F1 season review DVDs just keep getting longer. The 2009 edition – weakly titled “Not in a hurry” – clocks in at more than four-and-a-half hours including extras.
The tightly-regulated broadcasting of Formula 1 means this is the only way you can buy video footage of Jenson Button’s championship victory and all the other highlights from the 2009 F1 season.
Happily they’ve done a decent, if unspectacular, job of the discs.
The first thing many fans will notice about the reviews is a new option allowing the narration to be turned off entirely. This means you can re-watch the highlights with just the engine noise and team radio.
This is an interesting addition but as I enjoyed Ben Edwards’ narration I didn’t use it much. Since the 2008 F1 DVD the producers stopped having Edwards deliver his commentary as if it were live. They also dropped the annoying practice of mixing cheesy music into the race footage, both of which are to the benefit of the production.
The picture quality is as good as you’re going to get from a DVD but here I come to my first grumble – where is the HD version? It’s high time we were able to buy these reviews on Blu-Ray or as an HD download.
FOA have total access to footage from F1 races so the breadth of material here is second to none. Indeed you have to say it’s a pity more of it doesn’t make it into the original live broadcasts.
Major incidents – like the Robert Kubica-Jarno Trulli crash at Shanghai, or the first-lap mayhem at Spa and Interlagos – are covered from multiple angles around the track and onboard the cars.
Continuing the practice from recent reviews there’s a separate onboard footage feature where F1 driver narrate different highlights from the season shot from their cars.
There’s a wealth of pit-to-driver radio as well including some entertaining and revealing moments. Such as an impatient Button hurrying his team mate along at Catalunya (“Come one Rubens, you can go quicker than this”), Massa being urged to save fuel in the same race, and an angry Lewis Hamilton bemoaning the state of his McLaren at Istanbul (“I’m heavier than a fricking boat!”). And best of all, Rob Smedley’s celebrated “Felipe baby” remark at Malaysia is there to enjoy again.
Of course the same two are also the subject of the most chilling moment in the review – Massa’s horrifying crash at the Hungaroring. The entire incident is analysed in detail with the on-board traces showing how Massa kept accelerating – while also braking – after he was hit by the spring dropped by Barrichello’s car.
Generally the review does a good job of analysing the major events of the year. The Hamilton/Trulli controversy at Melbourne benefits from a reconstruction of the moment Hamilton let Trulli past complete with audio from both teams, as well as substantial footage from Hamilton’s press conference at Malaysia.
But whereas past season reviews would cover everything going on in the sport – including the political developments around the racing – they seem to be deliberately overlooked by newer reviews. The entire FOTA/FIA row and the breakaway threat is ignored, as is Jean Todt’s election as FIA president.
The bonus extras vary in quality, particularly the hastily-assembled “sorry to lose you” features on Toyota and BMW, which are just short video montages set to music. A better example is the ‘Forza Felipe’ feature which covers his recovery from injury and includes a lengthy interview.
There’s plenty of new material here to keep fans happy and the lengthy review does a thorough job of reviewing an often exciting season. If you’ve got the review, please post your thoughts on it in the comments.
F1 Fanatic rating
More F1 DVD reviews
- F1 2009 DVD review available to order
- 2008 F1 official DVD season review: “Luck does not come into it”
- Kimi made it at last! (2007 F1 DVD)
- Once Again! (2006 F1 DVD)
- Fantastic Fernando! (2005 F1 DVD)
- Michael does it again! (2004 F1 DVD)
- Michael & co. the dream team (2003 F1 DVD)
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