“Who Else But Schumacher?” – 1994 F1 season video review

The title of this video is not in the best of taste, given the death of Ayrton Senna in the third round of the season. Nor does it do much credit to Damon Hill, who finished the championship within a point of Michael Schumacher.

Sadly this pivotal year in F1 history (given the deaths of Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, and the huge consequences for the sport), is given at best an adequate treatment in video. Although the deaths of the two driver are handled sensitively. Unlike in previous years, the footage of their accidents is cut from the film – a telling insight into how standards changed in the twelve years between this and the deaths of Gilles Villeneuve and Ricardo Paletti.

1994 was more significant than entertaining. Perhaps as a result the commentary and presentation on this video are rather bland, but thankfully filler footage is kept to a minimum. It does raise a question as whether these tapes should be seen as entertainment or historical document. If the latter, then the circumstances of the deaths of two drivers is not handled in enough detail. If the former, then the balance is about right.

Best bit: The tense stand-off between Hill and Schumacher in the pouring rain at Japan, when Hill narrowly edged Schumacher on aggregate time, to everyone’s astonishment.

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3 comments on “Who Else But Schumacher?” – 1994 F1 season video review

  1. Stuart said on 11th August 2011, 22:30

    This is the season of my birth, and I think they handle all the bad accidents and tradgedies with calm and control.

    Usually the music is absolutely dire but to be honest I liked some of the little dittys at some points. Especially the tune during the Belgian GP practise. It reminds me of of True Faith by New Order.

    It could do with more features about the drivers merry go round. But the start of the video does give a lot of infomation about the teams launches.

    One gripe is that it doesnt give much info about Pacific, Simtek, Larrousse and all the other small teams

    All in all an alright video and handles the tragedys well

  2. Hunt the Shunt (@hunt-the-shunt) said on 30th December 2012, 10:59

    This is probably my favourite Season Review on VHS. Its the first one I bought and at a good length. The Imola race and subsequent tragedy is handled well and the incidental music is typical mid 90’s style of the time but great nontheless.

    I enjoyed this review tape so much I watched it on the day of my driving test to help calm my nerves during the waiting period. It must have worked because on that day I passed!

    I think the 1994 and 1995 tapes are the best out there!

  3. FOM Fan (@) said on 8th August 2013, 14:20

    I must admit, the pacing of the video is better than some of the early ones and also the more recent ones (maybe the semi-present-tense commentary helps, rather than past tense), in that there isn’t a statement, followed by 20 secs of silence as you watch the incident that’s just been described to you so you already know whats going to happen, which is a technique i’ve noticed the more recent Edwards/Buxton reviews do. The ones of this era tend to say whats happening as it’s happening, with a slight past-tense feel, which overall makes it more exciting and improves the pacing. It’s not as in depth as other season reviews, but I feel they’ve got the level of detail just right.

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