Best racing films and TV box sets to stream on Netflix in 2021 (updated)

Racing Movies

We've selected the best racing movies on Netflix, as well as documentaries and box sets ready for you to watch right now - updated for 2021

McLaren Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with a cameraman in the parc ferme of the Hungaroring racetrack on August 2, 2008 in Budapest after the qualifying session of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix. McLaren Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton took the pole position ahead of his Finnish team mate Heikki Kovalainen and Ferrari Brazilian's driver Felipe Massa.

Find all the best Netflix racing shows to stream below


Netflix features a whole host of top racing films, documentaries and series, so we’ve hand-picked some of the best that are available to stream right now. Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll keep updating the list.


Drive to Survive

Drive to survive netflix renault Haas

The midfield teams were the stars in series one, with Mercedes and Ferrari joining the series two and three

Vladimir Rys

Netflix’s behind-the-scenes Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive returned for its third instalment in March, with both its and grand prix racing’s popularity steadily increasing as a result.

Whereas in previous seasons, particularly the first, midfield teams took centre-stage, season 2 and 3 both feature Mercedes and Ferrari episodes. The Merc section has a beleaguered Valtteri Bottas saying he “almost retired” after receiving team orders to let Lewis Hamilton win in Russia ’19, whilst the Fezza episode is full on Maranello meltdown, a far below parr car seeing them floundering down the grid.

Romain Grosjean’s horrific crash at Bahrain ’20 is covered, illustrating the risks grand prix drivers face and the emotions they go through risking their lives in a suitably dramatic yet still tactful style.

The breakdown then patch-up of the Daniel Ricciardo / Cyril Abiteboul relationship brings the laughs when the Renault driver announces he’d rather drive for McLaren, and Haas’s struggles at the back of the grid provide another fascinating insight into the challenges of F1.

DtS has managed to establish itself as essential viewing for any grand prix fan whilst equally reaching out to those beyond the sphere of motor sport through the sheer entertainment it provides.

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Michael Schumacher with Corinna

Documentary’s focus is on Michael Schumacher the man rather than detailing his racing success

Imago via Netflix

In contrast to DtS, Schumacher shares more in common to the feted Senna documentary made ten years ago. An examination of the human side of a sporting person born with an inbuilt will to win, it’s been one of the most anticipated motor racing films of recent times.

Featuring new interviews with his immediate family as well as rivals including Mika Häkkinen, Damon Hill and David Coulthard, in addition to four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, the film provides rare insight into the mind of the intensely private Michael Schumacher.

Whilst focussing on crucial moments in his F1 career, from making his debut to his first title in Ferrari colours, some might feel a certain element of Schumacher’s make-up is glossed over – namely his willingness to cross the line in terms of what was acceptable on track in pursuit of victory.

This win-at-all-costs mentality might have polarised opinion on him at the time, but the German’s absence from the public eye for nearly a decade due a brain injury from a skiing accident means many have warmed to the Scuderia hero over time.

It also makes these behind-the-scenes views of one of F1’s greatest drivers all the more precious, and means Schumacher is well worth even a none-F1 fan’s time.

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A Life of Speed: the Juan Manuel Fangio Story


Fangio’s story is brilliantly charted in ‘Life of Speed’


Regarded for a long time as the greatest F1 racer of all time, this in-depth documentary charts the life and times of the man widely known as Il Maestro: Juan Manuel Fangio.

From his early days in road racing to the heights of grand prix glory via the birth of F1, the documentary goes into an impressive amount of detail covering his story. Fangio’s career had a sense of adventure and romance like few others, and, as a result, petrolheads and casual viewers alike will find it an extremely satisfying watch.

The film has fine roll call of talking heads, including Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart and Mika Häkkinen. Each gives their opinions on what made Fangio so great, as well as various others close to him who knew what made the ‘Old Man’ tick.

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Uppity: The Willy T Ribbs

Uppity Netflix screen

Uppity tells the story of Willy T. Ribbs, the first black driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

Fighting against deeply-ingrained racism in America and particularly the NASCAR scene, Ribbs fought his way up to the highest echelons of motorsport.

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Apart from Ribbs being a highly engaging and charismatic racer, the story of this film is about one black man’s fight against the racism ingrained in a whole sporting culture.
Despite death-threats, less-than-welcoming colleagues and his cars even being sabotaged by his own team, Ribbs managed to forge a successful career in the US.

The film is propelled along by contemporary interviews with Ribbs, the San Jose-native leaning in to whisper at key moments and add dramatic effect to what is an already great story.

Other contributions from key figures – such as Bernie Ecclestone, who handed Ribbs a Brabham test opportunity, illustrate what a unique journey the American’s was.

With a compelling narrative and plenty of archive footage, the film strikes a more upbeat tone than many of the more wistful documentaries on similar subjects.

Ribbs was a true trailblazer, making Uppity certainly worth the watch.

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The Gentleman Driver

Gentleman Driver poster

What started out as one of motorsport’s defining features has now shrunk to a sporting niche: the gentleman driver.

A handful of professional categories still rely on amateur drivers to make their operation go round and the World Endurance Championship is one of these.

The series follows four entrepreneurs as they follow their latent dream of achieving a (reasonably) high level of motorsport success, by virtue of providing serious funding to the teams they race for.

As team-mates to professional drivers, the rich business tycoons race haphazardly bomb round at 200mph, possibly whilst considering spreadsheets and budget forecasts.
While no doubt an interesting subject, whether it’s one that is fascinating enough for an 1hr 20min documentary is up for debate.

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The 24-Hour War

24 Hour War poster

Motor sport fans were recently treated to a dramatic portrayal of Ford taking on Ferrari at Le Sarthe with Le Mans 66.

Three years prior to the Hollywood blockbuster came the well-received 24 Hour War documentary on the same subject.

From the archive

There’s a strong argument for saying 24 Hour War is the ‘real’ story of Le Mans.

Although the weigh-in of (at the time) the world’s biggest car maker taking on a tiny company from Maranello might seem a bit one-sided, it makes for a great tale nonetheless.

The film gives greater detail of the build-up to Le Mans ’66, detailing the GT40’s development and victories at other famous races, in addition to a fascinating history of the two marques’ opposing ideas towards racing. The continued rivalry that followed the first Ford win is also documented.

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Shelby: American

Carrol Shelby

Shelby helped mastermind Ford ’66 Le Mans victory

ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

So you’ve watched The 24-Hour War, but now you want even more detail. Chassy Media, in addition to making motorsport documentaries on Willy T. Ribbs, Paul Newman and the above much-storied Ford vs Ferrari battle, outdo themselves again with a non-fiction film depicting the life of mechanic, engineer, designer and team owner Carroll Shelby.

An American racing hero, Shelby won Le Mans with Aston Martin in 1959, partnering Roy Salvadori before deciding to build his own car.

Shelby’s success would ultimately put him on a collision course with Enzo Ferrari, as the Ford Motor Company put him in charge of attempting to dethrone the Scuderia at Le Mans.

As the film puts it, Shelby had “a powerful idea that would change racing forever”. A riveting watch.

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