Welcome to the F1Page store brought to you by Paul’s Formula 1 Page in association with Amazon.com.
Here is a small selection of Formula 1 related books, movies and video games, many of which I own myself, that may be of interest to anyone who follows Formula 1 racing. While you could just buy them all for yourself they will also make good gift ideas for the racing fanatic in your life.
I have also included a few of my favourite (non-F1) driving movies — each one features extended car chases and/or racing sequences. Some are famous, others are little known and often hard to find so I hope that you will like them.
Unless otherwise stated, all DVDs have Region 1 encoding for use in the US and Canada only and all videos are standard NTSC VHS format, also for use in the US and Canada only. The books, however, you can read almost anywhere!
If you already have all of my selections or would prefer something different don’t worry, Amazon.com offers millions of books, CDs, videos, DVDs, games and other items so there is bound to be something for you and you can select any of them — not just the items mentioned here by name. Just enter your requirements in the Amazon.com search form at the bottom of this page.
Formula 1 Books
Formula 1 DVDs
Formula 1 Saga – V. 1-4: The Complete Series (1992) – VHS ONLY
A four tape set showcasing the cars, drivers, thrills and Grand Prix of Formula 1 up to the end of the 1991 season. Each tape is also available separately, search for “Formula 1 Saga” in the video section of the Amazon search engine below.
Grand Prix (1966)
The classic Formula 1 racing movie, “Grand Prix” follows four professional race car drivers through a year of competition both on and off of the track.
The in car camera angles can beat anything shown on TV today and the sensation of speed is real. The location shots are superb and may be the only way to see some of the classic race tracks as they used to be before they were shortened and riddled with chicanes.
A high-speed, realistic drama about Grand Prix auto racing. James Garner stars as a race car driver competing for the world championship title in a series of races that takes him from Monte Carlo to Mexico City.
The cast of F1 drivers that worked on the film reads like a Who’s Who from the 60’s and includes Chris Amon, Bob Bondurant, Jack Brabham, Juan Manuel Fangio, Paul FrËre, Ritchie Ginther, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Dennis Hulme, Guy Ligier, Bruce McLaren, Peter Revson, Jochen Rindt, Jim Russell, Jo Schlesser and Jo Siffert.
This film won 3 Academy Awards: Best Sound, Best Sound Effects and Best Film Editing.
Driving (Non-F1) DVDs
Death Race 2000 (1975)
An outrageously satirical black-comedy about a futuristic international sport–an anything-goes cross-country car race where drivers score points for hitting pedestrians–stars David Carradine as a hero behind the wheel and Sylvester Stallone as his nemesis. The more vulnerable the victim the higher the points score.
This is great fun and the scenes of carnage, though plentiful, are tame by today’s standards.
Admittedly not the best movie that I have ever seen but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and I did enjoy the racing sequences, both real and computer generated (CG). The crashes were almost entirely CG and so were very spectacular if not all that plausible.
High points of the film include some cameo appearances by past and present CART and F1 drivers and an excellent episode showing the pre-race preparations and superstitions of a few current CART stars. The night-time race car chase through the streets of Chicago was also well done.
For those familiar with North American racetracks there are some interesting continuity errors to look out for where scenes from different tracks have been edited together so that a grandstand from one circuit appears at several races. You can also see the film’s Formula 1 roots — it was originally going to be about the F1 circus — as there is some footage from an F1 Grand Prix mixed in.
The DVD contains quite a few deleted segments which would have helped carry the story if they had been left in.
The Driver (1978)
Ryan O’Neal stars as The Driver, a conniving and talented getaway driver who’s continually on the run from a detective (Bruce Dern) who is obsessed with capturing him.
This is (IMHO) one of the most underrated movies of all time, the plot is well written with some unexpected twists to keep you interested but the car chase scenes, of which there are quite a few, are some of the best ever filmed. One sequence in particular where The Driver calmly destroys a Mercedes one panel at a time during a high speed “audition” for a terrified prospective employer will always be the ultimate example of stunt driving for me.
The Italian Job (1969)
If you ever saw this film then you wanted to own a Mini Cooper. If you have ever owned a Mini (I did) then you will love this film.
A great cast and a simple premise – create a monster traffic jam to divert attention whilst you steal some gold bullion and then drive away with it. How? Without spoiling the ending I can say that this film involves a lot of off-road driving in the centre of Turin.
Internal countercasting is a big plus in this caper comedy: where else are you going to find Benny Hill and Michael Caine in the same movie? Peter Collinson directs those two as well as Noel Coward, Raf Vallone, Rossano Brazzi, and Irene Handl in a story about the effort to steal gold bullion from the town of Turin. Screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin eschews heist film tradition by placing more emphasis on the gang’s getaway than on the complex robbery itself. The film’s main claim to comic fame is a wild chase scene set against an enormous traffic jam. The rest of the movie is less memorable, but that extended action sequence is well worth the wait. –Tom Keogh
Le Mans (1971)
A classic auto-racing movie starring Steve McQueen, Le Mans puts the audience in the driver’s seat for what is often called the most gruelling race in the world. The French auto race Le Mans is a 24-hour affair through the French countryside, a demanding ordeal for any driver. McQueen (Bullitt, The Great Escape) plays the American driver, locked in an intense grudge match with his German counterpart even as he wrestles with the guilt over causing an accident that cost the life of a close friend. McQueen is his usual stoic magnetic self, and the racing sequences are among the best ever committed to film. A solid character-driven story combines with raw visceral power to make Le Mans a rich tapestry of action and thrills. –Robert Lane
Less than 10 minutes long, this is a classic piece of driving footage that is a must for every true collector. French film director Claude Lelouch (Les MisÈrables, Un homme et une femme) straps a camera to the front of his Ferrari and races through the streets of Paris to meet his wife. No special effects or closed roads here, this is real. When the film was first screened he was arrested, it was worth it!
Robert De Niro stars as an American intelligence operative adrift in irrelevance since the end of the Cold War–much like a masterless samurai, a.k.a. “ronin.” With his services for sale, he joins a renegade, international team of fellow covert warriors with nothing but time on their hands. Their mission, as defined by the woman who hires them (Natascha McElhone), is to get hold of a particular suitcase that is equally coveted by the Russian Mafia and Irish terrorists. As the scheme gets underway, De Niro’s lone wolf strikes up a rare friendship with his French counterpart (Jean Reno), gets into a more-or-less romantic frame of mind with McElhone, and asserts his experience on the planning and execution of the job–going so far as to publicly humiliate one team member (Sean Bean) who is clearly out of his league.
The story is largely unremarkable–there’s an obligatory twist midway through that changes the nature of the team’s business–but legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate) leaps at the material, bringing to it an honest tension and seasoned, breathtaking skill with precision-action direction. The centrepiece of the movie is an honest-to-God car chase that is the real thing: not the how-can-we-top-the-last-stunt cartoon nonsense of Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon), but a pulse-quickening, kinetic dance of superb montage and timing. In a sense, Ronin is almost Frankenheimer’s self-quoting version of a John Frankenheimer film. There isn’t anything here he hasn’t done before, but it’s sure great to see it all again. –Tom Keogh
Vanishing Point (1971)
Art film and road movie collide for Vanishing Point, an existential car chase across the desert in a post Easy Rider America. Barry Newman stars as Kowalski, a taciturn driver who bets that he can drive a new Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. He loads up on amphetamines and begins his odyssey through the contemporary west while a funky black DJ (Cleavon Little) turns the driver into a folk hero and broadcasts advice on dodging the cops. It’s like a counterculture precursor to Smokey and the Bandit, with the road as the last bastion of freedom and the DJ as a combination commentator and mystical guide.
The slim plot offers a network of society dropouts that aid the “last free Man on Earth” (as the DJ describes him) on his obscure but obviously symbolic quest while flashbacks paint Kowalski as a world-weary hero. It doesn’t really make much sense, but the amazing car chases and excellent stunt work are stunningly set against the American west, beautifully captured by cinematographer John A. Alonzo. Vanishing Point is most assuredly a product of its time, the heady, anything-goes era of rebellion in the early 1970s. –Sean Axmaker
Paul Newman plays a racecar driver, Frank Capua, who steps out of his professional and personal isolation long enough to marry a single mother, Elora (Joanne Woodward). The two have a brief but happy life together with Elora’s 13-year-old son, Charley (Richard Thomas), but it comes to an end when Frank goes back on the racing circuit and Elora assuages her loneliness in the arms of her husband’s chief rival, Luther (Robert Wagner). Frank checks out, and Charley travels across the country to find him and effect a reconciliation.
A touching movie (with some good racing footage) by director James Goldstone, Winning is about the real pain of people who have become used to a certain way of safe, arm’s-length living, and who have to learn to get beyond it to find redemption in love and faith. Good performances by Newman, Woodward, and Thomas, who makes a terrific impression in one of his earliest roles. –Tom Keogh
Racing Video Games
If you already have my selections or would prefer something different don’t worry, Amazon.com offers more than 4.7 million books, CDs, DVDs, videos and other titles so there is bound to be something for you and you can select any of them — not just items mentioned here by name. Just enter your requirements in the Amazon search engine below.