“Life Behind Lewis” (DVD)

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The tidal wave of books and DVDs on Lewis Hamilton that burst forth last year has eased to a trickle. Now one of the better efforts at a documentary about Britain’s most unavoidable F1 star has made it onto DVD.

But although Hamilton’s name and face are plastered across the front of the package, the video is actually more about Anthony Davidson, who made his full-time debut as an F1 driver last year as Hamilton arrived on the scene.

A cynical dodge to sell DVDs off the back of Hamilton’s name? Perhaps, but don’t jump to the conclusion that there’s nothing to commend this – it’s a decent documentary as long as you approach it wanting to learn more about Davidson instead of Hamilton.

“Life Behind Lewis” broadcast on ITV4 earlier this year and got a favourable reaction from many fans.

The DVD adds a little more content in the form of full length interviews with Murray Walker and Eddie Jordan.

As with many of the Hamilton books that came out last year a dedicated F1 fan is going to find this all very basic. It’s more for the new arrivals to F1, although I enjoyed some of the behind-the-scenes stuff from the Super Aguri garage.

There’s some interesting historical footage from Davidson’s early karting days with the likes of Jenson Button and Dan Wheldon (Indianapolis 500 winner and Indy Car champion in 2005).

But it’s hard to overlook the conspicuous lack of race footage. Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t give that stuff away for free, of course, but I doubt the economics of purchasing some and being then able to sell enough DVDs to make a profit add up. At this point I could give you chapter and verse on how FOM’s hopeless approach to marketing does it more harm than good but you’ve heard that from me plenty of times before.

But they’ve done the best with what they’ve got. The video is produced very well and benefits from some useful observations from several seasoned F1 followers.

If you’re the kind of F1 fan who doesn’t need telling what Anthony Davidson’s father’s first name is, then steer clear. But iIf you’re a fan of Anthony Davidson, or if you’re a new follower of F1, give “Life behind Lewis” a try, but do be aware it’s much more about Davidson than Hamilton.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on ““Life Behind Lewis” (DVD)”

  1. I thought this programme was already on every other Sunday…..and called ITV F1?

  2. At KB: ITV never gave that much attention to Anthony! :P

  3. Are you serious?
    Do you know any other drivers father, with the exception of Button?

  4. I think you will find he means Anthony Davidson not Anthony Hamilton.The DVD contrasts the lives of Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Davidson.

  5. Steve – To make things even more confusing, Lewis Hamilton’s grandfather is called Davidson Hamilton. But I don’t think Davidson’s is called Hamilton Davidson. Ow, my brain!

  6. You can still watch Life Behind Lewis on ITV’s shoddy version of iPlayer for a few more days: http://www.itv.com/CatchUp/Video/default.html?ViewType=5&Filter=18562

    Of course, you can make watching that and any other F1 viewing on ITV much more bearable by using my Firefox add-on! https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/8202/ :)

  7. Also on the subject of books about Lewis Hamilton, this was in today’s Private Eye:

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