They Did Their Best – The Official Review of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship
Blu Ray, 300 minutes
© 2016 DUKE Video

Long-time readers of MotorsportM8 will know that we’ve been none too kind to the last few years’ installments of what Formula One Management aspires to call its ‘Official Review’ DVDs and Blu Rays.

With its last truly decent production being its 2010 edition, unfortunately the latest effort covering 2016 continues the trend of disappointing fodder. Again, what’s with the naff title?

The end-to-end product is almost five hours of packaged highlights, clunkily put together but doing little to truly capture just how thrilling the 2016 battle between Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton truly was.

Produced in stages so as to get the finished product onto the shelves a few weeks after the season, the narrative is noticeably disjointed and lacks continuity from race-to-race. Rather disgracefully, there is no mention of Rosberg’s sensational decision to retire just five days after winning his coveted World Championship title.

Channel 4 commentator Ben Edwards is given the unenviable task of trying to bring a terrible, ‘colour by numbers’ script to life – it’s a tough gig given the sheer quality of racing we were spoiled with over the season. He’s backed up by additional feature pieces from James Allen and Peter Windsor, but they serve little more than to explain and repeat material already covered.

FOM have given themselves license for some creative editing in the script and production. There’s barely a mention of Bernie Ecclestone’s harebrained ‘elimination qualifying’ scheme (thankfully dumped after just two Grands Prix), for instance.

Given the sheer wealth of content broadcast on pay-TV networks during a Grand Prix, the Blu Ray package offers little beyond what has probably been televised at one point or another over the weekend. There’s little you could describe as ‘previously unseen’, and (perhaps lazily?) there’s no new radio snippets that weren’t previously broadcast.

While the race-by-race content is an utter letdown, the occasional vignettes are infinitely more interesting and – along with the extra features in this two-disc set – worth the price alone. There’s a splendid selection of onboard highlights pulled from each Grand Prix.

This is a title aimed at the hardcore fan, but it does little to truly hook their interest. This is a competent and uninspiring production – FOM certainly didn’t do their best and one wonders if the production value will change under the sport’s new owners, Liberty Media.

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.