The 1999 F1 season was the championship it seemed no-one wanted to win. The official review video suitably captures all of the action: Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher’s various race-losing crashes, McLaren’s lap-one blunder in Austria and, of course, Schumacher’s leg-breaking Silverstone shunt which put his hopes of a third crown on hold for another year.
The footage is excellent, with plenty of illuminating and interesting pictures from FOCA’s digital television. This will be new to many viewers who did not have access to this material when it was originally broadcast to paying viewers in a small number of selected countries.
[mpub]But from the very beginning this video threatens to disappoint. The opening montage is very Ferrari-focussed and there is a general fixation on the championship battle at the expense of developments further down the field.
As with many videos from this period the style of commentary grates. It was clearly recorded after the fact, yet is delivered as if the races are unfolding live, giving the entire production a sheen of artificiality.
What makes it worse is that it starts to seem that these lapses are by design. Many of the pre-DVD era FOCA videos suffer from ‘sameyness’ and a general lack of imagination in presentation.
This one is no exception: Predictable presentation and forced commentary make for a waste of otherwise excellent material.
Best bit: Johnny Herbert’s against-the-odds win at the Nurburgring: his last and Stewart’s only victory.
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