Who Can Stop Him? 2013 F1 season DVD reviewed

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The 2013 edition of the official Formula One season review video comes courtesy of the fifth different publisher in seven years.

Having toured 2 Entertain, Lionsgate, Universal and Metrodome it has now returned to Duke Video, who last published it in 2007 and was responsible for most of the official reviews since the first one was published by FOCA in 1981.

Despite the changes the structure of the video is familiar from recent additions. But the 2013 DVD review – titled Who Can Stop Him? – is a significant improvement in several respects.

The 2012 DVD suffered from a lack of context and link material between each race. This has been remedied for the 2013 edition, with an introductory sequence on testing and more detail on events surrounding each grand prix.

Despite this the entire review is still fits onto a single DVD with a three-and-a-half hour run-time. This has been achieved by jettisoning the DVD extras which appeared last year, most of which were surplus to requirements anyway. It was definitely a trade-off worth making.

Another improvement over last year is that the 2013 review appeared in time for the all-important Christmas market (though not quite soon enough to be reviewed here earlier). This was not the case for the Blu-Ray, though that will get the missing extras when it appears in the new year.

The biggest drawback this review faces compared to last year is that there wasn’t as much excitement on-track this season. This year’s average race rating by F1 Fanatic readers was 9% down on last year.

That is certainly reflected in the review, which at times feels like a dull montage of pit stops, unremarkable DRS passes and footage of Sebastian Vettel spraying champagne.

Matters aren’t improved by the voiceover which, despite being provided by Ben Edwards, lacks colour. This is not something you could say of his lively BBC F1 commentaries. It is partly symptom of this being a post-season review, not a live event, and therefore deprived of the immediate drama that usually makes sport so compelling.

As earlier reviews have shown, the solution to this is not to attempt to recreate as-live commentary – a flawed idea which was thankfully scrapped after 2007. It may be wishful thinking to yearn for a return to the humour of the Clive James era reviews (1982/1984/1986) but Edwards at least needs a script with a bit of life in it. And one which doesn’t keep confusing whether drivers are referred to by their first names or surnames.

The highlights themselves leave you wanting for little. FOM’s footage is of a reliably high standard and were boosted this year by innovations such as the infra-red camera (which gives a great view of Paul di Resta’s Monza crash) and the belated introduction of rotating onboard cameras. Both feature in the video.

At times the direction is decidedly by-the-numbers. Too many times we cut from a spin or crash to a view of a driver’s partner hiding their head in their hands. And those grating and gratuitous celebrity shots should also have been left on the cutting room floor. But this accounts for a tiny proportion of the total run time.

A reasonable amount of attention has been paid to highlighting the major stories away from the sharp end of the field, such as Nico Hulkenberg’s superb drive in Korea. But the likes of Caterham and Marussia are too often neglected, and the technical side of the sport is rather overlooked too.

Copious use of team radio adds much-needed colour to the coverage as well and a few new clips appear. One of them, from Jonathan Eddolls to Valtteri Bottas moments after his superb pass on Esteban Gutierrez at the Circuit of the Americas, says a lot about the state of F1 at the moment: “Great move, but we really need to manage pace…”

The use of subtitles to clarify what’s being said are welcome, but they are absent from the one piece of radio that would benefit most from from them: Fernando Alonso’s angry address to his team during qualifying at Monza. Amusingly, Ferrari’s claim Alonso was “praising” them, rather than calling them “idiots”, is put forward as a serious interpretation, though only the most guileless are going to be fooled by that.

Some of the more memorable radio moments from the year are missing entirely – Felipe Massa’s furious reaction to his penalty in Brazil, for example. But repercussions of the Malaysian Grand Prix for Red Bull and Mercedes get a very thorough treatment, including some new team radio clips from previous seasons which should have been included on those reviews.

The Mercedes tyre test row is also covered along with other major news stories from the year, including the deaths of Canadian marshal Mark Robinson and former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota.

The official 2013 season review DVD does a comprehensive, competent and at times quite entertaining job of packaging a less than stellar season into a review. I await the Blu-Ray edition with interest to see if it can add enough to it to earn top marks. More team radio, onboard camera laps and an alternative commentary track by Clive James are my three wishes.

F1 Fanatic rating

Buy Who Can Stop Him? – the official 2013 F1 season review (DVD)

Buy Who Can Stop Him? – the official 2013 F1 season review (Blu-Ray – not reviewed)

Read all the official F1 season video reviews.

Who Can Stop Him? 2013 F1 season DVD

Publisher: Duke Video
Published: December 2012
Price: ??19.99


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Author information

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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21 comments on “Who Can Stop Him? 2013 F1 season DVD reviewed”

  1. Aw, I miss the Clive James commentary as well – I just googled him and sadly he’s not anywhere near a health state which would enable him to provide such masterpieces anymore. He’s battling leukemia – we can only wish he could keep on fighting much like Schumacher.

    I only saw his 1982 and 1984 reviews so far, I didn’t know he did 1986 as well. Will check it out, thanks for the info – and the article of course.

    1. @atticus-2 Ah ’86 is a brilliant one, well worth finding a copy. I almost wore the tape out on mine!

      1. Haha, OK, now I’m even more curious. :)

  2. Thanks Keith!

  3. This is the first review DVD (Blu-ray) in years I am questioning whether to hand over my cash for. Which I think says a great deal about what happened after Silverstone with the tyre changes, and RBR’s incredible in season development…

    …but who am I kidding, I’ll still get it.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    30th December 2013, 13:43

    They sure know how to get creative with titles ;)

  5. @KeithCollantine You’re peice mentioning that Duke have “produced” the review is incorrect. While Duke are distributing the review again, the actual production is being handled by FOM, which explains why the structure is similar to previous years.

    This was confirmed to me by Duke in a tweet, despite them initially saying to me (and in their printed brochure) that they were producing the whole thing, turns out they are only distributing:

    @FOM_Fan it was FOM [producing] and will be FOM this year again, sorry I was misinformed yesterday. We’ll be prepping and sending out but not producing.
    — Duke Video (@DukeVideo) October 29, 2013

    1. @fom-fan I’ve revised the text to clear that up.

  6. keith i dont know how you can say that no extra features is alright. i loved the onboard features they had on last years dvd. often having a driver talk through moments of a race whilst the onboard footage plays.

    1. @sato113

      I don’t know how you can say that no extra features is alright

      I explained why in the review.

      The onboards are good to have (as I also said in the review) but most of the other extras on last year’s DVD were superfluous and forgettable and not worth compromising the main review for.

  7. Even those who supported Vettel this year (a group in which I include myself) cannot say it was a thrilling season… gosh, the last 4 races had a felling of the-devil-may-care on everybody – featuring the dullest Brazilian GP ever.
    I really like Duke Video. I think they did a very good job in the 80’s (does anybody knows when they will finally release those years in DVD or BlueRay? I don’t have a VHS player any more…) and based on that, I believe they can deliver interesting reviews – but not this year… nobody could.

    1. @antifia

      They really should, then I would get all of them .:-)

    2. Don’t treat it as a championship; treat the races as individual events.
      Then, it doesn’t matter (Not that it does anyway) to most people.

    3. It was an okay season, but I agree below average – mainly due to the tyres. I do hope Pirelli stick to their guns.

    4. Duke video aren’t producing it, it’s FOM who are producing the review itself, as they’ve done for the past few years. Duke are only distributing it, i.e. burning it all onto discs, packaging and shipping it out.

  8. Not sure what people that buys this sort of thing is looking after with their purchase. It’s a personal opinion, but unless they really give you outside, never-seen-before footage and outtakes, I can’t see a reason to buy a season review these days when everything is at hand to review highlights or even full races.

    On youtube, there are full races with pure sound, all onboard. Even full qualifying sessions from the 80’s, full on with commentary by Murray.

    But if it’s just a highlights show with a bit of more, then it’ll always fall short, IMO…

    1. they do give you never before seen footage…

  9. I get the season review each year and will no doubt do so again, but I really do feel they all tend to miss the mark. The people who make them don’t seem to understand who is buying the review. If you are getting this sort of DVD, you are probably not a casual fan who watched 1 or 2 races a season then forgets about the sport for a year, so I think they should pitch it accordingly. And if you are a casual fan, if you’ve bought the review you obviously want to learn more about the sport, otherwise you wouldn’t have bought the review! Give us what we want FOM, things like unheard team radio, different camera angles, unheard interviews and cut out the fluff like the seemingly endless cutscenes of mechanics gesticulating every time something happens on track (the 2012 review was particularly bad at this, the cuts where a lot longer than in pervious editions). When they ask drivers to run through their hot laps, ask them to give a bit more feedback than “now I’m going into the left hander, its 3rd gear and it is important to have a good line through it” because we all know that. Tell us something we don’t know, ask the drivers if they adjusted something on the car or in their approach to the lap before they went out for the lap, was there a particular part of the track or aspect of the car set up that they struggled with during the weekend? It’s probably a pipe dream of mine, but I do hope it will happen. When I started getting into the sport in the early 90s my dad got me the tape of the 1992 season review and the end montage of that has a great little bit of radio conversation between an engineer and Michael Schumacher in which the engineer says something like “ok Michael, for this run we’ve stuck a stiffer rear bar on”. I was only 8 at the time but I desperately wanted to know what this meant, so I instantly grabbed an encyclopedia and tried to work out what he was on about! That’s the stuff that fans want, that’s the sort of stuff that gets small boys and girls interested, not glamour shots of Singapore at night, we’ve got the Travel Channel for that stuff.

  10. wich languages does it have??

  11. Any idea if this is available to view/stream online? I guess not but no plans on ordering the DVD and BluRay isn’t out yet.

  12. I’ve heard from Duke that the publication of the Blu-Ray version has been delayed. I’ll update when there’s an estimated arrival and, of course, review it when I can get a copy.

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