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Ranking the Top 10 F1 Documentaries and Films to Watch

Formula 1 is an sport that isn’t just fun and exciting to watch, but also very very intriguing to follow. The race days on weekends are very busy and the updates and coverages that follow are great. Even though the current updates on the sport is very lucrative with the involvement of social media, but still it’s less to the ardent fans who wait and wait every week for the race to restart again after weeks.

In today’s list, we’ll talk about such documentaries and movies that F1 fans can watch while the F1 is going through a break between the race weeks. So, what are we waiting for? It’s light out and away we go.

#10. A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story

Starting with number ten spot we have A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story. This is a documentary film based on Argentine F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio. The documentary shows the story of this brilliant Argentine legend who is regarded as one of the greatest to have taken part in this sport. It revolves around Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s, and how he won five championships driving for four different carmakers in the F1 circuit. The documentary is directed by Francisco Macri and is available in Spanish language. In Spanish the documentary’s title is “Fangio: El hombre que domaba las máquinas”. The film has long list of casting who gave their personal interviews. Some of the important names are Fernando Alonso, Jackie Stewart, Mika Häkkinen, Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio, Toto Wolff, Carlos Reutemann, Nico Rosberg, Hans Herrmann, Horacio Pagani and Andrew Bell. This documentary is available on Netflix and was made in collaboration with Fox Studios and Cinema 7 films. This great documentary piece was was released on March 20, 2020, on Netflix.

#9. Jochen Rindt: The Uncrowned Champion

Up next in at number nine we have Jochen Rindt: The Uncrowned Champion. Rindt was the Formula 1 World Champion in 1970 and is, to date, the only champion to be awarded after his death. The Austrian had raced for just 7 years and died while racing. With 62 races to his name, Sky Sports paid a tribute to him by making the documentary to his name. This Sky Sports documentary takes a detailed look at who Rindt was and how the career was tragically cut short. From interviews with drivers to breath-taking footage from the 1960s and ‘70s, this documentary captures the glamour and danger that was synonymous with Formula 1 back in the days. It is Available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and YouTube Movies.

#8. Michael Schumacher: The Making of a Legend

Up into the 8th place we have something about the legendary Michael Schumacher. The ultra-rare footage of the young Michael with excellent archive material of his Formula 1 career, Michael Schumacher: The Making of a Legend charts the 91-time Grand Prix winner’s spectacular rise all the way from the kart track to the Formula 1 grandeur. This piece also shows much-vaunted Formula 1 debut with Jordan in 1991, his seven world championships with Benetton and Ferrari and his fierce on track battles with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Damon Hill. With the series of interviewees that includes Ross Brawn, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm and F1 racers including Martin Brundle, Fernando Alonso and David Coulthard, this is a must-watch for all the F1 fans. The extraordinary video is available on YouTube.

#7. Rush

In at number 7 we have Rush. Starred by the incredible Chris Hemsworth, Rush is one of the most exciting movie an F1 fan can prolly watch. Apart from Chris Hemsworth, the movie also features Daniel Bruhl and Olivia Wilde. The movie released in 2013 was co-produced by Universal Pictures. This movie depicts the rivalry between the F1 legend Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1970s. Rush showcases Niki Lauda’s dangerous crash at Nurburgring circuit in Germany that left him with burns. Niki then is immediately airlifted to hospital with third-degree burns to his head and face and internal burns to his lungs. For six weeks, Lauda is treated for his injuries while he watches Hunt dominate the races in his absence. The movie also shows how Lauda reflects on their great rivalry and personality differences spurred each other on to their finest achievements, and states that Hunt was the only person he ever envied in his life and in his entire F1 career. This immensely exciting movie can be watched on Netflix.

#6. Williams

Next in at 6th place we have something about the incredible Williams team. Once supremely successful Williams team are a mere shadows of what they are today. The fourth most successful team in the history of Formula 1 and it’s incredible journey started by Frank Williams. This documentary depicts in and out of the Williams and takes an intimate look into the heart of the Williams family. A combination of new and archive footage tells the story all the way from Frank Williams founding the team to his daughter Claire taking hold of the reigns today. At the focus is Virginia Williams, wife of Frank and mother of Claire, and the part she played in the family’s success. The piece has interviews with Nigel Mansell and Sir Patrick Head. This stellar piece is available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and YouTube.

#5. Ferrari: Race to Immorality

Now into the 5th place we have the documentary about the ever successful Scuderia Ferrari. The Reds from Maranello are the best in business and in this epic documentary they’ve shown exactly this. Ferrari: Race to Immortality documents the golden era of the 1950s when Ferrari was rising to prominence. Tragedy and triumph occur side by side with Enzo Ferrari at the centre building his empire in Italy. By depicting the story of how Ferrari became legendary, the documentary highlights the team’s rich motorsport history, from cinematic drama to heartbreak and success tinted with sadness, from highs to lows, from ups and downs. This stellar piece can be viewed on YouTube.

#4. 1: Life On The Limit

In at number 4 we have 1: Life on the limit. This documentary is all about the crashes in the late 1990 and races in the early 1950s. The film starts with Martin Brundle surviving a fatal crash in 1996 season opener Australian Grand Prix at turn 3. The way he survived was totally spectacular and how he escaped unscathed to hopping onto the spare car to finishing the race. The film then takes a brief look at the early days of Formula One racing in the 1950s, which was essentially a resumption of prewar Grand Prix racing. Mike McCahill of The Guardian gave the documentary 4 stars out of 5, and stated, “This F1 history finds its narrative impetus in the trade-off between crowd pleasing speed and concern for driver survival”. The documentary premiered on January 10, 2014 at the Empire, Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom. The Production companies involved in producing this were Spitfire Pictures, Flat-Out Films and Diamond Docs. This was distributed by Exclusive Media. 1 can be viewed on YouTube.

#3. McLaren

In at podium place we have British car manufacturer’s founding member Bruce McLaren and his story on F1. McLaren being one of the top dogs in the history of Formula 1 had all in this epic documentary. The story of Bruce McLaren is told through new dramatized footage alongside the original film and supported by interviews with those who knew him during his days. What is most striking about the documentary is it makes clear the astounding dedication and loyalty he inspired in those who worked for him on his journey from humble beginnings in New Zealand to the top branch of motorsport in Formula 1. As McLaren continues to fight back from a tough couple of years in the present, the journey of its pioneering founder continues to be poignant. McLaren is available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and YouTube Movies.

#2. Senna

In the runner’s up position we have Senna. This is about the Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna. There’s hardly any show that captures the imagination quite like Senna. This documentary covers Ayrton’s life from 1984 to his death in 1994, making use of an abundance of previously unseen footage. Everybody knows what happened in that weekend in Imola but following Senna through a decade of his life makes its sudden end shocking and deeply moving. However, Senna is gone but not forgotten, and the success of this documentary shows how much of an appetite the audience and fans got for him. There still is for an insight into legend and Senna is available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and YouTube Movies.

#1. Drive to Survive

Finally, the top spot. At Pole position we have Netflix’s Drive to Survive. It is one of the most well-known Formula 1 documentary series. Drive to Survive provides unparalleled behind-the-scenes access to F1 teams and drivers. It showcases both the races and the people who make them possible, giving viewers a rare glimpse behind the curtain of Formula 1 and showing how events really play out. This series has garnered few controversies because of the way they’ve portrayed the scenes. It has come under fire from existing fans of Formula 1 due to its creative interpretation of some events, as well as its dramatization of others. However, it’s a perfect gateway into the world of F1 for new fans and for anyone who loves this sport. Drive to survive is available on Netflix.

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