ONTD Original: During the Formula 1 Season, Watch Some of These Racing Documentaries

Have you gotten on the right side of history and watched Netflix’s best messy/shady show Formula 1: Drive to Survive? Are you tired of OP talking about it? Well, she doesn’t give a fuck and also she thinks it would behoove to watch this show. However, OP has decided to compile some documentaries you can watch about some stars of motorsport. Even if you don’t like sports or interested in some, sports docs can be incredibly well made especially understanding not just the rules of the sport itself, but the people involve, the social commentary to provide context, how money rules the roost in sport (thus blurring the principle of meritocracy), etc. So if you’re watching the Formula 1 season with me or just have some time on your hands, here are some racing documentaries you can check out on YouTube and Netflix (and then watch Drive to Survive).

UPPITY: The Willy T. Ribbs Story

“One of the most powerful stories in sports history. Willy T. Ribbs was the Jackie Robinson of auto-racing who shattered the color-barrier in an all-white sport. Willy was referred to as “Uppity” behind his back by mechanics and other racers. He overcame death-threats, unwarranted suspensions and engine sabotage to go after his dream. Ultimately, Willy beat the haters and became the first Black driver to win a Trans-Am race, test a Formula One car, and race in the Indy 500.”

A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story

“Juan Manuel Fangio was the Formula One king, winning five world championships in the early 1950s — before protective gear or safety features were used.” The OG Drive to Survive.

The 24 Hour War directed by he’s got the number one podcast in the country.

“The Ford/Ferrari rivalry at Le Mans is one of the most famous in racing history. It started in 1963 when Henry Ford II tried to buy Ferrari to save the ailing Ford Motor Company, which was being crushed by GM and the Corvette on the track and at the dealerships. After months of negotiation, Enzo Ferrari said no, refusing to allow Ford to interfere with what he loved the most: racing. Henry Ford II was furious and vowed to build a racecar that would dethrone Ferrari.”

Some background from OP: this doc is quite insightful and gives a great historical context in some of the earliest cars. The doc focuses on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a prestigious motorsport race in which a car is built to go the farthest distance in 24 hours. It also highlights how Enzo Ferrari shaped the legacy that would be the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team. Your dad probably watched the Ford vs. Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale about this contest.

Born Racer

“A powerful and inspirational story of dedication, danger, fear, and the rare ‘will’ some of us have to defy all personal limitations. Experience one of the fastest motorsports on earth through the eyes of four-time world champion Scott Dixon and the Chip Ganassi Racing team. Filmed with an access all areas lens, ‘Born Racer’ follows the people who are passionate about the world of auto racing and asks why some individuals feel compelled to face danger and risk their lives in order to win. Both action-packed and highly-intimate it features an intense blend of up close and personal filming with never-before-seen spectacular, cutting-edge racing footage to explore a sport that defines the very people who inhabit it, and pushes them to the edge in their desire for success.”

Senna: A Personal Memoir

The Senna documentary got taken off Netflix a few months ago, so OP found a one on YouTube about the legendary Brazilian WDC Champion.

“A unique insight into a charismatic and elusive man: ruthless in a race car, surprisingly open and warm-hearted with friends and family in Brazil. An intensely spiritual man is revealed by his intimate reflections: most poignantly about the ever-present danger of death in his chosen profession. The Real Ayrton Senna – as he has never been seen before.”

There’s probably dozens more you can find, especially on YouTube that aren’t just fanboys who spliced together clips and are actually well done. Most of these focus on the emotional part or interpersonal aspects of our drives and not so much of the engineering/ F1 regulations.

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