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Grand Prix: The Killer Years (2011)

This documentary focuses on the dangers of the early Grand Prix racing and the actions that followed in order to make Formula 1 safer. Former drivers, mechanics and journalists share their ... See full synopsis »

Director:

Richard Heap
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denise Cooke Denise Cooke ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
Chris Hilton Chris Hilton ... Himself - Author 'Grand Prix Century'
David Tremayne David Tremayne ... Himself - Grand Prix Journalist 'The Independent'
Tony Brooks Tony Brooks ... Himself - Grand Prix Driver 1956-1961
Len Terry Len Terry ... Himself - Lotus Chief Designer 1963-1965
David Sims David Sims ... Himself - Lotus Mechanic 1962-1972 (as David 'Beaky' Sims)
John Surtees ... Himself - World Champion 1964 (as John Surtees OBE)
Emerson Fittipaldi Emerson Fittipaldi ... Himself - World Champion 1972, 1974
Jacky Ickx Jacky Ickx ... Himself - Grand Prix Driver 1967-1979
Jackie Stewart ... Himself - World Champion 1969, 1971, 1973 (as Sir Jackie Stewart OBE)
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Jean-Pierre Beltoise ... Himself - Grand Prix Driver 1967-1974
Jackie Oliver Jackie Oliver ... Himself - Grand Prix Driver 1967-1977
Rene Bovy Rene Bovy ... Himself - General Secretary Spa Francorchamp Circuit 1966
Jacqueline Beltoise Jacqueline Beltoise ... Herself
Nina Rindt Nina Rindt ... Herself - Jochen Rindt's wife
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Storyline

This documentary focuses on the dangers of the early Grand Prix racing and the actions that followed in order to make Formula 1 safer. Former drivers, mechanics and journalists share their insights and experiences on a cruel era, that became the stepping stone for bettering F1 safety.

In the 60s and early 70s it was common for Grand Prix drivers to be killed while racing, often televised for millions to see. Mechanical failure, lethal track design, fire and incompetence snuffed out dozens of young drivers. They had become almost expendable as eager young wannabes queued up at the top teams' gates waiting to take their place. This is the story of when Grand Prix was out of control. Featuring many famous drivers including three times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees OBE, this exciting but shocking film explores how Grand Prix drivers grew sick of their closest friends being killed and finally took control of their destiny.

...

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Genres:

Documentary

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Forma 1: Vészterhes évek See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Racing and danger
19 September 2014 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

As a kid growing up, Grand Prix racing was regarded as the most dangerous sports in the world. Of course during the era I watched the sport on television fatalities were thankfully rare, yet a few years earlier motor racing was lethal and this documentary demonstrates it.

The punch in the gut is that some of the revered team owners come across as callous, designing cars on the edge with no real testing and the drivers as guinea pigs. When it comes to safety, they turned a blind eye and deaf ears.

Some ex world champions from the 1960s and 1970s are on hand to give their views of Grand Prix safety. Others are shown in archive footage or it is left to their widows. The fatal crashes and fires make this difficult viewing.

The tracks were dangerous but track owners did not want to spend money on safety. There was little or no first aid and safety equipment. Team owners were unconcerned. The drivers knew that one shunt and that could be the end of them and it was left to them to make the initial moves to improve their own safety as it were their colleagues that were dying throughout the season.

An interesting and informative documentary and thank goodness that Formula 1 has moved on from those years.


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