2011 F1 season review - He's done it again

“He’s done it again” – official 2011 F1 season DVD reviewed

ReviewPosted on Author Keith Collantine

2011 F1 season review - He's done it again
2011 F1 season review - He's done it again

The official F1 season review is available in high definition for the first time. But is it good enough to persuade you to part with your hard-earned pennies?

The review itself gets off to a rather plodding start with a few dreary interviews. But with 19 races to pack in it speeds along.

So much so that the a proper introduction to the season – recapping driver moves and major technical changes – is entirely absent, which feels like a strange omission.

However there is some testing footage, including a brief glimpse of Robert Kubica in the car he sadly never got to race this year.

Race highlights

The real meat of the review is the race highlights and these are up to the usual high standard. Ben Edwards – BBC’s commentator for next season – does a first-rate job. Will Buxton supplies further background between the races.

There is no shortage of great material and a generous sprinkling of footage and team radio that hasn’t been shown before.

Monaco stands out as one of the best examples. It comes to life with plenty of interesting snippets from the drivers and the teams – particularly when the race is red-flagged, prompting some of them to wonder if the Grand Prix is over.

There is also a revealing interview with the McLaren drivers following the Spanish Grand Prix where they talk quite candidly about their debriefings and being stuck with insufficiently long gear ratios.

New footage

Among the other interesting moments revealed in more detail is the radio exchange between Mark Webber and the Red Bull pit wall in the closing stages at Silverstone – where the team told him not to race team mate Sebastian Vettel.

It begins with Vettel noticing the arrival of Webber on his tail and warning his race engineer to “be wise”. He is told, “we understand what you mean, we’re controlling the situation.”

Webber is warned first by his race engineer and then repeatedly by team principal Christian Horner to stay three seconds behind his team mate. “Maintain the gap, yeah,” acknowledges Webber, while clambering over Vettel’s rear wing.

Webber stays silent after the race while Adrian Newey tells him: “Sorry about that. We compromised Seb’s first stop to allow you the optimum stop from intermediates to slicks. I think it’s only fair that we held at the end.”

Among the previously unseen moments from the season is Felipe Massa’s collision with Jarno Trulli at Monza, for which the Ferrari driver can consider himself lucky not to have been given a penalty. A furious Trulli demanded he be handed one.

We also get more material from Suzuka, including Sergio Perez’s joke at his team’s expense and Vettel’s celebratory doughnuts after sealing his second title.

The qualifying incident between Webber, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka is revealingly played from the Red Bull driver’s point of view, along with his radio messages.

At Korea, a furious Helmut Marko remonstrates with Jaime Alguersuari after the Toro Rosso driver held Vettel up in practice. A clue as to why he’s lost his place at the team?

Memorable moments

Much of the most memorable footage from the season is present and correct, from Webber’s staggering pass on Alonso in Spa to Rowan Atkinson’s facial contortions as Hamilton and Massa collide yet again in India.

I’d have liked to seen more on the teams further down the grid as they tend to get overlooked in the race broadcasts to begin with.

There is a rather high level of assumed knowledge about the 2011 rules – though that’s not likely to be a problem for F1 Fanatics!

And at times it feels there is too little context to the action. The dropping of the Bahrain round, for example, is entirely ignored.

On the other hand the exhaust-blown diffuser row is covered in great detail – almost excessively so, particularly the drawn-out press conference discussion between Martin Whitmarsh and Christian Horner.

Team radio feature

The Blu-Ray edition offers an hour of extra features. Of those, one is particularly worthy of your attention.

It shows the highlights from the Chinese Grand Prix – undoubtedly one of this year’s best races – relying entirely on team radio messages to tell the story.

This is an excellent feature and should be repeated next year for all the races as an additional audio track.

You get a lot of footage and some great new material for your money. It may lack a little in sparkle, but then the season itself was not a classic contest.

Despite that it remains an essential end-of-year purchase – it’s just a pity it won’t be out in time for Christmas.

F1 Fanatic rating

Rating four out of five

“He’s Done it Again” – official 2011 F1 season review
Released: 26th December 2011
Price: ??24.99 (Blu-Ray), ??19.99 (DVD)
Publisher: Universal Pictures UK

Buy / pre-order the 2011 F1 season review on Blu-ray

Buy / pre-order the 2011 F1 season review on DVD

For more gift ideas see the 2011 F1 Fanatic Gift Guide.

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44 comments on ““He’s done it again” – official 2011 F1 season DVD reviewed”

  1. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on a Blue Ray copy of this, I’ll be straight down to the shops on Boxing Day!

    Good to hear that team radio features heavily, it’s got to be one of the most unused pieces of data the fans potentially have access to.

      1. @sato113 Yeah on second thoughts I might struggle. I’m sure that a few places would be open, supermarkets etc. I used to live near Birmingham and I’m sure the Bullring used to start the sales on Boxing Day.

        That might all be a bit too traumatic though. I’ll probably either order it, or wait a couple of days and hammer F1 2011 on PS3!

  2. I’ve never considered even buying one of these end-of-season highlights – but this time I may, it looks interesting! The season certainly was, and I’d like to have a DVD where I can see it all again.

    1. Personally I think its a big miss that they did not bring it out a couple of days before christmas. But it might just be its because of the long season.

      So far Blue ray has not really captured my imagination as far as added content goes. Do you think its worth it in for the review @keithcollentine?

  3. I don’t mind that it’s not going to be out in time for Christmas, really. I’ve asked for a pre-ordered copy of the Blu-Ray so even if it’s not there on the day, I’ll at least have it to look forward to.

    Keith, how did you get your hands on this?! :P If it’s finished, why aren’t they releasing it?

    1. @damonsmedley I got my hands on a review copy – only in the virtual sense though, which is a bit of a first. They set up a restricted area online where you can watch the footage a limited number of times.

      To guard against copyright infringement the footage has the name of the reviewer (e.g. ‘Keith Collantine’) and Universal Pictures UK emblazoned across the image throughout the video in large type. It’s rather irritating – I felt like I was sitting through a four-hour-long advert for myself – but I can understand why they feel the need to do it.

      As I say this distribution method is a first for this product as far as I’m aware. Previously it’s been possible to get hold of finished, albeit unpackaged, DVDs. Presumably the shortened gap between the end of the season and its release has something to do with it.

      I’ve been trying to find out why there isn’t a digital download version available to buy but without success so far.

      1. @KeithCollantine I’d guess the main reason for there being no digital download options would be to do with how much easier it would be to pirate it. Sharing it online if the hard work of ripping it from a DVD (which I understand to be quite difficult nowadays) was already done for you would be quite easy and FOM are probably the strictest organisation in the world when it comes to copyright.

        One thing I didn’t quite understand in the article was the ‘team radio feature’ you described. Is it just the same footage from the main feature with a different audio-track? Or is there even more new footage to be found in here? I can’t wait to hear it though and I wish they’d do it for every race on the DVD.

    1. …..blu ray players (and who actually has those?)?

      Most people I know, for a start!!

      Anyway, luckily my Birthday is on the 29th, so I’m sure I’ll get one without having to shell out. I do find it curious that they don’t ‘rush’ it out for release a week or two before Christmas. All involved in F1 are not usually ones to miss out on a massive sales opportunity.

      1. @sato113 I have a ps3 along with many, to watch it on computer, a cheap alternative, download, cyberlink power dvd, (this normally comes as standard on computers), you will then get the option to upgrade for a small fee allowing you to watch blu ray.
        If you don’t have it you can download it for £44.99 then pay the upgrade fee, will be cheaper than a player or you can settle for the standard dvd.

  4. Think I might get the full races on blu-ray instead, although there’s a slight chance I might order this as well for the bits of unseen
    footage… It’s not that expensive anyway. These season reviews should’ve been released on blu-ray years ago though!

    To everyone making a statement against blu-ray in favour of dvds, blu-ray players are not that expensive anymore and the quality difference is ENORMOUS.

  5. Warning to North American blu-ray owners: I got the blu-ray today and it does not work on my Canadian PS3. The back of the box says it’s region B but it was advertised as region-free. Amazon UK removed the region-free from the title and now I have to speak to their customer service for an explanation and refund.

    1. Even if it was REGION FREE it wouldn’t work on your PS3, it’s a 1080i50 disc. You need to look on Amazon Canada for the Orei BDP-M2 if you want to watch these F1 Blu-ray discs for 2011 and 2012, it converts 1080i50 > 1080i60 on the fly and also can be set to any Blu-ray region any number of times using the remote.

      Alternately you could rip it with a Blu-ray drive, burn it back to blank 50GB discs so the region code is removed, then watch it on any Samsung or LG Blu-ray player (or Oppo) as they all convert 1080i50 > 1080i60 on the fly.

      It’s worth it to be able to watch it on Blu-ray, it absolutely SMOKES the quality of the paltry DVD’s.

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