2012 F1 season DVD “Victorious Vettel” reviewed

F1 review

Update: The Blu-Ray version of this DVD has also been reviewed: 2012 F1 season Blu-Ray “Victorious Vettel” reviewed

The F1 calendar continues to get longer and finish later in the year. This creates problems for the makers of the official season review video, which for the second year in a row missed the all-important Christmas market.

Then there is the challenge of condensing all the material filmed at 20 race weekends. As a result the 2012 review is spread across two discs and lasts over five-and-a-quarter hours.

In the case of last year’s review it often felt like too much context was being cut to make room for more footage of the races. That trend has continued this year and has definitely gone too far.

Pop disc one in, hit “Play rounds one to ten” and the first race begins almost immediately. There’s no introduction to the drivers and teams, no recap of the rules changes – and no footage from practice or qualifying.

This continues throughout the review. Even major incidents that shaped the season such as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel being sent to the back of the grid in Spain and Abu Dhabi are not seen and referred to only in passing.

The result is a review which suffers from giving too little context to the action. Significant news stories like the Williams fire, Maria de Villota’s crash or the Bahrain controversy are given passing mentions or ignored entirely.

It also means the entire review is narrated by the same person. Ben Edwards does his usual top-notch job of the commentary but he could do with a co-commentator to provide some variety. The segments between races, voiced in previous videos by Will Buxton, are gone.

The cream of FOM’s footage

2012 F1 season DVD: Victorious VettelAs you’d expect the race reviews themselves are excellent and feature the cream of FOM’s vast repository of footage. This is arguably the most important element of the review and it’s executed very well – you certainly get plenty of footage for your money.

I particularly enjoyed the split-screen replays of major incidents shown from multiple onboard cameras. And there’s the usual smattering of alternative camera angles which are seldom seen on the world feed – such as Bruno Senna’s first lap in Canada from a camera mounted on the nose of his car.

Had it been me on the editing desk I would have removed the pointless shots of random paddock-dwellers reacting to the on-track action and added some more footage of the often overlooked teams in the second half of the field.

And I was hoping to see more of some of the incidents that were overlooked during the race broadcasts, such as Pastor Maldonado’s Brazilian Grand Prix crash or the tangle between Timo Glock and Jean-Eric Vergne in the same race, but there aren’t many unseen incidents such as these.

In addition to the main review are the familiar onboard laps narrated by one of the drivers. Where previously these would be laps from qualifying, this year most of them look at action from the races.

Among the best are Daniel Ricciardo narrating his first lap at Melbourne shot from a helmet camera and Button’s view on Vettel’s “slightly dodgy pass” on the penultimate lap in Germany. However some of these serve only to replicate footage available elsewhere on the review, such as the first-lap pile-up in Belgium.

We also get to hear some interesting team radio snippets that weren’t broadcast previously, such as Sebastian Vettel complaining about his penalties in Italy and Spain.

The DVD extras are mostly forgettable with two exceptions. One is a feature on team radio broadcasts which include some interesting insights from Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and their race engineers.

The other is a piece on pre-season testing narrated by Buxton which should really serve as the introduction to the review as it does a good job of setting the scene for the year ahead.

All the action, none of the drama

The 2012 season was a thrilling contest which wasn’t decided until the final lap of the last race. And yet the official review video fails to capture the building excitement and tension over the course of the season.

It comes back to the problem of a lack of context. Because we aren’t shown how much the Ferrari drivers struggled in Australia, there’s no emphasis on how impressive Alonso’s win in Malaysia was.

Because the off-season technical changes are largely ignored, there’s no insight into how Vettel and Red Bull grafted to make the RB8 the dominant winner it was in Japan, Korea and India. And so on.

It may be time to rethink these official season reviews. At the very least it’s time they were made available in downloadable form.

A shorter, entertainment-focused video which captures the essential action of the season and can reliably hit the shelves in time for the Christmas market could be followed by a longer box-set review for hardcore fans with full-length coverage of every round.

The 2012 edition offers much of the essential action but suffers from some glaring omissions and fails to recapture the drama of the season.

F1 Fanatic rating

Rating three out of five

Buy Victorious Vettel: The Official Formula One Season Review 2012 (DVD, UK)

Buy Victorious Vettel: The Official Formula One Season Review 2012 (Blu-Ray, UK)


Victorious Vettel: The Official Review of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship

Publisher: Metrodome
Format: DVD (reviewed), Blu-Ray
Published: 7th January 2013 (DVD), 14th January 2013 (Blu-Ray)
Price: ??16.99 (DVD), ??24.99 (Blu-Ray)


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36 comments on 2012 F1 season DVD “Victorious Vettel” reviewed

  1. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 7th January 2013, 22:32

    I think this video by Audi is very well done, perhaps people at FOM must look it.

    Audi -TRUTH IN 24 II – Every Second Counts_ 2012 (720p) – 1.22.55

  2. beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th January 2013, 21:06

    I normally get these reviews as a birthday present and they’ve been consistently poor for years. As Keith pointed out about this one, there’s never enough context and most of the footage focuses on the fight for the championship and ignores almost everything else other than the odd big crash or contentious issue and there’s hardly any footage of qualifying.

    You’d think that with all of the footage available and the access they’ve got to drivers and team members that these reviews would be brilliant but I’ve yet to see one that I’d rate higher than 2 out of 5 and in the past the BBC review show has been far better. Generally I watch them once and then leave them on the shelf.

    • John Bergqvist (@) said on 10th January 2013, 9:58

      The reviews tend to be either really good, or really dull IMO. I think there’s too long of a gap in between each snippet of commentary, it doesn’t really flow v. well.

  3. davidhunter13 (@davidhunter13) said on 8th January 2013, 23:46

    I bought last year’s review and I understand what you mean when you say there’s a lack of context. I think they’re really poorly done if I’m honest and completely drain any and all of the excitement you might have had when originally watching. For me the most annoying aspect was the use of the narrator who effectively spoiled what was about to happen, nearly every interesting racing incident was announced before you saw it, totally deflating any excitement whatsoever. I would rather hear the genuine live transmission’s commentary from Martin Brundle as they react to the dramatic events rather than hear “…and then Hamilton crashes,” cue Hamilton then crashing. Yawn.

  4. John Bergqvist (@) said on 10th January 2013, 9:40

    F1 season review videos will NEVER have commentary from the live TV broadcasters because that commentary would be copyright to the individual broadcaster in question, and would cause legal issues probably.

    Still, it’ll be interesting to see whether the blu ray has more features or not, I doubt that would be the case for the main feature though. Still, there was some nice pre-race stuff that it would be good to see again in full, like Schumachers full farewell speech on the pitlane channel before the Brazillian GP (also, the BBC started the pitlane stream a full 20mins before Sky started showing it (about 15mins before the race started) at the Brazillian GP, which was interesting, so you heard it on the BBC’s pitlane feed, but not Sky’s as they didn’t show it in time).

  5. Jon Allen (@jona1976) said on 12th January 2013, 8:33

    Two things that have bothered me about this review which no-one has mentioned.

    Firstly the size of the font used for the team radio subtitles. Ridiculously small for someone like me who is short sighted (despite having decent glasses). I found myself getting up each time off my sofa to move nearer the screen to be able to read the damn things.

    Secondly did anyone else see the point of those little circuit diagram interludes before each round? The one showing the circuit layout, the sectors, the speed trap, the DRS detection point and activation zone? I get having that sort of stuff for the live coverage but in the review it’s unnecessary IMO. Sure, have a little circuit fact screen if necessary (like they used in previous reviews) but the whole video game style virtual circuit thing for 30 seconds each round was just pointless and time wasting. What help is showing the layout and in particular the sectors, speed trap, DRS stuff to a viewer of a 15 mins per race highlights package?

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