Grand Prix: The Killing Years

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This 2010 BBC documentary shows the incredible dangers that the early Grand Prix drivers faced and the changes to motor racing that soon followed in order to protect the lives of those who compete in the sport.

This enthralling and at times shocking documentary features the stories of mechanics, journalists and many famous former drivers such as three times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, John Surtees OBE and twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

Throughout the 1960s and into the early 70s, it was very common for racing drivers to be killed whilst racing. These crashes for often broadcast live to millions of viewers. Whether it be poor track design, mechanical failure or incompetence, dozens of drivers lost their lives during this period.

After becoming so angered by the continued deaths of their friends and colleagues, a number of drivers took action. Both the Belgian and German Grand Prix were boycotted as drivers insisted on better safety.

‘Something was terribly wrong. I loved the sport, but it was wrong. I prayed to God whether or not to continue.’ – Emerson Fittipaldi

‘It made me angry. The sport was way wrong.’ – Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

This is the story of those who tragically lost their lives in front of millions, and the men who rose up to fight against the continuation of such a frighteningly dangerous era in motor sport.

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