Ferrari: Race to Immortality – Five reasons why it’s a must watch documentary

The new documentary delves into Ferrari’s impact upon what is thought to be the most revered era of Formula One

3y ago

Ferrari: Race to Immortality tells the true story of Scuderia Ferrari’s meteoric rise to the Formula One powerhouse it is today.

Enzo Ferrari once said “win or die you’ll be immortal” to his drivers. He was renowned as a hardened taskmaster, whose sole concern was winning at any cost. Race to Immortality paints a far more complex picture. As the film progress through each year, his mindset is revealed to be that of a man had a deep passion for racing who was personally affected by every fatality that occurred in one of his cars.

Here are five reasons why Race to Immortality is a must watch for both fans of Formula One and the Scuderia alike.

The 1950’s was a brutal and deadly time to be an F1 driver

Mike Hawthorn at the 1958 Italian Grand Prix

Mike Hawthorn at the 1958 Italian Grand Prix

To those unfamiliar, the late 1950’s is considered to be a golden age of motorsport. It was by far the most dangerous sport that any individual could choose to compete in. These men were sent out in cars to race not knowing if they would come back alive.

The drivers of the time wore bucket lid helmets and googles – which offered little or no protection whatsoever, add to this the flimsy racing suits that again, offered nothing to drivers in the event of an accident.

In these early years, drivers also raced without a seatbelt of any kind, the thought process behind this was to increase the chance of survival. Crash hard, and they had a chance of being thrown clear and living to tell the tale, the unthinkable alternative remaining trapped in the car while being burned or crushed to death during any impact.

British drivers played a big part in establishing the Scuderia as a force

Stirling Moss with Mike Hawthorne and Peter Collins of Ferrari

Stirling Moss with Mike Hawthorne and Peter Collins of Ferrari

Mike Hawthorn & Peter Collins are described as being a pair irresponsible schoolboys during their time together at Ferrari. The film intertwines stunning archive footage alongside narrative from surviving drivers, journalists and spouses who knew them best to delve into their persona's, providing insight into what made them integral to Ferrari's early success.

Enzo Ferrari had always had a soft spot for the Brits, the film documents the pivotal impact that both Hawthorne and Collins had in the early history of the Scuderia.

F1 was a beautiful thing in the 1950’s

Ferrari Scuderia - 1956 Italian Grand Prix

Ferrari Scuderia - 1956 Italian Grand Prix

Directors Daryl Goodrich and screenwriter Rupert Bush have successfully managed to capture the full intensity and the beauty of early Formula one racing. This is no mean feat, as the film gives us insight into the cavalier attitude and the larger than life characters in motorsports at the time, where potential death was shrugged off as something that was simply part of the job.

It shows the immense dangers being faced in great detail via a mix of stunning archive footage shot at the time; this is mixed perfectly with the detailed and emotional narration from the people that were part of Formula One during this danger-fraught period.

Chronicling the beginning of Ferrari’s impact upon Formula One

The 1956 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1956 Monaco Grand Prix

Race to Immortality shows the Scuderia’s immediate impact in this early golden era of the sport. It shows how Enzo Ferrari’s single determined vision for his team laid the foundations for the modern day Scuderia.

The one side of Enzo Ferrari that film focuses on is his dedication to winning at almost any cost helping to establish the team as a force in the 1950's. In 1957 Ferrari driver Eugenio Castellotti became a tragic example of this 'at any cost' ethos, he was ordered by Ferrari himself to regain the Modena test track lap record which had been set by rivals Maserati. The driver perished during his attempt as his car left the track rolling over before coming to rest in the members stand. Castellotti died instantly upon impact from a fractured skull, he was 26 years old.

Enzo Ferrari’s Number one driver was whoever had performed on the previous Sunday

Enzo Ferrari and Peter Collins - 1956 Italian Grand Prix

Enzo Ferrari and Peter Collins - 1956 Italian Grand Prix

Race to Immortality focuses heavily on the relationships between Enzo Ferrari and the Scuderia drivers; he would often manipulate fierce rivalries between them to extract the best out of them. Whomever performed on a Sunday, was to be the teams number one for the next race.

Enzo Ferrari was also renowned for being a hardened taskmaster, a dictator who disliked his drivers forging friendships within the team. He was also against his drivers settling down, as he thought that any close personal relationship would lead to a loss of their competitive edge on track.

Ferrari: Race to Immortality will be in cinemas on Friday 3 November and on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital platforms from Monday 6 November.

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Comments (2)

  • I can’t find the movie in the states or on apple anywhere..gggrrrr

      3 years ago
  • ironically right as they're once again threatening to leave F1

      3 years ago