Popular Formula 1 films you shouldn’t miss

Last Updated 02 April 2019, 08:14 IST

The Fast and the Furious is a movie that inspired a lot of people to soup up their cars or hit the throttle of their cars a bit harder. A lot of them even perhaps took to drag racing on the streets, something that is illegal and dangerous.

While The Fast and the Furious is thrilling to watch, some motorsport movies touched viewers’ hearts and threw light on heroes who scorched Formula 1 tracks over the years.

DH takes a look at some F1 movies that were received well by audiences:

Grand Prix – 1966
This fictional movie was released at the end of 1966. Driver Pete Aron (James Garner) loses his sponsor after a few crashes. Undeterred, he is signed up by the new Japanese team – Yamura Motors – for the 1966 season.

Aron, trying to shed his reputation as a reckless and ordinary driver, faces a stiff challenge from Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand), a two-time champion, on the track. In the midst of all his racing career troubles, he is also involved in a difficult love affair with his ex-team-mate's wife.

Weekend of a Champion – 1972
Directed by Frank Simon and Roman Polanski, this is a documentary on British driver and three-time world champion Jackie Stewart.

Stewart was part of the movie’s cast which showcases the driver’s effort to win the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix. Polanski spends the entire weekend of the race with his friend Stewart about what it took to win the race.

Senna – 2010

[object Object]
A poster advertising the documentary. Picture credit: flickr.com/ Ben Sutherland

This hugely popular documentary, directed by Asif Kapadia, captures the life, career and death of one of F1’s greatest drivers – Ayrton Senna.

The documentary also showcases the Brazilian driver’s bitter rivalry with Frenchman Alain Prost. The documentary also focuses on Senna’s efforts to see that more safety is introduced in the sport.

The three-time world champion is particularly stressed during the weekend of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix after having seen fellow countryman Rubens Barrichello injured in a crash in Friday’s action on the track and death of Austrian Roland Ratzenberger in final qualifying on Saturday. Senna died following a crash in that very race on Sunday.

Rush – 2013
Directed by Ron Howard, this movie is based on the rivalry of Ferrari’s Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and McLaren’s James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth)

Old rivalry in Formula 3 refuses to die down for the two drivers as they compete in the 1976 season. Austrian Lauda begins with two wins, while Hunt struggles. The Briton wins in Spain but is disqualified as his car has a technical infringement. McLaren continue to struggle with their car and the situation is complicated when it emerges that Hunt’s wife is having an affair.

Meanwhile, Lauda pleads with officials to cancel the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring, which he feels is unsafe due to the wet weather. The race goes ahead and Lauda suffers serious life-threatening burns following a crash. But he returns to the track that year.

Hunt eventually wins the championship by a point after Lauda decides to retire from the Japanese GP, the last race of the year.

Point proven that he is capable of winning a world title, Hunt takes to a glamourous lifestyle. Lauda tries to advise Hunt that he should concentrate on the next year’s championship instead, but the latter says enjoying life is the best part of being a world champion.

1: Life on the Limit – 2013
Directed by Paul Crowder, this documentary showcases the history of F1, the greatest drivers to have raced in it and fatalities.

The documentary also takes viewers through the engine changes that happened over the years, how Stewart tried to push for more safety, new drivers and teams making their way into the sport and many other aspects of the sport.

More than two dozen F1 drivers are interviewed and a lot of archival footage is also part of the documentary.

Williams – 2017
This documentary, directed by Morgan Matthews, is on the iconic Frank Williams, the founder of one of the greatest teams in the sport. It also depicts the story of the team from its inception to the present day.

Several F1 drivers are featured in the documentary and so are Williams and his daughter, Claire.

The Williams team is the second most successful team in F1 and Prost, Senna, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet are among those who have driven for them.

McLaren – 2017
This is a story on Bruce McLaren the former race driver and more importantly, the founder of a team with his name.

McLaren was born in New Zealand but moved to Britain.

This documentary, directed by Roger Donaldson, showcases the fact that an ordinary person is capable of taking on bigger names in the elite and highly-competitive world of F1 racing.

World champions Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi are also interviewed in the documentary.

McLaren is the third most successful team in F1 history with eight titles and prominent drivers who drove for them include Lauda, Prost, Senna and Mika Hakkinen.

(Published 31 March 2019, 12:07 IST)

Follow us on