|The Official Review of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship (Blu-ray)|
|Blu Ray, 286 minutes (2 discs)|
|© 2017 DUKE Video|
Has Liberty Media’s arrival as Formula 1’s new owners helped to breathe new life into the increasingly stale Formula 1 season review DVD and Blu Ray offerings?
Well, yes and no.
The case shows the new – and allegedly copyright-infringing – logo, although once the disc starts playing it’s back to the same old logo and format.
Mercifully, there’s no repeat of the naff titles we were inflicted over the last decade – ‘It was Fair’ and ‘They Tried Their Best’ were the nadir efforts. Instead it’s titled The Official Review of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship – you know you will get what’s on the tin.
By and large, however, the changes seem to only go that far. The product and format are comfortable and familiar as soon as the disc loads.
The major points of the 2017 championship season are covered. Naturally the Drivers’ Championship fight between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel takes centre stage, but there’s still good focus given to many of the important events up and down the field at each Grand Prix.
With over five hours of running there’s plenty of on- and off-track action that is given airtime, although we would have preferred a little less focus on the celebrities and more energy being spent on true feature pieces. The ‘Extras’ section has a great featurette covering Robert Kubica’s comeback when he tested for Renault at the Hungaroring, for example. More of these would have significantly elevated the production.
On the plus side, good focus was given to a number of the new fan initiatives that were brought in during 2017 such as the Fan Zones and F1 Experience two-seater rides. And even though Liberty Media produces and all but scripts the entire Season Review, it doesn’t come across like a total puff piece.
For the hard-core F1 fans the on-track action will be very familiar to anyone who watched the races or caught additional videos on F1’s official YouTube channel, although there are a few never-before-seen camera angles to keep you interested.
The point, however, is that these Season Reviews aren’t really delivering enough in the way of new content to warrant their price tag. Despite some tinkering around the edges in the Liberty Media environment, this is still a ‘colour by numbers’ effort. Major change is needed in 2018.