1: Life On The Limit

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A history of safety in Formula, highlighting some of the sport's most intense rivalries (Jim Clark vs. Jackie Stewart, Hunt vs. Lauda) and tragic losses.


Paul Crowder's documentary about the changing face of safety in Formula 1 has star power both in front of the camera — Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Damon Hill, Mario Andretti — and on the soundtrack — Michael Fassbender, a good fit for the machismo of the sport, does the laconic narration. At times, it feels like an endless litany of crashes and fatalities, and if you've seen Senna or Rush, parts of it will feel very familiar, but some of the archival footage is terrific, some of the reminiscences moving — particularly Professor Sid Watkins on Ayrton Senna's death at Imola — and there are interesting sidelines about the impact of TV and the influence of Bernie Ecclestone.

If the focus is perhaps too broad and the narrative haphazard, 1: Life On The Limit provides a colourful portrait of the perils and pleasures of Formula 1, especially if you don't know your Monza from your Monaco.