Skip to main content

Formula One, or F1 as fans like to abbreviate it, is the ultimate four-wheeled international circuit racing event. It pits racing drivers with faster-than-fighter-pilot reaction times and unparalleled driving acumen against each other across six continents and dozens of countries. As you might imagine, Formula One’s decades of exciting, albeit deadly racing inspired many movies. Check out five of the best F1 movies that will have you racing in your dreams this holiday season, like “Rush” and “Senna.” 

These five F1 movies earn a spot at the top of the podium

Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth, and Daniel Brühl at an event for 'Rush', the F1 movie about Niki Lauda and James Hunt.
Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth, and Daniel Brühl at an event for ‘Rush’ | Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images

If you’re looking for bleeding-edge entertainment, these five F1 movies have you covered.

  • Rush (2013)
  • Senna (2010)
  • Weekend of a Champion (1972)
  • McLaren (2017)
  • Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story (2020)

Of course, there are fiction films surrounding the sport. The 2001 “Driven” film– not the 2018 movie with Jason Sudeikis and Lee Pace bringing the scandalous story of John DeLorean to life– is such an example. In “Driven,” However, “Driven” doesn’t make our list by a long shot. 

Instead, fans of the sport will be chuffed to enjoy larger-than-life documentaries capturing the lives, struggles, and triumphs of racing greats like Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jackie Stewart, and more.

Tragically, enthusiasts who know the stories of the golden age of F1 racing know that many of these movies conceal heartbreak. However, for every ‘’I’m not crying, you’re crying moment,” the racing fan can revel in brilliant interpretations of classic Formula One rivalries and triumphs. For instance, Ron Howard’s “Rush” visits the ups and downs of Ferrari’s Niki Lauda and McLaren’s James Hunt 1970s rivalry. It’s a beautifully captured story of bitter nemeses becoming respectful friends.

That said, we still want a big-budget Jim Clark film. Looking at you, Hollywood.