2008 F1 official DVD season review: “Luck does not come into it”

2008 F1 official DVD season review: \"Luck does not come into it\" (click to enlarge)

2008 F1 official DVD season review: Luck does not come into it

The 2008 F1 season review DVD has a lot of action to pack in and so, for the first time ever, it has been released as a two-disc set.

The quality of the footage is usually excellent on theses DVDs – have FOM kept that up while fixing the niggling faults that have afflicted recent F1 season DVDs?

A whopping four hours and 15 minutes of footage spread across two discs makes the 2008 review, by my reckoning, the longest official F1 DVD yet. It boasts much ‘never before seen’ material including another new angle on the Sebastien Bourdais-Felipe Massa incident at Fuji.

But a lack of material has never been a weakness of official F1 DVDs: the biggest bugbear for me has been the style of commentary and presentation.

Fixing the flaws

Happily the producers have retained what was good about the commentary (the excellent Ben Edwards) and discarded the bad: he no-longer has to narrate the review as if everything is happening for the first time right in front of him. He’s finally allowed to use the past tense.

This may not sound like much, but watching a DVD of events that happened months ago gets rather boring when the commentator has to pretend that everything is unfolding before his eyes. To see what I mean, watch Robert Kubica’s crash at Montreal on the 2007 DVD.

They have also almost entirely weaned themselves off the habit of intruding on the race footage with painfully unsubtle music. Apart from the odd montage the whimsy is kept to a minimum. Another plus point.

With these irritations out of the way I found the 2008 F1 review much easier to enjoy than its predecessors.

New footage

The 18 races are split between the two discs. That means you have to changes discs halfway through watching the full review – but how often do you watch a four-hour DVD from end-to-end anyway? It’s split up into one chapter per race with sub-chapters for ease of navigation.

Race highlights benefit from the full gamut of Formula One Management’s official video and audio, much of which does not get broadcast during live race coverage. Among the interesting material I don’t recall having seen or heard before were problems on the start gantry at Istanbul, Adrian Sutil’s pit-to-car radio at Monaco, Steadicam footage of the aftermath of Hamilton’s crash at Montreal, Hamilton talking to his brother after winning the British Grand Prix and onboard from Timo Glock’s final lap at Interlagos. There’s probably much more besides.

Of course, it helps that 2008 was largely a very entertaining season. Even if the 2002 season review was up to the same standard as this it still wouldn’t be any fun to watch.

The second DVD also contains a series of features on Ross Brawn, Force India, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastien Bourdais and Fernando Alonso. These were good, though I suppose I’ll only every watch them once, and for that I’m grateful they’re no longer part of the main season review as they have been before.


The narrative tends to steer away from the political issues of the year, and the fall-out from the Max Mosley sadomasochism affair is largely avoided. I suppose if they’d included it the DVD might need an adult certificate rating.

There is plenty of footage of the year’s most controversial moments including a shot of the infamous Sebastien Bourdais-Felipe Massa crash which I’m sure was neither broadcast at the time nor included in the package of clips released by FOM afterwards in reaction to criticism of the stewards’ decision. The rearward video angle from Bourdais’ car clearly shows him hugging the kerb on the inside of the track, doing his utmost to keep clear of Massa’s car.

Technically, the video and audio quality seem quite satisfactory – however I’m no an expert on that. The onboard camera footage is discernibly poorer quality to the external shots, but that’s the same during live broadcasts.

There are clear challenges ahead in this area: F1 is dragging its feet on sorting out high-definition coverage and as soon as it is widely available they will need to ensure the season reviews are also available in a popular HD format.

That aside I don’t think there is anything more you could reasonably expect from this product. Many of the complaints I had about past DVDs do not apply to this year’s review and I think they’re moving in the right direction. Above all, it captures the confusion and emotion of those intense final laps at Interlagos perfectly, and that is the single memory most people will hold over from the remarkable 2008 F1 season.

F1 Fanatic rating

Rating five out of five

Buy the official 2008 F1 DVD season review

“Luck does not come into it” – The official 2008 F1 season review DVD
Published by 2 Entertain

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31 comments on 2008 F1 official DVD season review: “Luck does not come into it”

  1. awesome review, but there where mistakes in the dvd

    MALAYSIA – hamlton was 1st and then pitted
    “hamilton managed to be in 2nd before pitting…

    “vettel finished 10th” – when he didn’t, he finished 8TH

  2. loo9n said on 23rd December 2008, 9:56

    great improvement this year..
    i don’t remember piquet spinning
    on the warm-up lap at singapore..
    he really made a mess of that race..

  3. Just finished watching it and thought it was disappointing and made an otherwise exciting season somewhat dull.

    Very few unique pieces of footage which we haven’t seen before even on the live-feed or on F1.com. The only few I could think of was the starting issue in Instanbul and the brief conversation between Lewis and his brother at the end of the race in Silverstone. Where was the footage on Piquet’s spin on the first lap of Brazil which we never got to see for example?

    And the bias towards Valencia was cringe-worthy. The drivers and managers describing how it was a brilliant venue to be etc?!!

    The ‘extra features’ were severely lacking as well. Ross brawn being all optimistic about Honda’s chances for next season? Alonso looking through some pictures? Bourdais talking about, er, sorry, what was he talking about again?!!

    Seriously struggled to remain awake whilst watching it. Too long and not enough new footage. I would seriously wait for this to be heavily reduced before purchasing, even if it has become a yearly ritual for most folk.

  4. david said on 2nd January 2009, 1:49

    what is the song on the lewis goes back in time segment

  5. Larry said on 5th January 2009, 19:18

    Does anybody know if there is an HD (Blu ray) version coming soon?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th January 2009, 20:09

      I haven’t heard anything about a HD version and I wouldn’t bet a penny on it happening. Formula One Group are so far behind in adopting new technologies it’s beyond a joke. I’d be surprised if the 2009 review comes out on Blu-Ray…

  6. Dazza said on 6th January 2009, 11:01

    just posted this on another item but Zavvi are selling the 2008 F1 review DVD for £7.99 if anyone hasnt already got a copy, only in store they’ve stopped taking orders on their website as they are going under

  7. Journeyer said on 8th January 2009, 13:44

    Keith, not to pitpick or anything, but you said:

    The 2008 F1 season review DVD has a lot of action to pack in and so, for the first time ever, it has been released as a two-disc set.

    Wasn’t 2007 also a two-disc set?

  8. Jonesracing82 said on 11th January 2009, 6:30

    nope ’08 was the 1st 2 disc one, tho it’s still not released here in oz! WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The DVD was awful. The narration somehow manages to take the excitement and drama out of the races with awkward commentary that is always trailing the action. It puts you to sleep. The recaps are totally incoherent—if I did not watch the race I would have no idea what happened.

    • Completely agree! This year’s review doesn’t seem to have earned itself many positive reviews and I’m a bit surprised that Keith gave it 5/5

      The Autosport forums took a distinct dislike to it. Pretty much sums up all my views there (page two onwards)

  10. This dvd is an incredible disappointment and a waste of money. Yet again F1 could have done so much more and succeeded only in coming up embarrassingly short…

  11. Larry said on 2nd February 2009, 15:36

    What an exiting season. I bought it, played on my Blu Ray player and HD TV and the picture quality is really bad. I was disappointed. They are presenting all GP on HD format and are not able to provide fans a better season review DVD quality. Shame on them!

  12. AfroCoder said on 22nd February 2009, 13:51

    Got the DVD.
    Still shake like I don’t already know the outcome whenever I watch it.

  13. AfroCoder said on 22nd February 2009, 13:55

    However, I’ll add that yes, the commentary itself wasn’t as good as ITV’s during the season, bar all the annoying commercial breaks. Still brought back some fond pictures of the season.
    Wasn’t happy in particular with the amount and angle of some footage though.

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