Ferrari: Race to Immortality
Blu Ray, 92 minutes
© 2017 Universal Pictures

The 1950s marked the dawn of the iconic Scuderia Ferrari brand in the Formula 1 World Championship, a time which was also the sport’s deadliest decade.

As cars pushed the edge of human design creativity, the star drivers navigated the odds between life and death.

At the centre of the Ferrari story is Enzo Ferrari, the patriarch who dared to dream that his family name could one day become one of the icons of racing and sports car production.

Unfortunately Daryl Goodrich’s film provides very little insight into the man behind the manufacturer, his origins or motivations – perhaps in stark contrast to what the outstanding The 24 Hour War managed to do. Instead there are some audioclips and onscreen quotes, but no real insight into a man whose passion was spurred on by the tragic death of his twin brother Dino.

Granted, Enzo Ferrari remains a legend of motorsport. His genius was to run both an iconic racing team alongside a successful car-making business. Ferrari’s motorsport achievements were its greatest marketing tool.

Racing remained Ferrari’s true passion, and the list of drivers who raced for the Scuderia in its early days were truly among the greats of the sport in that era. Tragically, the list of fatalities among them is more tragic still. Enzo expected nothing less than total commitment and he pushed his drivers, sometimes it could be said, to their deaths.

The film is therefore drawn too much towards the horrific accidents that blighted Formula 1’s early decades. Their coverage, sadly feels more snuff film than really carrying the gravitas that they should have.

Released hot on the heels of Williams and McLaren – both of which are also documentaries that explore the men behind the teams’ names – Ferrari: Race to Immortality runs a poor and distant third.

Despite the odd glimpse of the inner man, this falls well short of the psychological study that it could have been. Enzo Ferrari is the documentary’s protagonist, yet he remains God-like and inscrutable rather than the passionate genius and ultimately flawed bastard that he actually was.

As well-crafted as this feels, this documentary is one for the tifosi. Ferrari fans will lap it up.

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.