The 2015 F1 season was not a vintage sporting contest by any stretch of the imagination. But Formula One Management’s extensive coverage of each race plus their ability to cherry-pick further footage from F1 broadcasters means they want for nothing when it comes to telling the story of each championship.
So it’s disappointing to discover this year’s review is no more than a competent retelling of each race. While the races too often lacked drama, unexciting and uneven presentation makes for a video you won’t be in a hurry to re-watch.
Ben Edwards has once again been given a script lacking in colour which tells you little beyond what you can see for yourself. It has clearly been through the PR filter a few times too, particularly when it comes to relating the story of FOM partner Pirelli’s tyre failures in Belgium.
As was the case with last year’s review, it seems FOM is increasingly leaning on the video footage it produces during the season to pad out these discs and ensure the product appears on the shelves in time for the Christmas market. This is particularly clear in the Monaco race review, where the one-off team video FOM released to explained Lewis Hamilton’s pit stop blunder is replayed.
Some of these features are interesting in their own right, such as Peter Windsor’s review of pre-season testing. Others, while decent enough as stand alone pieces, add nothing to the story of the season. It would make more sense to include them as DVD extras, along with the usual selection of on-board material which is one of the review’s highlights.
Worst are the occasional lapses into sheer banality: no, I do not care how many lobsters were eaten in Singapore.
As usual it’s unclear what its half-hearted title is supposed to refer to and, of course, it isn’t referenced in the review. The narrative veers between past and present tense and gives little of an overview: highlights of 19 individual races rather than a complete review of the season.
The review is further padded out by excessively long clips of press conference and podium ceremonies, especially those which involved celebrities. These were apparently so important to include that there was no room for Sebastian Vettel’s periodic ribbing of the Mercedes drivers.
The significant action of each race is covered and as usual FOM has reserved a few of its more unusual camera angles and the occasional previously unbroadcast team radio message. It is somewhat thin on new content, but given the sheer volume of material broadcast every weekend this is hardly a surprise.
As far as the review is concerned only nine teams participated in much of the season, as Manor is almost entirely ignored. Their 11th-hour rescue, sitting out the first round in Australia, hitting the track for the first time in Malaysia – all this is overlooked. If Romain Grosjean hasn’t blundered into Will Stevens in Canada they might not have appeared at all.
Turning the predictable 2015 campaign into a must-watch video required a degree of creativity and imagination. That is lacking in this repetitive, by-the-numbers effort which only just serves as a means of passing time in the off-season.
F1 Fanatic rating
Read all the F1 Fanatic season reviews.
“That’s What Champions Do” The Official 2015 F1 season review DVD
Publisher: Duke Video
Duration: 280 minutes*
*DVD version reviewed. The Blu-ray version is 305 minutes long.
Buy “That’s What Champions Do” – the official 2015 F1 season DVD from Duke Video
Buy “That’s What Champions Do” – the official 2015 F1 season DVD from Amazon
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48 comments on ““That’s What Champions Do”: Official 2015 F1 season DVD reviewed”
16th December 2015, 13:08
Is it as bad as 2012 review without any championship story and any qualifying material?
16th December 2015, 13:19
‘only ten teams participated’ I think you meant nine :)
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
16th December 2015, 13:58
@michal2009b I’m already in 2016 mode! Have changed it.
16th December 2015, 13:44
I don’t think the title is half-hearted – I think it could be interpreted as a fitting one and if so, it’s kind of ‘deep.’
This is what I said about it earlier:
Of course it’s still disappointing if it’s not alluded to in the review itself, if indeed that’s the case.
Alec Glen (@alec-glen)
16th December 2015, 14:38
“That’s what champions do” “deep”? Are you kidding?
Where you read “never giving up” I might read “job’s so easy, more interested in making music” if it’s referring to Lewis. Or looking further afield there were more champions languishing at the back or behind teammates than “never giving up” this year.
16th December 2015, 16:09
It’s about the top 3 in the championship only – those who are on the cover.
(Previously, it was a mystery how the title fits the cover with the latter depicting the winless Rosberg as well.)
Alec Glen (@alec-glen)
16th December 2015, 17:14
Even worse, Rosberg’s yet to win anything and Seb did what? “What champions do”? Piffle.
I’m sure it works fine in French and other languages, doesn’t in English.
16th December 2015, 14:50
I have to say, this is one of the best F1 review titles as of yet. Whereas 2012’s “Victorious Vettel”, 2013’s “Who can stop him” and particularly 2014’s “It was fair” tried to give an abstract interpretation of the surpassed season, only in 2015 have they managed to come up with a title so indefinite, that only the most creative of minds can give an interpretation to what “That’s what champion do” is supposed to mean.
Seriously though, I don’t think FOM’s PR department even understood what they were referencing in that title.
16th December 2015, 16:12
I don’t know if I should take pride in being labeled a ‘most creative mind,’ or be ashamed in case the term referred to these ‘creative minds’ speaking nonsense.
16th December 2015, 17:33
@atticus-2 I was slightly joking of course, but it’s just.. look at it this way: if you would have to sum up the year in four words, what would it be? “Hamilton and Mercedes champion”, “Hamilton takes his third” or better still “2015 F1 season review”. “That’s what champions do” I mean.. it’s just so dumb, I’m sorry but there’s no other way I can put it.
16th December 2015, 18:19
@andae23 I agree that it’s probably not a good place to try something ‘deep.’ Especially without somehow referring to what they tried to mean in the review itself.
It indeed looks dumb – or more like unprofessional, I would say. I mean, based on the review (the review’s review :P), there should be nothing extraordinarily artistic, poetic or something like that in the footage and the narrative itself. So why title it like that?
I just tried to figure out what they tried to mean to the best of my emphatic (?) abilities.
Marc Thielke (@motor)
16th December 2015, 19:44
How about a sort of ‘caption competition’ to come up with a worse, or as andae23 said ‘indefinite’, title. In four words, so it fits across the box neatly, but shows more effort than a one or two word title so it doesn’t hurt sales, what is your title that fits any F1 season review?
They Came To Race, thats my entry.
16th December 2015, 20:00
The Fight For Glory
16th December 2015, 20:31
@motor Blessed to win
16th December 2015, 20:46
Silver Arrows take gold.
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
16th December 2015, 21:23
Celebrities on the podium
16th December 2015, 22:54
“Driven to win”
Diallo Ibrahima (@ibraf1)
17th December 2015, 13:21
2008 was best title sor far
“Luck does not come into it!” :)
16th December 2015, 14:57
Does the review mention the death of Jules Bianchi or show the Hungary pre race drivers silence at the front of the grid?
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
16th December 2015, 17:29
Yes it does, and it handles it well.
16th December 2015, 14:59
Whoever is responsible for the titles and cover art of these season reviews urgently needs a P45. Awful. Every time.
16th December 2015, 20:51
I’m always amazed at the generally amateurish presentation of these reviews. They smack of something that the office temp has knocked up for the Xmas party. I despair that F1, with all it’s money, seems totally unable to present itself with an degree of excitement or interest. It is just corporate nonsense.
16th December 2015, 15:13
i mentioned quite near the beginning of the year that it appeared as though manor were being deliberately excluded from race coverage. it can be quite noticeable (think of what happened when mercedes were miserabled). obviously they were exactly at the sharp end but i think you would expect to see more of cars, even if they are just getting lapped. sometimes it felt as though directors were cutting away if a manor car was in shot for too long.
or maybe this is just healthy paranoia!
16th December 2015, 16:08
Being 3-5 seconds a lap slower and getting endlessly lapped doesn’t exactly make for scintillating TV :)
16th December 2015, 22:27
One of the weakest features of the Manors was their abysmal top speed, often lacking around 30-40 kph to the sharp end of the table. With most of the lapping taking place on the straights, it would’ve been virtually impossible to keep the leaders and a Manor in the same shot for more than a few seconds.
Nevertheless, it also makes an awful lot of sense to allege that they were deliberately left out of the coverage because Don Bernie felt that they were stealing his money by barely participating and cashing in the prize money the earned in 2014.
17th December 2015, 1:31
They ran two cars at every GP; if that’s ‘barely participating’, then Mercedes also ‘barely participated’, and they won the championships.
17th December 2015, 21:00
Well, they weren’t racing anyone else, ever. On an average day, they were 3 seconds off the next slowest competitor. Maybe I should’ve said ‘merely participating’ – but that’s just semantics. At the end of the day, they were abysmal. Period.
Also, they didn’t even run two cars at every GP. They didn’t run at all in Melbourne, and in Malaysia, only Merhi was able to take part, as the team couldn’t manage to replace Stevens’s fuel system in 24 hours’ time.
18th December 2015, 16:07
I don’t know what you’re expecting Manor to do with a budget that’s a mere fraction of what the bigger teams have at their disposal; when you have to resort to pay drivers just to get the cars on track, there’s not going to be much left to develop them, is there?
21st December 2015, 9:17
I’m fully aware of the fact that they had severe financial problems. But that doesn’t make them any more interesting or relevant. Their story can be subsumed as: They had no money, used a car that was already terribly slow a year ago, with inexperienced drivers of questionable quality. At the end, they were dead last.
Had they actually had a decent budget, their story could’ve been more interesting because of the disparity between what could’ve been and what came to be. But that element simply wasn’t there. They had all the ingredients needed for playing absolutely no role at all, and lo! they played absolutely no role at all.
16th December 2015, 15:39
It would be nice if FOM could actually survey what the fans want from these DVDs rather than executing a box-ticking exercise, whilst always being careful to include plenty of celebrity references and to satisfy the local tourist boards. Who watches an FOM season review for holiday inspiration?
The problem is, we all love this sport too much – we are a guaranteed buck. @keithcollantine has made me feel so guilty now, because I have bought this DVD in full knowledge of its likely shortfalls! I shudder to think what percentage of my £20 has gone towards Tamara and Petra Ecclestone’s festivities…
Collective action is the key: in the spirit of Karl Marx I implore you all to cancel your orders and force FOM to actually put some effort into our one and only (legal) opportunity to own some FOM footage.
16th December 2015, 15:49
Already ordered. Lets see when I receive.
16th December 2015, 16:01
FOM know they have us fans over a barrel. We have no legitimate way of getting high quality F1 footage that we can watch again and again, so they churn out this rubbish product year after year. And we dutifully fork out our cash, year after year. Still someone has to keep the lights on for those poor innocent, humble servants of the sport people who work in CVC’s ivory tower.
16th December 2015, 22:20
Speak for yourself – I definitely don’t waste my money on Bernie’s Flying Circus.
James Brickles (@brickles)
16th December 2015, 16:11
Looks like a very generous 3 looking at the review Keith ;)
17th December 2015, 10:21
Was thinking the same, 2 would me more appropriate if I go by Keiths review.
16th December 2015, 17:43
why is the DVD now £19.99? it never used to be so expensive. the last few years it was £15 or so. before that (2007-2008), maybe £12.
17th December 2015, 8:09
CVC’s end of year Christmas party doesn’t pay for itself…
16th December 2015, 18:04
My favourite F1 season reviews are definitely 1994 & 1995. I watched the 94 review before my driving test to relax me and passed! Those reviews were very long and featured so much more footage with pre season stuff, car launches and Ukyo Katayama trying to play cricket before the British Grand Prix! I found the incidental music on YouTube recently, too.
Jules Winfield (@jules-winfield)
16th December 2015, 18:18
Presumably the title was dreamt up by the same dimwit who came up with “Sorry we lost Justin Wilson the IndyCar racer” at Monza?
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
16th December 2015, 20:41
FOM has just put up a compilation of Vettel’s various amusing press conference moments on YouTube. Definitely merited inclusion in the season review over some of the tedious stuff they put in:
16th December 2015, 22:17
To be fair, there was hardly anything mentionworthy about them, apart from the fact that they existed. From Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, all they did was stay within 107% and then take part. They weren’t able to fight against anyone for anything. Ever.
Therefore, it is not a huge stretch to insinuate that there were only 9 teams in this championship.
17th December 2015, 10:23
They could have mentioned their struggle to be ready for the Australian GP. It was quite an interesting story, how all their computers were wiped etc.
16th December 2015, 22:18
I wish they would release all full qualifying and full races on a DVD from previous seasons. The amount of money they would make from that.
George O'Donnell (@georgeod)
16th December 2015, 22:32
I wish the reviews would tell a story from beginning to end. Some of the older reviews are really good at introducing the drivers, then going into some race highlights. This is ideal when going back into the older reviews to remind myself about those older seasons. The newer reviews just assume that everyone is familiar with the season, which will not be true in a few years time.
17th December 2015, 0:33
it’s hard to make a decent review of a season which makes the Schumacher/Ferrari era seem like thrillers.
this is the 1st review i have no interest in getting (i have them all back to 1970) & was only 50/50 on last years as well.
17th December 2015, 0:36
i used to look forward to getting the reviews as soon as the last race was over, even preferred it when the reviews were decent & unavailable till after Xmas/New Year.
that’s a reflection of the sad state the Sport is currently in…
bull mello (@bullmello)
17th December 2015, 4:58
I’ll wait and watch it when it comes to iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.
Tap, tap, tap……………
23rd January 2016, 11:57
Wheres the BOOK – F1 seasonal review 2015 – cannot complete my collection
Comments are closed.