Ranking Netflix’s ‘Formula 1’ Drivers According To Their ‘Bachelor’ Potential

- The Bachelor -
Ranking Netflix’s ‘Formula 1’ Drivers According To Their ‘Bachelor’ Potential

Driving a car in loops at 223 miles per hour takes an obsessive and unusual determination. So much so, that there are only 20 people (mostly men) in any given year that can do it. It demands physical stamina, a clear head under pressure, and, well, a certain charm. I, like many other Americans, only came to appreciate all of this after watching Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive To Survive.

Formula 1 on its surface is tediously technical (it’s about shaving off micro-seconds with better tires, a faster engine, or a steering wheel that kinda goes in but also up?) but alongside the mechanics of the machine lives the interpersonal drama that makes for great reality TV.

The tension, wheeling and dealing, and backstabbing that goes on behind the scenes is really entertaining. Principals (aka the team managers calling the shots) are ruthless and pit teammates against each other, take secret calls with potential new recruits, and dump drivers without a moment’s notice. It’s a little bit Big Brother, a little bit Survivor, and a little bit Fear Factor.

But there’s one reality show F1 could lean into a little more, and that, of course, is The Bachelor.

Watching the F1 drama on the speedway has helped push the sport of Formula 1 to a new threshold of fandom in the US, but there’s always room for more growth. It’s the American way, after all. Why stop at high-brow documentary-style reporting on a fancy, elite sport when there is gorgeously low-brow, low-hanging reality dating fruit just waiting to be picked? Plus, there’s precedence.

Arie Luyendyk Jr., an American race car driver, was both a competitor on The Bachelorette in 2012, and star of The Bachelor in 2018. If you don’t remember, his season ended in the dating show equivalent of a fiery wreck: giving the final rose to one woman, only to break things off and choose his runner-up instead. That's just pure entertainment, folks!

Here are the top five F1 drivers who should consider just how awesome it would be to be The Bachelor (you know that the racing puns alone would be worth it).

#5: Alex Albon

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Albon’s arc has included a tough twist with Team Red Bull in 2020 — he lost his F1 seat to Sergio Perez (Perez married his wife Carola in 2018, so he's not in the running) — but his quiet, sweet demeanor makes the Thai-British racer a top contender for winning hearts.

While he currently has a girlfriend (professional golfer Lily He), should he become single, he'd be the charming underdog on the show, and worth rooting for. At 25, he’s the same age as Jesse Palmer was when he was the show’s youngest lead ever, so it may be a few years before he’d be ready to offer up a final rose, which puts him in last place (but only for now).

Ideal Group Date: Albon tends to be more on the shy side, so a group date needs a low-key energy — something far away from his usual race-day activity. Pairing wine with nude sketching would push him out of his own comfort zone and make for hilarious TV. Think: lots of blushing, awkward eye diversions, and uncomfortable giggling.

Bachelor Tag Line: Race to see if this underdog will win over hearts.

#4 Max Verstappen

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Verstappen is in many ways painted the villain of current F1 racing. The Red Bull star racer is often at the top of the podium just behind Lewis Hamilton, but his teammates struggle with all the attention focused on Verstappen’s success. But, sometimes it’s enjoyable to root for the villain, too.

With a single Verstappen (he’s currently dating Brazilian model Kelly Piquet) at the helm of the Bachelor franchise, we could expect lots of fiery interview soundbites, high-adrenaline dates, and plenty of edge-of-your-seat romantic drama. He earns spot #4 because he'd surely make for an exciting season, but he falls behind the drivers who have a bit more charm.

Ideal Group Date: Verstappen’s reputation as an aggressive driver and love of motorcycles, jet-skis, and other speedy vehicles means that the ideal group hang would have to include a little high-adrenaline activity. Putting dates to the test with bungee jumping seems like an easy way to find compatibility and a way to get everyone’s heart rate up immediately.

Bachelor Tag Line: Prepare for a few speed bumps on the Road of Love.

#3 Carlos Sainz

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Spanish driver Carlos Sainz drives for Scuderia Ferrari, so it’s easy to imagine him pulling up to the Bachelor house for the first time in something red, fast, and flashy. Plus, his charming smile and more relaxed disposition make him an ideal Bachelor. Added bonus: his dog Piñón is the ideal ice breaker for a first date.

While other race drivers seem intensely focused on their craft and not much else, Sainz’s attention to family time and the fact that he’s often playing tennis or golfing means that he’ll be able to chat about more than just lap times or car mechanics — and putting him in a solid third place as far as contenders go.

Ideal Group Date: Sainz seems to be an easygoing sportsman, so the ideal date would be a surfing lesson and subsequent beach picnic complete with tapas and rioja (because, obviously). Plus for any one-on-one moments, he can recruit a date to take Piñón on a stroll further down the beach..

Bachelor Tag Line: If you like Piñón and coladas and getting caught in the rain, you'll love Carlos.

#2 Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton has all of the makings of a top tier Bachelor. He’s arguably the best F1 driver of all time, he’s handsome, he’s socially active, using his fame to champion issues he cares about.

But, it’s his quiet intensity that puts him into second place. His focus and devotion to the sport lead to the conclusion that he’d be a romantic and intense man to head the franchise. But, it’s tough to imagine Lewis playing into the drama (which, let's be real, the show needs and thrives on.)

Ideal Group Date: Hamilton loves playing music (as he’s often sharing with his over 22 million Instagram followers), so the ideal date would be a romantic visit to a jazz bar followed by candlelit dinner. Karaoke might be a bit livelier of an option, but I can’t imagine Hamilton sitting through more than two or three mediocre performances before giving up completely.

Bachelor Tag Line: A true winner seeking someone who can keep up.

#1 Daniel Ricardo

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There’s a reason Netflix chose to open its very first season of the show with Danny. This is a man with charisma only an Aussie can possess and a smile that’s disarmingly innocent. But, don’t let his charm fool you, this is a man who “loves a weekend in Vegas,” and also has proclaimed himself the “most ripped man on the grid.” Producers would have no trouble creating drama and adrenaline-filled dream dates.

Ideal Group Date: As the life of the party, the ideal group date for Riccardo is something where he can take his time making his dates laugh and live it up a little. A disco-themed poker night would allow a little competitive spirit to peek through and allow for plenty of playful banter. Plus, I know he’d pull off a '70s-era suit with no problem.

Bachelor Tag Line: Racing’s nice guy is looking for more than a backseat driver.

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