10 Best Documentary Shows Like Formula 1: Drive To Survive

Thanks to great insights and behind-the-scenes drama, Netflix docuseries, Formula 1: drive to survive, has been credited with increasing the sport’s fan base. Since 2018, the docu-series have covered the intense world championships as well as the lives of the drivers and the people who enable them to perform at their best.

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With its 8.6 IMDb rating, the docuseries is television gold. But are there other similar shows like this? Well, there are a few notable ones. Shows similar to Netflix’s hit are mostly those that explore the drama, tactics, and behind-the-scenes personal lives of sports teams or personalities as they prepare for competitions.


All or Nothing (2017 – Present)

Stream on Amazon Prime

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal in All Or Nothing

Focusing on a different team each season, the docuseries covers coaching style, daily practices and player feuds. The most popular seasons so far have been those featuring football teams such as Juventus, Machester City and Tottenham Hotspurs.

With tough coaches and players constantly feeling the need to go rogue, there’s never a dull moment in All or nothing. Most of the teams covered also have a lot of flaws and the process of trying to fix them just adds to the fun. Given how smooth the process is, Amazon’s offering is good enough to easily convert casual fans into loyal fans.

Bravo (2020)

Stream on Netflix

A training session in the Netflix documentary Chher

The camera follows various college cheerleading teams as they prepare for the Daytona Beach event as well as a chance to win the title of National Cheerleading Association champion. And there is more than learning to dance.

Most sports documentaries only portray the players as the real stars, but through Applaud, it’s becoming clear that most sports wouldn’t be the same if game day activities were confined solely to the field. And while cheerleading may seem like a simple task when seen live or in some of the best sports movies, Applaud triggers the realization that there is a lot more work needed.

Last Chance U (2016-2020)

Stream on Netflix

A soccer player raising his clenched fist in a photo from Last Chance U

The first two seasons take viewers through the grueling football schedules of Jones County Junior College and East Mississippi Community College, while the next two focus on Independence Community College in Kansas and Laney College in Oakland, California. .

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What Last chance U excels at showing what football looks like without the marketing and star power. Although derailed by limited budgets and resources, everyone still has the desire to make it big. There’s no shortage of drama either, as fans are introduced to loud players as well as controversial ones.

Grand Prix Driver (2019)

Stream on Amazon Prime

A Formula 1 car in Grand Prix Driver (2019)

After a few bad seasons, the McLaren team promises to do better. Narrated by one of the best actors of the 80s, Michael Douglas, the show follows the team as they embark on a journey of redemption.

Great documentaries are defined by their storytelling and as someone who has made a career out of delivering great scenes of dialogue, Douglas makes Grand Prix driver a worthy watch. Loyal Formula 1 fans might find it weak compared to Drive to survive but casual viewers will have fun as they learn all the basics

The Test: A New Era for Team Australia (2020)

Stream on Amazon Prime

Members of the Australian cricket team take to the field in The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team

After a famous ball tampering scandal, the Australian cricket team is on the road to redemption. And given all the negative press, the process is far from easy.

Since the docuseries is produced by Australia’s governing body of cricket, all the footage fans would want is provided. While the team isn’t fully restored to its former glory, the sequence of events makes it impossible not to appreciate everyone’s hard work. Nothing seems rushed either.

The Playbook (2020)

Stream on Netflix

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho offers advice in The Playbook

The game book focuses on popular coaches from different sports, giving them plenty of time to share their tactics and principles. The show features five coaches in total.

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Most sports documentaries rightly overlook tactics for fear that revealing too much will have adverse effects. game book, on the other hand, takes a carefree approach. Coaches who are still working, like AS Roma’s Jose Mourinho, aren’t afraid to define their strategies and as a result, they turn out to be more interesting.

Fearless (2016)

Stream on Netflix

The Bullriders compete in the Las Vegas Championship in Fearless (2016)

A group of professional American and Brazilian Bull Riders are preparing for the championship in Las Vegas in this series. And the legendary champion Adriano Moraes is also very present.

Bullfighting doesn’t get much mainstream press, but the six-part documentary shows just how entertaining the sport can be. What’s more impressive is that the returns are pretty low, but players are pushing themselves to the limit to claim victory. Viewers thus have the impression that passion counts more in this sport than money.

Le Mans: racing is everything (2017)

Stream on Amazon Prime

A driver celebrates his victory at Le Mans: Racing Is Everything

The famous Le Mans racing competition is explored in detail in Ford V Ferrari, one of the best car movies of all time, but this Amazon docu-series does it even better. Over several episodes, six teams are tracked from Kuala Lumpur to the French Riviera in pursuit of glory.

The Petrolheads are guaranteed to have fun watching Racing is everything due to how easily it juggles speed and engineering. The importance of hard work and intense preparation is also strongly emphasized. And just like Drive to survive, behind-the-scenes major and minor workers are recognized.

Hard Knocks (2001 – Present)

Stream on HBO Max

A Dallas Cowboys player in Hard Knocks

Different National Football League (NFL) teams are reviewed each season, with events focusing primarily on preparations for upcoming seasons. Additionally, a few undrafted players are featured.

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It’s no surprise that hard knocks has been on the air for more than two decades. Given the amount of league detail, fans of other sports might struggle to watch, but those who love football will still yearn for more. By switching between education and entertainment, the series excels where others fail.

Naomi Osaka (2021)

Stream on Netflix

Naomi Osaka rests during a workout in her docuseries

The life of the world’s biggest tennis star is explored over two years. Viewers not only learn about the extent of his work ethic, but his personal life as well.

Achieving so much success at a young age can come with its own set of challenges and that’s what Naomi Osaka explore so well. Ultimately, fans appreciate how a young star can handle so much weight and still be able to perform. And while it’s mostly a Naomi story, the former stars also get a nod.

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