The five films and series to follow to know everything about Formula 1
Motorsport inspires millions of enthusiasts around the world every weekend. On the occasion of the release of « Schumacher » on Netflix, here is our selection of films, series and documentaries to watch or re-watch to better savor a Formula 1 grand prix.
Formula 1 is living in glorious times. On the track Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are fighting for the title of world champion. This afternoon they will fight for victory on the Sochi circuit. In the stands, it is the excitement after years of outrageous domination of the Mercedes. A simple number sums up very well the enthusiasm around Formula 1 in recent seasons: the Bahrain Grand Prix, opening round of the year 2021 was the most followed race in the history of F1, in 70 years of existence. Canal +, the French broadcaster of the competition, peaked at 2.34 million viewers that day.
While Netflix has just been released Schumacher, a documentary on the life of the driver, we offer you a selection of five films, series or documentaries that retrace the life of the greatest moments in motorsport.
1— Drive To survive
The series to watch when you want to follow F1 is Drive to survive. Produced by Netflix for 3 years now, this series offers each year a retrospective in 10 episodes of the F1 season that has just passed. Each episode focuses on an aspect of the race, a driver, or a legendary event on the calendar such as the Belgian Grand Prix or the legendary Monaco Race.
Criticized by the most picky fans for its too theatrical side and sometimes a bit far from reality, the Netflix series is a perfect gateway to start taking an interest in the complex world of F1. Without going into the technical, and sometimes political, details of the race, it gives an overview of F1, and seduces millions of people every year. Composed of 10 episodes, the series follows the adventures of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc or the French Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.
If you only had to watch one, Rush would surely be the film to recommend to get to know F1. Tracing the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 season, this film received critical acclaim. If Ron Howard in the realization allowed himself some deviations from historical reality, the film traces the life of an F1 driver in the 70s when accidents, and very often death, rubbed shoulders with the circuits. Released in 2013, it has since been seen by fans of Formula 1 and its history as a must-see, to see and review.
3 – Senna
Better known than Niki Lauda and James Hunt, Ayrton Senna is considered by many to be the most talented driver to ever get behind the wheel of an F1 car. Driver with a tragic fate, Senna died on May 1, 1994 on the Imola circuit during the San Marino Grand Prix. The Brazilian, three-time world champion continues to fascinate F1 fans as well as his most distant observers. This documentary, released in 2010, looks back on the career of the genius of Sao Paulo, his very special relationship to religion and his on-track clashes with his rival, the Frenchman Alain Prost, four times world champion.
4 – McLaren
Another documentary, another F1 legend, another broken destiny. Bruce McLaren is a brilliant pilot and engineer. At the end of the 1960s, he decided to found his own team, McLaren. The New Zealander won four F1 victories and once the 24 Hours of Le Mans (during the legendary 1966 edition). McLaren died on May 2, 1970 during private testing, and left his name behind on F1 history. The documentary returns at length to the creation of this legendary stable and to the genius of the engineer. In 1974 McLaren won his first world championship title with the Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi.
5 – Le Mans 66
It is the most recent film on this list, but also the only one that does not deal with Formula 1. If well-known names in the discipline play the leading roles in this film (Enzo Ferrari, Bruce McLaren, Colin Chapman… ) Le Mans 66 returns, as its name suggests, to the 1966 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The legendary Sarthe race saw one of its most memorable editions that year. So the legendary Ferrari team is up for sale. But the Maranello company refuses the takeover by Ford, which annoys Henry Ford III, boss of the American brand. The latter then decides to beat Ferrari on his home ground, at Le Mans. One of the greatest rivalries in the history of endurance follows. Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon in the two lead roles, the film won two Oscars.
Released just a few days ago on Netflix, this new documentary looks back on the career of Michael Schumacher. His wife Corinna, but also his two children Mick (now F1 driver for Haas) and Gina testify on the pilot’s life course. Between his titles in 1994 and 1995 and his moments of doubt, especially during the accident at Silverstone in 1999, the documentary delves into the career of the pilot with the seven world crowns. If he focuses largely on the sports career of“Schumi”, the documentary also looks back at the B aron Rouge ski accident in Méribel in 2013. This documentary is, officially, the Schumacher family’s first speech on this subject.