Buy, beg, borrow or steal this video

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

I did a review of the latest Lewis Hamilton DVD earlier this week and although it’s not bad the lack of racing footage on it is a disappointment.

But if you like the sound of a video with more of a historical angle, which packs in four decades of F1 racing action, I’ve got a great pick for you. And with a bit of luck you can pick it up for pennies…

I first started watching Formula 1 in 1989 and the following year’s season ended with a milestone 500th world championship Grand Prix for the sport.

To commemorate that a video history of the first 41 championship seasons was produced called “The history of Formula One”. It was narrated by F1 journalist Nigel Roebuck and with contributions from the BBC F1 commentator Murray Walker.

At some point it must have been on television and I recorded a copy, which I watched and re-watched until the tape stopped working.

Browsing through eBay a couple of years ago I spotted a copy listed for a pound or so and immediately bidded a tenner to ensure I won the copy. When I finally got to watch the tape I was scarcely disappointed and found I could still recite whole chunks of the narrative.

Some of the period commentary is particularly memorable. Here’s Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1957

Moss was back in the race but the delay had put him in ninth place. Bira now led the field and Moss set off in pursuit. One by one, he overhauled his rivals and, shattering the lap record four times, finally went to the front once more. Setting up a commanding lead, Moss came in to take on ten gallons of fuel and a bottle of pop, in 27 seconds. Some going! Then, back to those final laps and a place in motor racing history.

Hardly any of the great moments from F1’s first four decades are missed. It has Juan Manuel Fangio’s great win at the Nurburgring in 1957, Jochen Rindt passing Jack Brabham on the final lap at Monaco in 1970, Gilles Villeneuve leading a five-car train across the line at Jarama in 1981…

Watching this colourful and vividly narrated video over and over again certainly played a big part in making me the F1 fan I am today. It would be great to see a follow-up to it – although that would require FOM to let people use their F1 race footage, so don’t hold your breath.

But do grab a copy of this video if you can. I’ve found one copy on Amazon which you can buy via the link below (which F1 Fanatic will earn commission on at no cost to you):

The History Of Formula One

And there’s also one copy on eBay:

The History of Formula One VHS PAL

If you buy, or if you’ve seen it, I’d like to hear about it!

Here’s a scan of the sleeve:

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