9 racing documentaries on Youtube, Netflix and Prime to beat the lockdown blues

Here are nine racing documentaries that you can binge on three different platforms during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The lockdown period due to the Coronavirus can be exhausting mentally for some car enthusiasts who are just egging to get back behind the wheel of their beloved machines. But now is not the time, as the roads can wait, and it is time to stay home and flatten the curve. But, that can be extremely difficult with limited things to do at home. Here are 9 reasons to keep you indoors with racing documentaries or docu-series that you can stream online.

We have decided to skip the ever obvious F1-Drive to Survive on Netflix because let’s face it, you probably have already watched if you’re reading this. If you haven’t, then you probably should add that to your list.


The Life of Speed – Fangio

Netflix recently released a documentary on one of the greatest drivers of all time – Juan Manuel Fangio. It is the first documentary based on the life and career of the Argentinian racing driver. He is the only driver to win five world titles with four different teams at a time when protective gear and safety features were unheard of. With some F1 legends also appearing to tell their stories about Fangio, as well as some old footage of Fangio himself, this documentary is a must-watch for all racing and automotive enthusiasts. Or just anyone with a heart.

APEX- The Story of the Hypercar

While this may not be directly a racing documentary, but it does involve racing indirectly. APEX is an American documentary film about the modern category of hypercars. It chronicles the development of the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerarri, McLaren P1 the Pagani Huayra and predominantly the Koenigsegg One:1 “Megacar” and the quest to defeat the world lap record at the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps racetracks.

The Gentleman Driver

Most endurance racing championships have a regulation that each team must use a non-professional, racing driver who must pay for their race-seat in their squad who will race along with the professional drivers. These drivers also help draw sponsorship to the teams that allow them to go racing. This phenomenon is not something new as motor racing in the past was reserved for wealthy aristocrats and keeping with the theme they are called the Gentleman Drivers. This documentary gives an inside look into the lives of four wealthy men who are businessmen during the week, and sports-car driver in the weekends. It’s not as easy as it seems because money can’t buy talent.


Idris Elba – King of Speed

King of Speed is a mini-series about British actor, Idris Elba’s love for the automobile and speed. The three-part series firstly revolves around Elba exploring the American series of NASCAR and the current situation of Motown, in Detroit. He also explores the origins of the sport while also digging into the history of street racers. The subsequent episodes are where things get more interesting as Elba tries to get to terms of what is required to be a professional racecar driver, and his time training with legendary rally driver, Ari Vatanen on a Finnish rally stage. Tread with caution as there is some nudity involved.

Gymkhana Files

Unless you were living under a rock you may have seen those youtube videos where a guy in a rally car doing burnouts, jumps and insane drifts through different cities around the world titled “Gymkhana”. Gymkhana Files takes you behind the scenes of rally driver and former World RX driver Ken Block and his 10 insane “Marketing” videos for his DC apparel company. Warning: A lot of tyres and GoPros were harmed in the making of these films.

Le Mans: Racing is everything

This is a 6-part documentary about the iconic 24-hours of Le Mans endurance race that takes place every year in France. As the name suggests, the race lasts for 24 hours and runs through the night on the 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe. The documentary provides behind the scenes access to six teams and the blood, sweat and tears that go into a race of this magnitude. Each 20-30 min long episode is action-packed and nail-biting, to say the least.

But, in case you have seen all of them, or it is possible that you do not have a Netflix or Prime Video account. Don’t worry, we have some more documentaries in store for you and they are free to watch on YouTube.


Endurance: Porsche

On March 27, Porsche released a documentary of its last season’s performance in sportscar racing. Titled “Endurance”, the 1 hour 31 min documentary is a behind the scenes account about Porsche at the two toughest GT races in the world. The 24 hours of Le Mans, and the 24 hours of Nürburgring, both held within a span of two weeks. The focus of the film is on the Porsche 911 RSR #91 and #91 race cars, the drivers and what it took to become the world champions last year in the GTE category. Porsche has more documentaries on its channel all of which are worth a watch if you’re into that sort of thing.

Ford GT: The Return

If you have another one and a half hours to spare, and at a time like this, I’m sure you would, you can head over to the Ford Motor Company’s official channel for this documentary. After defeating Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 with the GT40, Ford decided to repeat history again in 2016, to celebrate 50 years of that glorious win. With four modern-day Ford GTs in the mix, Ford defeated Ferrari again, but what did it take to do it this time around? I’ll leave that up to you to find out.

Inside the Ring

Inside the Ring is a documentary film about the evolution of the terrifying racetrack called the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. National Geographic helped in the making of the 45-minute documentary film about a 20.8 km racetrack that has earned the name “The Green hell” by claiming more than 80 lives over in its existence.  Do we need to say any more?


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