1: Life on the Limit

First trailer for new F1 documentary 1

F1 videoPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

With Rush about to open in cinemas worldwide another film about Formula One is hot on its heels.

1 is a documentary which shows how the sport reacted to the rising wave of fatal driver accidents in the seventies and reformed to become safer. The first trailer has just emerged (above).

It tells the story of how drivers took a stand to demand better safety standards as escalating speeds presented ever-greater dangers. The film, narrated by actor Michael Fassbender, uses archive material and “rare personal 16mm film footage” in addition to official material from FOM.

A large roster of Formula One personalities were interviewed for the film including Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley, Michael Schumacher, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Niki Lauda, John Surtees and Damon Hill.

The film will be available to download from October 1st.

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62 comments on “First trailer for new F1 documentary 1”

  1. Looks great! However, the title has to be the most uninspiring title ever.

    1. Can any F1 documentary beat Senna thought?

      Senna was one of the only movies I’ve ever watched that really moved me :-)

      1. for it left to much like.. senna fans making a senna movie rather that an actual facts documentay, so im looking foward for “1” lol.

      2. can any one tell me how to download “1” the formula one documentary movie? tks

    2. @roald Can’t argue with that. It also makes it very difficult to look for information about it.

      1. At least I found their Facebook page:


        Strangely, the premiere happened already in November 2012?

        1. Yeah it was premiered in “rough” form in Austin last year. I was there and saw it, it was great. It looked fairly polished to me so I am surprised it took them almost another year to get it released, but I guess a lot of that could have been the business side of things as well. Either way, it is great, I recommend it highly.

      2. @keithcollantine First of all, thanks for posting this. looking forward to the release. The topic isn’t anything new but it’s always a pleasure to watch a well made F1 doco(which this seems to be)

        As for finding info, it’s actually the easiest thing in the world because Michael Fassbender is involved. Since he’s very famous actor every activity of his, small or big and in any capacity, is covered by IMDB.com they also collect all articles from other sources regarding his activities. So not that huge of a bother :)

        1. @montreal95
          In what way is Michael Fassbender involved? I think you might be getting mixed up with a BBC interview here.

          Also, searching 1(flim) on Wikipedia comes up with a 2009, 2014 films neither of which have anything to do with Formula 1 or Michael Fassbender!!

          I think the title of the film is awful, but it looks fantastic – probably similar to the bbc film “formula 1 the killer years” which can be found on youtube if anyone hasn’t seen it.

          1. @john-h Fassbender is the narrator of the documentary. you can see that on IMDB, enter the section on Fassbender, you’ll see it under the “self” label(obviously, since he’s not playing anyone, just narrating). But @keithcollantine is right, if you don’t know that, it’s a hell of a messy search

          2. Apologies @montreal95 , you’re right :)

        2. @montreal95

          As for finding info, it’s actually the easiest thing in the world because Michael Fassbender is involved.

          Which is no use at all if you don’t know to begin with Michael Fassbender is involved and are trying to search for information on something called 1.

    3. @roald I quite like the title for its simplicity, but its absolutely horrendous from the marketing point of view. It is near impossible to google it, not only because the number is near ubiquitous but also because “1” is already contained in the title of “Formula 1″ or “F1″

    4. It reminds me of the music band that had decided to name itself ‘Live’.

      1. Not to mention the most un-Google-able of bands, ‘A’.

        1. Well, they can compete with The Who in un-google-ability.

          “The” is a very common word and was not included in your search.
          “Who” is a very common word and was not included in your search.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            1st September 2013, 10:34

            Perhaps Rush once Rush the film gets released……..

      2. Yeah they were touring with “No Artist” recently, who were promoting their new album “Untitled” with it’s latest hit, “Track 8″. Though in my opinion “Track 3″ and “Track 12″ also deserves a mention.

        1. +1 xD

        2. Stop ! I am having a F1F time during lunch brake at the office, and it’s not professional to be laughing out loud !

        3. I heard they are making a live album of recordings from that tour with “No Artist”, called “Live – Live: Live playing live at live music venues across the UK”

          (The word “live” doesn’t even look like a real word anymore I’m sorry hahaha)

        4. Well done guys! Btw, it’s a real band :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_(band)

          1. Lightning crashes when the dolphins cry :p

            But seriously, Throwing Copper was probably one of the better selling rock albums of the 90s.

    5. I didn’t notice the title at all until i read the comments and watched the video again, damn what a fail from a marketing point of view

      Maybe ‘ll be better to name it “the one”

      1. Even worse, there is another film with the same title about the come out:

        1. *”about to come out”

  2. Looking forward to this. I’ve always like the F1 story about it getting safer and the politics and sportsmanship around it

  3. I’m really looking forward to this documentary, even more than I’m awaiting Rush. The actual history of F1 is thrilling enough, there is no big need for fiction.

  4. It touches the same ground that F1 documentaries before it have.

  5. Looks quite promising.

    Will it be available for free or for paid download? (Both would suit me, depending on the price, of course.)

  6. Great. A documentary about seat belts and guardrails. The incredible true story about the obstacles that brave men had to overcome in transforming an inherently dangerous sport into something as perilous as croquet. Can’t wait to see it.

    1. @marciare-o-marcire

      transforming an inherently dangerous sport into something as perilous as croquet

      Yeah tell that to Massa… they guy nearly killed himself playing ‘croquet’

      1. Ok you got a point there. But the point I was making is that this documentary is just milking the F1 cow and riding the wave started by the Senna documentary followed by Rush in an effort to make a quick buck while the F1 theme is growing in popularity among movie going audiences. The only problem is that they picked the most dull and un-spectacular aspect of the sport to make that quick buck from, so i doubt they’ll be successful.

        1. @marciare-o-marcire As there’s FOM footage in there I doubt very much they’ll be making a “quick buck”. That material does not come cheaply.

    2. Don’t worry mate, the internet is full of videos of people hurting themselves. We’ll go watch F1.

  7. This is what I can find on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2518788/… So, not much…

  8. With all due respect, but isn’t this basically just ‘Grand Prix: The Killer Years’ but with a few more people interviewed and “rare personal 16mm film footage”?

    On a different note, I would much rather see a happy documentary that focuses on the racing instead of the fatalities. I know that driver deaths were common those days, but why can’t there be more focus on the legendary racing drivers, cars and teams?

    1. Because mainstream audiences don’t want that.

    2. @andae23 I guess it’s just a more compelling topic for the non-F1 fan. Absolutely agreed though – I’ve read so much about Francois Cevert’s death for example, yet know very little about the man’s racing credentials.

      1. @vettel1 It’s such a shame that the big masses (even some Formula 1 fans) are only interested in F1 history as long as there’s a crash involved in it – for instance, I think that more people know how Tom Pryce was killed than in what decade that accident actually took place.

        Why people don’t seem to appreciate the men (or women of course!) behind the wheel is a complete mystery to me.

        1. @andae23 it’s because it’s what the media tells us we want to see! I know I want to hear more about the driver’s abilities behind the wheel than how they died though absolutely. It’s a shame there aren’t more documentaries focused on that (which is why I liked Senna – it gave a lot of the movie to the man himself and not just his crash).

    3. @andae23, cc.@keithcollantine, I have been enjoying the retrospective articles from Motorsport Keith has been finding in lieu of real news lately, paricularly from the technical aspect of the cars involved and the variety of designs competing with near equal performance. More please Keith, and thanks.

    4. It bothers me that when you mix any form of motorsport with TV media, the ‘highlights’ are always the crashes. Why can’t they show the passes as highlights?

      1. Because tbh, 95% of the passes in SPA were not worthy of a hightlight (thanks DRS).

        PS : I jest, of course

    5. Because that’s what people have ever wanted to see, since the beginning of time. Gladiatorial games in Rome, bullfighting in Spain and if you want to stay current – UFC, which is getting more popular than boxing just because people can see more blood. The only people concern about the safety are the ones that have to provide compensation for the result of an accident. The number of videos on internet of people getting hurt is huge.
      When I was a kid, there was a motorbike race through the streets of my town. The biggest amount of spectators were at the most dangerous corners. Mostly males.
      As a society we try to move away from these things and try to make them unacceptable but it looks like we can never kill the caveman in us.

    6. I agree that Grand Prix the Killer Years pretty much covered this topic. As for happier stories, without a compelling story line like Senna versus Prost to add drama, there won’t be much of an audience for it outside of people who are already F1 fans.

  9. This looks like it was made to sell to networks but didn’t achieve that so set for download only.

    It’s a topic covered so many times it just isn’t interesting anymore. That and it’s a negative part of the sport.

    Is it trying to jump on the Senna/Rush bandwagon?

    1. True, but I think some would argue the story of change is very positive period for the sport – the way people like Stewart stood up to the governing body and said enough is enough. The sport is the drivers as well as the rule-makers, and these kinds of films highlight that quite well.

  10. I did a bit of looking around, and it appears that this film premiered last year in Austin around the time of the GP. Funny that this is the first that most of us have heard of it.

    1. @schooner It was mentioned in the round-up when that preview was done last year. I’d supply the link for it but it’s very difficult to search on anything related to the film because of its questionable title…

  11. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    28th August 2013, 14:41

    Not in cinemas at all?

  12. This is from the makers of DogTown and Riding Giants. Both of these were excellently made documentaries which are worth tracking down.

  13. It looks promising, I have been waiting for a Formula I documentary for quiet sometime now. But I was also hoping there would be more about Francois Cevert this year is the 40th anniversary of his death. He died a day before the official race. Thank you…

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    28th August 2013, 16:49

    I’m sorry but that looks so much better than Rush. F1 was never meant to be a subject for mere re-enactment. When you have decades worth of footage saturated with the drama and emotion that automatically accompanies F1, why waste it? Why re-enact it? What is the point? To show case the modern film industry’s technical toolkit? To breathe life into a director’s personal interpretation of F1? Is that really relevant. No. What is simply required by a film that regards F1 is celebration. A celebration of the truly great people, feats and events that have peppered F1’s past. We F1 fans are only looking to be reminded that the sport we love is nothing more or less than the greatest sport in the world, and to be given an inferred pat-on-the-back for supporting it. It seems to me that in the unique situation of having the ups-and-downs of narrative so complex as that of F1 recorded so comprehensively by the media, it is a crime to throw that away only to recreate it in the name of modernism and the need to attract mainstream audiences. And that is why Rush is receiving a vehement boycott on my part, whereas if 1 manages to recreate anything close to the visceral originality of Senna, then I shall be the first to download it.

  15. F1 was never meant to be a subject for mere re-enactment. When you have decades worth of footage saturated with the drama and emotion that automatically accompanies F1, why waste it? Why re-enact it? What is the point? To show case the modern film industry’s technical toolkit? To breathe life into a director’s personal interpretation of F1?

    A few simple answers to your questions – To put a story together from all the footage that encapsulates the thrill, emotion and drama of formula 1.

    Why was any true life incident made into a movie?? Do you think they should be documentaries and live footage?

    Dont underestimate the power of story telling

  16. This has the potential to be brilliant. If it can be anywhere near as emotive and thought provoking as Senna, it will be a great watch. I hope it depicts the death of many drivers respectfully and tastefully.

  17. I’m not so sure I understand the point of this documentary. There are at least a half a dozen documentaries about the 50s up through the 90s or early 2000s. Is this just going to be a longer version of that?

  18. I was at the official premier during the Austin GP weekend when it was called “1: the Unvarnished story”. At that point it did not yet have Fassbenders voice added but was still an excellent movie. It is very different than Senna since it is a traditional “talking heads” style documentary but it was fascinating to see the various perspectives on safety especially Jackie Ickx and the modern guys. I highly recommend it

  19. Safe to say, it looks awesome!

  20. But we have Grand Prix: The Killer Years, that is a good documentary, why do we need another one ?

    1. Because that only covered the 60s and early 70s? This seems to touch on all eras sport, judging by the trailers. I’d love to see a documentary on the 80s and 80s era of F1.

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