“It was fair”: The 2014 F1 season DVD reviewed

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The official 2014 Formula One season review is a much better video than its bafflingly inadequate title “It was fair” might lead you to believe.

Unlike last year’s single-disc edition, the DVD version of the review is now spread across two discs, with the four-and-a-quarter hour review squeezed onto the first. The second contains over 40 minutes’ worth of extras.

Where these reviews once showed footage of the races and not much else, they are now much more comprehensive. The major technical changes at the start of the year are introduced, the pre-season build-up and testing is covered, and and highlights from practice and qualifying feature throughout.

A greater focus is given to the technical side of F1 than in previous reviews. This is a welcome development even though it’s a bit of a mixed success. The introduction to the new power units is lengthy and very dry.

Subsequent technical features, presented by Gary Anderson, don’t fit well within the review and would probably work better as DVD extras. As they appear to have been lifted from the F1 app they may already have been seen by some.

At times the rigid chronology of the review gets in the way of the narrative. The story of the Red Bull fuel sensor row, for example, is broken up across several race weekends when it would work better told all at once from disqualification to appeal. It feels very much like the review was assembled in stages, with a block of highlights added to it after each race was finishes.

Ben Edwards does a fine job of narrating the review as usual, but the addition of Anderson to the commentary line-up brings welcome variety. The same goes for James Allen and Jennie Gow. But why is the sole female presenter only used to introduce the Monaco glamour segment? This feels decidedly patronising.

The dreadful events of Suzuka are covered in a careful and tasteful way. Although Formula One Management does possess footage of Jules Bianchi’s accident it’s not hard to understand why it does not consider this an appropriate way of releasing it, as they would not wish to be seen as profiting from his misfortune.

The sheer length of the review makes for a rather plodding pace at times. I’m not going to mark it down for being thorough, but I did find myself reaching for the fast-forward button occasionally, particularly during the coverage of the season’s more well-worn controversies.

So much material is broadcast during Formula One race weekends now that less and less new material appears in these end-of-season reviews. There are some interesting new radio titbits – including a particularly revealing one from Hamilton in Monaco – as well as the usual smattering of novel camera angles. Regrettably, the ugly virtual adverts which plague FOM’s coverage have been left in place.

Disappointingly it seems the tangle between Kimi Raikkonen and Max Chilton in Monaco was completely missed by FOM, so we’re still none the wiser how the Ferrari driver’s podium chances were ruined that day.

At times it feels like too much focus is being given to the championship battle between the two Mercedes drivers. The DVD extras addresses this to an extent, bringing more coverage of the rest of the field and some excellent multi-camera views from race starts.

However most fans will probably hang on for the Blu-Ray version, which is due for release soon featuring a further 20 minutes’ worth of added material.

F1 Fanatic rating

Buy The Official Formula One Season Review 2014 (DVD)

Buy The Official Formula One Season Review 2014 (Blu-Ray)

“It was fair”: The Official Review of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship (DVD)

Author: Formula One World Championship Ltd
Publisher: Duke
Published: 2014
Length: 4hr 57min
Price: £19.99

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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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36 comments on ““It was fair”: The 2014 F1 season DVD reviewed”

  1. I think they nailed the title. And it’s catchier than “Not really good but well, it was an okay-ish season”.

    1. If we’re going for a title like that, surely something like “a fair fight” or similar, rather than the almost apologetically drab “it was fair, now would you be a darling and pass me the biscuits please” title would be more suitable?

      But hey, its only a title. Seems like the content is good.

      1. @john-h

        surely something like “a fair fight”

        It wasn’t until I read this comment that I had any idea what they were trying to say with “it was fair”, but I think you’ve probably got it right there – it’s a reference to Mercedes letting Hamilton and Rosberg fight it out, rather than saying ‘phew, double points didn’t ruin it…’.

        1. I think it’s a fallacy that both Merc drivers had a fair fight, but closer than that is impossible.

        2. Er. @keithcollantine. Yesterday in the “20 things…” article there was a reference to “A fair fight at Mercedes”. Was there no intended connection?

          1. @scalextric No, it hadn’t occurred to me. Seems a bit obvious in retrospect!

          2. Still an inadequate name. In English. I wonder if it was translated from a word in another language that means a fair contest, not just ‘fair’ which has so many different meanings in English, for example (with slight potentially translation induced variations):
            It was a circus.
            It was a fair fight.
            It was average.
            The result was just.
            Despite all the intra-team chicanery and uneven interpretation of the rules and inequitable distribution of revenue and the dubious legal matters surrounding the chappie in charge, the best person won in the end. Maybe.

          3. @scalextric

            “the best person won in the end. Maybe.”

            That is exactly the message they wanted to give. The “Maybe” element. And I don’t think it has anything to do with translation. They intentionally gave the title as such. I believe in direct relation to the fight between Ham and Ros. Which was drab to say the least.

    2. That’s one of the few instances where being too fluent in English can come back to bite you. 100% of German readers would interpret this title as “It was a fair fight”, since that’s the only meaning of that loan word. There are times when “Broken English” comes as an advantage. :)

      1. That’s kind of funny because the first thing that came to my mind was “fair” in a sense of “okay” or “not bad” (although I understand that’s not what they meant).

        So I guess it’s only 99.99% of German readers ;)

  2. Worse name for anything, ever.

  3. The subtitle gives the impression the DVD was two minutes away from shipping and the work experience guy blurted out the first bland thing he could think of and the team went “yeah, that’ll have to do”.

  4. So instead of “Hammertime”, “The Silver Duel”, “A New Dawn”, “W05 Warriors” or even “Merc way for Lewis”, they chose to dub this review “It was fair”. Is FOM actively trying to establish a brand for poorly named DVDs?

    1. I can only think with the review title that they wanted something that would easily translate into different languages, it doesn’t sound like something someone who’s first language is English would say as there’s a million better ways to say “It was fair”.

    2. I believe they gave the exact message they wanted.

    3. I think Keith needs to run a competition/poll for alternative titles. We can start with these excellent selections.

      Yes, the title is terrible. In my English-speaking country, in the context, it would mean one of two things: 1. The contest was not corrupt or marred by cheating 2. mediocre at best. I think neither sentiment was intended or is welcome. I believe the title of the DVD for Hamilton’s other WDC is “Luck Does not Come Into It…” So he might consider this one an improvement.

  5. Looks and sounds guff but probably well directed at FOM’s Rolex-wearing-Sunday-afternoon-armchair-snooze target market.

    1. +1 Nutshelled. Presuming they can actually work the DVD player, of course, though at Christmas should be a few grandchildren to help out.

  6. Won’t get it, don’t really know what to think. Sounds ok but as usual I just can’t be bothered to watch a review of something I’ve already seen all year

    1. I get them more as a collection that I can at some point go through and relive the seasons gone by.

  7. Disappointingly it seems the tangle between Kimi Raikkonen and Max Chilton in Monaco was completely missed by FOM, so we’re still none the wiser how the Ferrari driver’s podium chances were ruined that day.

    Monaco is the only race not handled by FOM. The host director for Monaco is French company VCF who are contracted by Local broadcaster TV Monte-Carlo.

    They have improved over recent years but they still use far less cameras than FOM would, Use far worse camera locations than FOM would (Go back & look at the angles FOM used when they covered Monaco on the F1 Digital+ broadcasts) & are still a few steps below the overall quality than FOM have (Even if there not overall quality is not quite as good as they were in the past).

    1. It feels very much like the review was assembled in stages, with a block of highlights added to it after each race was finishes.

      Thats indeed how it’s done.

      Ben used to go to Biggin Hill the week after every race but now that he’s at the tracks doing commentary for the BBC I believe they get him to do some of them it in the F1 communications tent at the track.

      The aim has always been a Christmas/New year release & with the season ending later now producing the voice over in 1 go post season would delay the release. Recording/editing/producing it in stages through the year allows them to get the final product into production sooner to hit the release window there after.

    2. @gt-racer

      Monaco is the only race not handled by FOM.

      Of course, how could I forget! Well that explains that then.

      Thats indeed how it’s done.

      That makes sense, and the desire to hit the Christmas market is understandable, but perhaps for the earlier races in the season they need to be a bit more flexible.

      1. Or you’d think the August break would be a good time for them to go over the first half of the season and see hoe to better put it together. I work in post production and even small time stuff gets reworked over and over to make sure it’s the best version possible.

  8. I had pre-ordered Bluray disc, waiting for it. Heard there is 20-30 min more footage.

  9. Like with many Amazon preorders, it should be on my door step tomorrow on release day (22nd)

    1. That’s quick! I also preordered mine but it takes until February to arrive, a very long time even for international shipping.

      1. well the dvd isnt given to amazon on the 22nd for them to then ship out. it is likely given to them a week or so before so amazon can post it to people the day before.

    2. Pre-ordering direct from Duke Marketing might be worth considering next year – my blu-ray from them arrived on 20th Dec.

  10. I’ve collected all the reviews since they were released in 2004. I like to watch them back again to remember what happened during those seasons. To do that requires an introduction as to who the drivers are and a decent review of the races. This has certainly been lacking in recent years. From the sounds of it the new DVD is encouraging in its coverage of the season – it has needed to go back to basics and simply tell the story of the season.

  11. It’s on my Christmast list, ready to put next to my ’08 review (and my 1991 one) :D

  12. Where is the logic in cramming 4 hours onto one disc and only 40 minutes on the other? Sure changing discs halfway through something is never ideal but I’d rather that than the the horrid compression you’ll get with an average bitrate somewhere in the region of 2Mbps with 4 hours of video, depending on audio bitrate.

    Good job there is a Blu-Ray version these days.

  13. It was fair – reference to the result?

  14. Just googled “It was fair” and this review came up first after unrelated “in the news” links. Probably best thing about the title ;)

  15. Title is….. so… lame

  16. Can confirm the BluRay disc works in USA. Does not seem to be region coded!

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