1989 was a classic season, hinging on the rivalry of two of F1’s greatest drivers. This video gamely tries to compile all the relevant footage into one hour but it just doesn’t quite work. Instead the hour is a breathless rush through incidents and accidents of the year without ever really making sense. This is mainly because there is simply too much going on to be crammed into 55 minutes, with most races receiving 2 or 3 minutes at most.
Consequently to watch the whole tape in one sitting is confusing rather than enlightening. Although shorn of the filler footage that blights some of the FOCA tapes, most races are reduced to the start, the crashes and finish. That said, all the key incidents are here and casual fans will find this far more enjoyable than wading through the three-hour long FOCA tape from that season. The commentary is informative, if bland, but the Senna/Prost rivalry is well documented.
Whilst this could never be a ‘definitive’ tape there is still much to recommend ‘Duel of The Champions’, particularly if you want to demonstrate to a friend that F1 can be exciting. Given that this can be regularly seen on auction sites and charity shops for a couple of quid it’s a worthwhile purchase.
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