Brawn: The Impossible Story review: Keanu Reeves and Formula 1 is a winning combination
As perfect as a sports documentary can get.
Across four episodes, Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story brilliantly recounts the remarkable 2009 season – with a little help from Keanu Reeves.
For those in the dark, in December 2008, the Honda F1 team shockingly pulled out of the sport, putting 700 jobs at risk including that of star driver Jenson Button.
The man who was set to lead them, Ross Brawn, bought the team for £1 in order to just save his employees, but after Button won six of the first seven races, Brawn GP suddenly went from survivors to championship challengers.
The rags to riches story is one that fans will know well, yet, like the early series of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, this documentary manages to tell it in a way that will thrill both newbies and petrolheads alike.
Through extensive interviews with the likes of Button, Brawn, Rubens Barrichello, Christian Horner and Bernie Ecclestone, no stone is left unturned and the off-track politics is just as intriguing as the racing itself.
Reeves as the host and narrator of the series could have backfired massively, a flashy gimmick just to draw in casual audiences, but The Matrix and John Wick actor is pitch-perfect at every turn.
Rather than hogging the spotlight, he comes across as the world’s biggest motor racing fan, excited to know every little anecdote and allowing his interviewees to be what they are – the real stars of the show.
It’s not just the big names that are involved, with various members of Brawn’s team – from mechanics to the pit crew to their legal department – telling their small piece of history.
There’s more to the 2009 season than Brawn’s tale as well, with looks into Felipe Massa’s near-fatal crash in Hungary and the teams’ plot to form their own breakaway series in a situation not too dissimilar to football’s European Super League.
Perfectly presented from start to finish, there’s no over-dramatising events – a problem that has become all too common in Drive to Survive – and just as Brawn and Button’s success turned the writer of this very review into an F1 fanatic, one imagines this series can inspire a new generation too.
Overall, Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story is near-enough as perfect as a sports docuseries can get and after a year of non-stop Max Verstappen domination, it’s the fairytale F1 desperately needed reminding of.
Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story is out on Disney+ on November 15
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