F1 movies that make you a Formula 1 expert

F1 Movies That Make You A Formula 1 Expert

You may wonder, but some F1 fans became devotees after watching F1 movies. The time when racing movies had an entertainment function went past far. Today these are more specific and educational, based on dramas, real stories, and about great people. So, no wonder that one good movie about Formula 1 can make you an fanatic. The reason for that is in its deepest origins. 

Formula 1 makes sense when you understand its four keys: its original history, the unique people behind this sport, the current regulations, and the future target. All four you can find in good F1 movies. Therefore, we picked suitable films about Formula 1 racing and placed them in the most reasonable order so you get to know Formula 1 better. 

The Best F1 Movies To Watch

Best F1 movies to watch Senna

1. Senna (Documentary 2010) 

Directed by Asif Kapadia, the documentary “Senna” won two BAFTA awards and has been considered one of the best F1 movies. We suggest you start with this movie because it is about the legendary driver Ayrton Senna, whose personality represents one of Formula 1’s eras. 

The documentary tells the narrative story of Senna’s life and career, from his early days as a kart racer to his rise to the top of the F1 world. 

The Brazilian racing legend won three world championships and was regarded as one of the greatest drivers ever. But his life was short. Senna tragically died in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Capturing the spirit of the sport, it is a compelling movie about Formula 1 and will stay with you long after.

Why is it worth watching?

The “Senna” documentary is worth watching for F1 fans and those who find inspiration. At the time of Ayrton Senna, there were no social media and Netflix. The real emotions were hidden from the mass. Only a few knew Ayrton’s feelings and worries. In the documentary, Senna’s closer people help you make your impression of the Brazilian champion. 

Moreover, the “Senna” movie would be very informative for F1 fans because the film includes rare archived footage and brings many of F1’s skeletons out of the closet.

Best F1 movies to watch Weekend of a Champion

 2. Weekend of a Champion (Documentary 2013)  

Our second step is another compelling documentary, but produced by Roman Polanski. 

The “Weekend of a Champion” (2013) is revising a documentary of the same name revealed in 1971 and another great among F1 movies. Thanks to their friendship with legendary F1 driver and three times world champion Jackie Stewart, Polansky captured the atmosphere of the racing weekend at the flashy Monaco Grand Prix in 1971. 

So, the movie reveals the profession of an F1 driver in detail on how Stewart was thinking during the racing weekend and how many things he has been knowing about every inch of the racetrack.

The details of these few days in the movie are the primary key to the “Weekend of a Champion” documentary. Because this opens an accurate picture of that era of Formula 1. Even if sometimes it seems unsightly in terms of safety, the F1 racing of that time is full of colorful pageantry, entourage, and chic. 

Is it worth watching?

Is it worth watching? The “Weekend of a Champion” documentary is worth F1 fans watching because it gives the incomparable vibes of the Monaco Grand Prix first. The second is that Polanski did an excellent job as a producer. Focusing on the inside information, this F1 movie gives a sense of being on the scene. 

However, the movie will be hard for non-fans due to the absence of a clear narration line. Although if you are a visual person, the documentary will dive you into the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix atmosphere completely. 

Best F1 movies to watch Stewart

3. Stewart (Documentary 2020)

 If the “Weekend of the Champion” documentary impresses you, then the “Stewart” third F1 movie is your must-see. Directed by Patrick Mark in 2022, the documentary takes you into the colorful and emotive journey that transcends motorsport and explores universal themes of love, loss, and human vulnerability. 

The movie follows Jackie Stewart, a documentary recalling Formula 1 in the late 60s and early 70s with its unique era when driver safety was not a priority. What was the priority? What had F1 drivers faced then, and what does influencing a person mean for real? You will find these and many other answers to the profound question in the “Stewart.” 

Note: the movie includes some disturbing crash footage. 

Is it worth watching?

It is absolutely worth watching the “Stewart” documentary for F1 and non-race fans because it is more than a movie about Formula 1; instead, it is about the way of the champion Jackie Stewart with his feelings, fears, passion, and goals. It is personal drama at high speeds. 

Best F1 movies to watch 1

4. 1 (Documentary 2013)

Directed by Paul Crowder, the documentary, perhaps, is the best among F1 movies about the history of Formula 1 because it chronicles racing from its inception in 1950 and explains the evolution of this sport. 

Packed with interviews, “1” tells the story of a generation of charismatic drivers. The movie gives insights into the lives of former champions and the technology which enabled Formula 1 to become much safer nowadays. 

How did Formula 1 change, and who stood behind to change the sport forever? Answers to these questions you will get in the “1” movie.

Why is it worth watching?

The “1” is worth watching to die-hard F1 fans and those who have just started to watch Formula 1 and can’t understand what is what. Moreover, this F1 movie has incredible footage of the most iconic moments in the sport’s history. 

So, no wonder you will find yourself a step closer to Formula 1experts after that. The fact that Michael Fassbender is a narrator is another bonus of the film.

Best F1 movies to watch McLaren

5. McLaren (Documentary 2017) 

After a great insight into the story of Formula 1, we recommend you take the inspiring adventure by watching another best one of the F1 movies. The “Mclaren” documentary tells about Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. 

The story of a man who proved to the world that even a humble beginnings person could take on the elite of motor racing and win will leave you with a long taste. This story is unique. 

Mixed with rare videos, photos, and interviews with good acting from the cast, the “McLaren” movie engages with the great archive footage and brings this documentary to life. 

 Why is it worth watching?

The “McLaren” documentary is worth watching for everyone. It is inspiring and revealing. The movie gives insights into the old era of Formula 1, unsafe and harsh but with its own unique atmosphere. With wisdom and motivation, the story of Bruce McLaren got something you’ll love.

Best F1 movies to watch Schumacher

6. Schumacher (Documentary 2021)

From the origins, we’re going to another era of Formula 1. The documentary “Schumacher” tells about seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. This F1 movie is not a story about a champion but about a person who is private and robust. 

Followed by millions of fans worldwide, Michael’s personality isn’t about racing only. At the heart of Michael’s account are his parents, his children, and his wife, Corinna Schumacher.

Who is Michael Schumacher? Through race footage and interviews with teammates, rivals, friends, family, and himself, we see his real and get a picture of a man who dominated the sport of motor racing. 

Announced in 2021, the “Schumacher” movie is the last documentary about a legendary F1 driver, and we place this F1 movie in sixth position. 

Why is it worth watching?

The movie gives a decent picture of the champion, his personality, history, and achievements. It helps you to make your own opinion of Michael Schumacher. 

However, while the film primarily focused on the personality, many details of his career should have been mentioned in the movie. 

Moreover, the details of the skiing incident and its aftermath could be clearer. Also, you will not find information on Schumacher’s wellness because his family keeps their life secret and requires people to respect their privacy.

Best F1 movies to watch Grand Prix

7. Grand Prix (Drama 1966)

Knowing the origins of Formula 1 and its legendary names of past and current, the “Grand Prix,” is that you can not miss out. Therefore, we placed a classic drama directed by John Frankenheimer in the seventh position.

This F1 movie centers around the drivers and teams competing in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix. It features an all-star cast, including James Garner and Eva Marie Saint.

Garner played American driver Pete Aron, who is trying to get his career back on track after a series of setbacks. The rest of the cast is filled out by an impressive roster of real-life Formula 1 legendary drivers, including Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Bruce McLaren, Lorenzo Bandini, and Jack Brabham. 

Why is it worth watching?

Grand Prix is worth watching for all F1 fans at least once because it is a true genre classic. In some terms, the movie is challenging to understand for non-race fans. 

However, that time’s fine cinematography, editing, music, and racing atmosphere work well to give absolute pleasure to each who adores Formula 1 cars and the brutally competitive environment. 

Best F1 movies to watch Life of Speed The Juan Manuel Fangio Story

8. Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story (Documentary 2020)

Directed by Francisco Macri, “Life of Speed” is not a successful movie about Formula 1, but it is the only official documentary about the life of five-time F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.  

F1 community calls Juan Manuel Fangio one of the best-ever F1 drivers. With his final Grand Prix over 60 years ago, the story behind Fangio’s name still needs to be remembered.

Thus, the documentary aims to cover Fangio’s racing career and life through archive footage and interviews with his rivals and friends.

Why is it worth watching?

Despite the documentary being an insight into Fangio’s story, the film’s main con is its need for a straightforward narrative. Moreover, there needed to be more details of Juan Manuel Fangio’s biography. As a result, it makes it hard to understand and gather historical information into one clear line. 

Although “Life of Speed” is worth watching for those who want to know why Fangio is cited as one of the best F1 drivers ever.

Best F1 movies to watch Williams

9. Williams (Documentary 2017)

Since the documentary “Williams” was revealed to the world in 2017, it immediately occurred at the top of the most-rated F1 movies. Time goes by, but the documentary has held the position. That is for a reason. 

Directed by Morgan Matthews, the film narratives the extraordinary story of one of the most influential people in Formula 1, the founder of the Williams F1 team – legendary Sir Frank Williams.

Williams’s team won nine Constructors’ Championships, while its drivers became world champions seven times in the 80s and 90s. 

Sir Frank Williams created one of the world’s most successful Formula One racing teams, but you can’t imagine how vividly a person stood behind the Williams empire. It is more than a story; it is a heart-rendering portrait of a powerful personality who had risen and failed but always was obsessed with speed. 

The documentary includes many rare interviews and footage with such stars in this sport as Sir Patrick Head, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, and Alan Jones. Moreover, it provides candid never-before-seen accounts of what happened behind closed doors.

Why is it worth watching?

The “Williams” documentary is a must-watch F1 movie for both F1 and non-fans. It includes so many insights about the team and personalities that you can not just be outside. You will find yourself laughing at the funny moments and being sad at the heartbreaking details of the story. 

You can’t help but empathize with this story. ‘Williams” movie touches your inner feelings because it’s a poignant reminder of struggle no matter who you are.

Best F1 movies to watch Rush

10. Rush (Action 2013)

We placed the “Rush” at ten positions for the purpose. Now you’re ready to watch the action movie with wild open eyes, as you already know what is what Formula 1. 

“Rush” is the best F1 movie ever because it has everything. The director Ron Howard did a brilliant job of gathering a great plot, rare details, and the fantastic atmosphere of Formula 1 in the 1970s. 

In the best way, the rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda, describes two quite the opposite persons and their distinctly different ways in Formula 1. There is no good or bad personality; it is life in an era when both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion.  

Chris Hemsworth played James Hunt, while Daniel Brühl took on the role of Niki Lauda. Both actors give fantastic performances, and the chemistry between them is electric.

 Why is it worth watching?

Absolutely a must-watch for every F1 fan and for each person. The ‘Rush” movie has a narrative story and inspiring personalities to keep you on the edge. 

The attention to detail sets the “Rush” movie apart from other films about Formula 1 and steps its head on top. The facts, from the accurate recreation of the cars and tracks to the drivers’ personalities, take you deep inside the plot story.

Best F1 movies to watch Lucky!

11. Lucky! (TV Series 2022)

It is hard to imagine Formula 1 nowadays without such an extraordinary and controversial figure like Bernie Ecclestone. That is why “Lucky!” is our number eleven. 

The former chief executive of Formula One Group continues managing the business outside the board. Born in the 1930s, Ecclestone knows each detail of Formula 1 as a sport and show. He brought it to the most popular racing sport in the world. Ecclestone determined the ways of Formula 1 development, and most of his decisions were ahead of the game.   

The TV Series “Lucky!” has eight episodes. It combines exclusive interviews with Bernie Ecclestone, a breathtaking archive, and epic storytelling. This immense narrative courses over seven decades against a backdrop of truly global events, whether The Oil Crisis or the Green Movement. 

Each era is the scene of fabled on-track rivalries between legendary drivers. So, you will see interviews with Enzo Ferrari, Jochen Rindt, Colin Chapman, Frank Williams, and many others. What’s more, it is the real story. It is Ecclestone’s life story of the 50-year reign of Formula One.

 Why is it worth watching?

“Lucky!” documentary is a must-see for die-hard F1 fans and those who have just started to follow this sport. Simply, it is a tutorial on how Formula 1 has changed or, better, how Formula 1 became what we have right now from its origins. 

Another reason is Bernie Ecclestone. In some terms, “Lucky!” sheds light on why Ecclestone is so controversial and explains his point of view. However, his wit and love for racing helped to overcome all the odds to create a super brand followed and adored by millions of people worldwide. 

Best F1 movies to watch Mosley

12. Mosley (Documentary 2020)

The former FIA president Max Mosley was no less controversial in Formula 1 than Bernie Ecclestone. Therefore, we placed this F1 movie after “Lucky!”

Max Mosley had reigned at the Federation Internationale de Automobile from 1993 to 2005, but his personality had always been covered with a mystery. A private person, Mosley, was involved in different scandalous that we had known from the press. But in reality, Mosley had fierce intelligence. He was devoted to auto safety in Formula 1 and public streets. Moreover, Mosley’s contribution to F1 is hard to overestimate. 

So, directed by Michael Shevloff documentary “Mosley” aims to bring everything to clarify the real personality of Max Mosley and help you to determine for yourself what is true and what is false.

Why is it worth watching?

The “Mosley” documentary will be fascinating to old F1 fans only because ten – twenty years ago, Formula 1 wasn’t as open as we can see now through thousands of social media posts. This F1 movie can be eye-opening about another great person in Formula 1. 

Best F1 movies to watch Villeneuve Pironi

13. Villeneuve Pironi (Documentary 2022)

In the case of searching for the answers to the mystery, the “Villeneuve Pironi” is the documentary to the point. This F1 movie tells an astonishing story of Canadian Formula 1 legend Gilles Villeneuve and French star Didier Pironi. 

It was one of the most controversial rivalries in Formula 1 then. The rivalry between the two Ferrari drivers was simultaneously fearless and mysterious.   

In the directed by Torquil Jones documentary, the families of Villeneuve and Pironi united to reveal the most extraordinary untold story. In a plot of mystery and intrigue, each compelling twist and turn is shown as the film uncovers the truth behind that unwritten agreement on the last fateful lap. 

Alongside the families, the film stars Formula One World Champions Jacques Villeneuve, Alain Prost, and Sir Jackie Stewart.

Why is it worth watching?

The “Villeneuve Pironi” documentary is worth watching for everyone. It is more than about Formula 1; it is about the relations between the two, which were charged with tension and filled the emotional scars. 

The relationship between Villeneuve and Pironi is the drama in which inner feelings are so familiar to everyone until now. It is a modern-day Shakespearean epic if you want.  

Moreover, the documentary will leave you feeling good because it claims to love, loss, and legacy in a sport where passion overcomes fear.  

Best F1 movies to watch Drive to Survive

14. Drive to Survive (Documentary series 2019-)

“Drive to Survive” closes our list of the best F1 movies to make you a Formula 1 expert. 

The documentary series produced in a collaboration between Netflix and Formula One successfully launched in 2019. This F1 series made a considerable contribution to the sport’s popularity, as it increased the F1 audience times. That is for a reason. 

“Drive to Survive” is the most popular and highly rated among F1 movies. Each season the documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the drivers and races of the Formula 1 championship.  

While die-hard fans take a chance to end the argument in the most controversial moments throughout the season, new fans suit the perfect gateway into the world of Formula 1. 

However, the “Drive to Survive” documentary has come under fire from existing fans, current teams, and even the drivers. Thus, Mercedes and Ferrari refused to participate in the series debut. Although both teams will be a part of the second series, Mercedes and Red Bull are being very accurate with the commentary in the series. 

Drive to Survive’s main pros and cons same time is that they dramatize some moments to the epic absurd. Netflix attempts to make a show from something usual to Formula 1. In trying to find the narrative line, each episode has drama arises, even if there is no reason for that.

However, some ” Drive to Survive” episodes were made so well that the series won two BAFTA awards. 

Why is it worth watching?

At least Netflis’s Drive to Survive is worth watching for F1 fans to make their own point of view. Moreover, the good insights through the movie allow us to create insights into the F1 teams. However, it opens the closed doors into the Formula 1 world with its own dramas and inner conflict, whether it is the covid pandemic or even the driver’s personality. 

Another good reason to watch “Drive to Survive” is that it makes you aware of current rules and issues in this sport.

What is next?

All the F1 community’s attention is riveted to the new fictional film about the world of Formula One with Brad Pitt as the starring actor and Lewis Hamilton as the producer. According to director Joseph Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Brad Pitt is getting in the cockpit of a real F1 car at Silverstone and other Grand Prix. How good will be new F1 movie and whether it outclasses the “Rush?” Time will tell. 


 To surprise devotees with real drama and to explain how, for example, racing works is what we believe in finding in the best F1 movies. In this way, some F1 movies can make you become an f1 fanatic. Simply because your mind is involved, you empathizing and getting to know Formula 1 better. 

However, before watching any of the F1 movies, remember that different film directors tell their own points of view and focus on those details that make sense to them.

 Meanwhile, Formula 1 doesn’t consist of only one point of view but includes complex standpoints which have changed through different times. The more movies you watch, the more opinions you have. As a result, you become a Formula 1 expert.