re talking.
Fast? Check. Only really identifiable to the masses if it were Mexico so under the radar everywhere else? Double check. Can look after tyres for years so wouldn’t get a puncture even on one of those spiky things they put out in movies? Triple check.
Lads, Checo could well be the guy!
Thank god he didn’t get that sabbatical because all the banks across the kingdom would be at risk!
Checo loses marks because it is unrealistic for him to fall into that crowd though. He’s too cuddly.
And if it was in Mexico he’d be surrounded by fans.
Surely Lando is too wholesome to be a hardened criminal?
The young McLaren ace, bless him, would get so swept up in the high drama that he wouldn’t be able to cope. He was so flustered by a hornet in the summer there’s no chance he’d survive as The Green Hornet.
The whole thing would be on Twitch anyway.
Lando is off the cards for this job I’m afraid.
It’s easy to categorise Daniel with Lando and say he’s too happy go lucky for this life.
But isn’t that what he wants you to think?
The whole Honey Badger mantra is about something cute that will pounce and rip the face off of any potential enemy.
Daniel could be the dark horse in this fight. Netflix, look here for your consultant.
Marks are lost for infectious laughter that would get in the way of any potential covert operations but the Mafia boss will be tripping major nutsack if he hires Daniel.
He’s too lovely.
He owns chickens!
On his day, Lance could mix it with the big boys and bring home some serious winnings.
On other days, he just falls by the wayside and it is easy to forget he’s there. This could work well. Lance could blend in with the crowd and be long gone by the time he is even potentially trailed by the best detective squad in the city.
Some days though Lance could be so fast that he’d be caught. It’s always a possibility, with his performances, he could do something so excellent and out of the ordinary that he becomes conspicuous.
Lance is good, but sometimes too good.
Well here we have someone who has recently become so versatile, he is the most likely to have actually taken part in some getaway driving in his two years away from F1.
Le Mans winner, Dakar stage winner, Daytona 24 winner, Indy 500 fifth place qualifier Fernando Alonso is basically good at everything.
He has a high quality baseline. When it comes to the driving, he’d be unreal.
Fernando is let down because when something goes wrong, he’s a blabbermouth.
Fingers would be pointed, names would be shouted, no one would be safe from being dobbed in by Fernando. If he’s caught then he is saving himself and going straight for a cushty witness protection scheme in Antigua.
Not cool Fernando
GP2 heist, GP2..Argh/10
Esteban is hard to judge, he has a manic quality that would be terrifying to control in a life of crime.
He is always smiling, even when he would be “quizzing” a hostage for answers.
Esteban is more of a diabolical mastermind than any of the other F1 drivers. There is a touch of the creepy clown about him that makes him a scary prospect for colleagues and victims…
I have chills writing this.
He will summon accomplices with his groovy voodoo and then take the money for himself. He is more than a getaway driver. He is a whole heist team.
Esteban therefore earns high marks but because there is obviously a whole FBI office block dedicated to capturing him. For this he is docked a couple of points.
Charles would put the work in.
He would work and work and work to make sure the entire heist goes off without a hitch. Police chiefs are terrified of the prospect of a Charles Leclerc getaway driver.
It really is hard to think of any negatives for Charles as a getaway driver. Pace, work ethic and an overwhelming can do attitude to get involved, Charles is an asset to any heist team.
He does stick out like a sore thumb though. His fashion taste is questionable at best and it doesn’t seem to be calming down.
Charles would be noticed, be it for some newspaper trousers or a banana costume, he cannot help but dress up.
Fast, yes. But lying low would be impossible.
Smooth operator? More like smooth criminal!
Carlos is so reliable, tell him to park 100 yards away. He does it to the nearest millimetre. Tell him to lose the cops. He loses the cops.
He would do a nice job and would bring the money home.
He is your average man in the street, he wouldn’t look out of place in a van and would do a good job overall.
It can’t be said enough. He would be good.
But you could always get someone better. He was hired for Ferrari because they thought Ricciardo would be too quick and would create a rift with Leclerc.
There would always be someone slightly better…
For your small time plucky underdog heist, Pierre is your guy, he outdrives everybody and luck is on his side.
He’s on top of the world.
But the caveat with Pierre is those big time heists. A small fry job is fine. But when he’s batting for the big boys, Pierre would struggle.
Pierre would be amazing, but only some of the time.
He has climbed the ranks like there’s no competition. F3, F2, F1. Done.
Yuki is an exciting prospect for any bank robbing team. He would be fast and smart but he’d be a threat.
Yuki would be wanted by everybody and what’s to stop him from jumping ship away from this heist team? He would always demand a bigger cut of the stolen money.
He’s too exciting a prospect for the heisting community.
Talk about someone who’d blend into the background.
Antonio would be so hard to spot during any heist. Nobody would know where he’s gone, he can use his forgettable nature to blend into the night with the money.
But he would make too many little mistakes. It’d be going well, he’d be doing a decent job (only decent), and then would clout a kerb and get a puncture, or he’d spin and be surrounded by police.
Antonio would become a liability.
Because you’re worth it/10
Kimi wouldn’t care much, he’d rock up on the day, do a decent job and thats it.
Our F1 Editor Adam Dickinson added that if he got caught then he wouldn’t speak and no one else on the team would get arrested. This is valuable loyalty.
He is past his prime however, he wouldn’t be able to perform as well as he did in the legendary days of the 2000s.
There’s some great moments but the rest is just adequate.
If you want natural talent in your heist team then George Russell is surely the one.
Not only could George definitely evade the cops with his silky speed, but he would do the same as Charles and put the work in to know every bit of the plan step by step.
George has no reason to be bad at being a getaway driver. He’s good at everything.
Only a few times has he proved to bottle things. Most of the time he will do the job to such a level that he will succeed. See GP3, F2, Virtual GP series and Mercedes call up for examples.
The urge to break social media will be hard for George however. The obsession with selfies and telling Mercedes to hire him every day would make George hard to lie low with. He’d have to phone Toto or need to cultivate the appropriate unshaven look for the day.
These would only be enhanced by his new found stolen fortune.
But the sheer skill of the job help to steady these points.
Nicky is too nice. He’s so lovely.
He would keep his nose clean and bumble to the end of the job and would exist.
But that’s about it. Nothing much would happen.
He wouldn’t be an exciting bank robber. Which isn’t fun enough for a blockbuster.
Mick has the issue of coming from the shadow of his supreme heist driver father. People think he will never be as good as his Dad and he will never escape the shadow.
It’s a Nicholas Cage movie waiting to be made.
Unfortunately the movie has John Boyega and Robert De Niro in it, not Nicholas Cage, which counts against Mick here.
He’s got the opportunity to prove himself and has been satisfactory as a young driver.
He will get the job done. His name brings respect. But, unfortunately, that is all.
The only Haas driver/10
So who’s the best?
Well, the detailed science has clearly ruled that it’s a tie!
Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell win both scoring a brilliant 8.5/10.
Daniel brings his terrifying honey badger traits whilst George brings his work ethic coupled with vast speed.
Netflix know who they’re going to have to talk to to ensure absolute truth when they’re producing The Formula.