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Sky documentary series “Race To Perfection”


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 16:57

@SkySports

RACE TO PERFECTION 🏎️

 
A brand new seven-part Sky original docuseries on the history of F1 starts tonight! 🏁
 
Sky Documentaries: 9pm
Sky Sports F1: 9pm on Sunday

 



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#2 SophieB

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 20:45

This is very scattered, considering this is a seven part series. I wondered how they were going to structure it (maybe a different era each episode or maybe themes like Safety) but so far it lacks any discernible structure, it’s just general reminiscences in almost random fashion.  

 

So far, not a great introduction because way too much knowledge and pre-existing context is assumed. For example, Damon Hill appears to talk about the effect on the Lotus team of the death of Jim Clark, but there’s been nothing to tell you much about Clark himself. They don’t even tell you he was a double world champion and this is a shame because if a new viewer doesn’t know of him, they’re obviously missing out.

 

But nothing about the formation of F1 as a body or its origins. And we’ve just had some memories of March before they’ve really mentioned Ferrari! 



#3 Collombin

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 20:52

Yes, thanks for the heads up about it though. I naturally assumed it would cover a decade per episode but it's racing through all the eras in the first episode!

#4 Collombin

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 21:07

Sorry Alan Jones, but I don't believe a trumpeter played Happy Birthday to celebrate your Austrian win, and I think it highly unlikely that they didn't have the Australian national anthem to hand given that it was God Save the Queen.

#5 pitlanepalpatine

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 21:27

This is very scattered, considering this is a seven part series. I wondered how they were going to structure it (maybe a different era each episode or maybe themes like Safety) but so far it lacks any discernible structure, it’s just general reminiscences in almost random fashion.  

 

So far, not a great introduction because way too much knowledge and pre-existing context is assumed. For example, Damon Hill appears to talk about the effect on the Lotus team of the death of Jim Clark, but there’s been nothing to tell you much about Clark himself. They don’t even tell you he was a double world champion and this is a shame because if a new viewer doesn’t know of him, they’re obviously missing out.

 

But nothing about the formation of F1 as a body or its origins. And we’ve just had some memories of March before they’ve really mentioned Ferrari! 

 

I can guess how that worked, They've worked on all these little nostalgia pieces like with Lewis looking through the Monaco GP and they were pretty free form because they're just bite sized filler content and they saw that it got positive feedback. So they thought doing a historical review might be a positive thing, which it generally is, F1 fans gobble up stuff like Senna and Rush, we bitch and moan about it like a mother in law that had her soup recipe modified with ketchup, but we still consume it hungrily  :lol:  Then some idiot got the idea to use the same format for a documentary series because why break what's worked in the past when you don't understand what's going on...et viola.


Edited by pitlanepalpatine, 12 September 2020 - 21:36.


#6 pacificquay

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 21:34

Sorry Alan Jones, but I don't believe a trumpeter played Happy Birthday to celebrate your Austrian win, and I think it highly unlikely that they didn't have the Australian national anthem to hand given that it was God Save the Queen.

Alan was there, to be fair



#7 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 21:47

Sorry Alan Jones, but I don't believe a trumpeter played Happy Birthday to celebrate your Austrian win, and I think it highly unlikely that they didn't have the Australian national anthem to hand given that it was God Save the Queen.

There are plenty of references to the incident



#8 Collombin

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 21:55

And plenty of footage.

#9 ANF

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 23:15

And plenty of footage.

Here? https://youtu.be/NOMHyOQMREk?t=6285

#10 PayasYouRace

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 10:23

 

Alan obviously dines out on that story a lot, but with footage so easily available nowadays it's probably time to put the myth to bed. Though there was an annoying trumpeter playing various fanfares too.



#11 Collombin

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 10:38

I'm so used to drivers being unreliable providers of first person accounts that I tend to disbelieve them by default these days! Even Fangio did it - remember his story about how he managed to avoid the Monaco 1950 carnage? He mentions seeing a subtle change in the spectators' heads (looking down the road instead of at the leader) but completely omits the man standing right in the middle of the track waving the leaders down with an enormous warning flag!

#12 robefc

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 10:46

This is very scattered, considering this is a seven part series. I wondered how they were going to structure it (maybe a different era each episode or maybe themes like Safety) but so far it lacks any discernible structure, it’s just general reminiscences in almost random fashion.  
 
So far, not a great introduction because way too much knowledge and pre-existing context is assumed. For example, Damon Hill appears to talk about the effect on the Lotus team of the death of Jim Clark, but there’s been nothing to tell you much about Clark himself. They don’t even tell you he was a double world champion and this is a shame because if a new viewer doesn’t know of him, they’re obviously missing out.
 
But nothing about the formation of F1 as a body or its origins. And we’ve just had some memories of March before they’ve really mentioned Ferrari!


That’s a shame, the trailer looked great.

#13 SophieB

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:40

I can guess how that worked, They've worked on all these little nostalgia pieces like with Lewis looking through the Monaco GP and they were pretty free form because they're just bite sized filler content and they saw that it got positive feedback. So they thought doing a historical review might be a positive thing, which it generally is, F1 fans gobble up stuff like Senna and Rush, we bitch and moan about it like a mother in law that had her soup recipe modified with ketchup, but we still consume it hungrily  :lol:  Then some idiot got the idea to use the same format for a documentary series because why break what's worked in the past when you don't understand what's going on...et viola.

It does feel rather like that. Shame, because I don’t think it would have been THAT difficult to stitch it all together into chronological order or into themes.  I suspect it will be a bit like a game of lucky dip where the interviews happen to cover something new to the viewer.

 

I hadn’t heard Massa say Schumacher much later admitted to him how he crashed in Monaco deliberately, for example. It was also interesting to see the archive footage of Ted putting it to Ross at the time how people were saying it was on purpose and how at no point did Ross actually say it wasn’t true, and his present day thoughts on it about how basically Michael was extremely competitive and that he would get these ‘glitches’, I think he called them. I am always impressed with the way Ross uses language so effectively both to Illuminate and at times to deflect. 

 

Oh and Jenson Button adding with a wicked grin about how MS wasn’t the only one who did that at Monaco!



#14 Collombin

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:55

It will be interesting to see what format the next episode takes - 7 similar ones would be a bit weird. Anyway, it looks like all the interviews are completely new, and some of the footage I hadn't seen either so definitely worth persevering with.

Edited by Collombin, 13 September 2020 - 11:55.


#15 SophieB

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 12:00

It will be interesting to see what format the next episode takes - 7 similar ones would be a bit weird. Anyway, it looks like all the interviews are completely new, and some of the footage I hadn't seen either so definitely worth persevering with.

Yup, going to keep sticking my hand arm deep into the bran barrel and see what we can find!



#16 Amin

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 21:12

I really enjoyed the first episode. Wasn't expecting much after I read this thread. Some of the old footage was incredibly high quality.

#17 alframsey

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 21:20

I recorded the first episode but the box ****ed up and recorded half of the show before (which was what the guide said was scheduled) and half of this doc, will watch episode two as I thought what I caught was pretty good.

#18 David Lightman

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 21:25

I'm watching it now and it's the most random programme I've ever watched. It just jumps around all over the place from Fangio one minute, to Brabham fan car the next, to Frank Williams the next. It's really rather strange. I hope the next episodes are actually focussed rather than just throwing random footage and interviews at us.



#19 David Lightman

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 21:30

Apparently it is themed:
 

Episode 1: Living the Dream
F1 has had it all. The greatest cars, the fastest speeds, the technology and the charismatic characters. In this first episode we look at why F1 is so special to those who played a part in its history over the past 70 years.

We hear from former world champions and team owners as they reminisce over their time in the greatest motorsport show on earth. Plus, we also hear of favourite moments and a few never-before-heard stories that will surprise and entertain.

 

Episode 2: Championship Deciders

Drama. Excitement. Unbelievable tension. Sometimes the championship comes down to the final race after a season-long battle. This episode looks at the championship deciders that have left their mark on the history of Formula 1.

 

Episode 3: Great Cars of Formula 1
F1 has always been known for pushing boundaries in concepts and design. This episode examines the stories of some of the most successful machines over the past 70 years in F1 by those who were involved.

 

Episode 4: Triumph and Tragedy
Spanning 70 years, F1 has seen some spectacular highs and devastating lows. This episode remembers the drivers who fought back from adversity to triumph - and those who lost their lives doing what they loved.

 

Episode 5: Controversial Moments
These are the never-to-be-forgotten incidents in F1. The controversial moments and subsequent fallout that have left their mark in the dramatic history of the sport and still stir debate today.

 

Episode 6: Great F1 Teams

F1 has always seen periods of domination from teams. This episode looks at who created them, who their champion drivers were and how they became so successful? These are the great F1 teams who will forever be associated with the sport.

 

Episode 7: Trailblazers
This episode looks at the icons. The ones who formulated new ways of working and brought success to themselves and those around them. The ones who turned dreams into reality and inspired others to follow in their footsteps. These are the trailblazers who helped shape Formula 1 as we know it today.


Edited by David Lightman, 14 September 2020 - 21:31.


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#20 TTM0TION

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 21:44

I haven’t watched yet but what’s the overall consensus, good/bad?

#21 David Lightman

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 22:00

It's good and also a mess. I hope the next episodes are properly focussed.



#22 SophieB

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 16:55

Episode 2 was more focussed but still very selective, focussing on Title Deciders. But it kind of feels like they did a few (but not all) of the most well-known ones. So we got:

 

1976, including interviews from the late Niki Lauda, Bernie and, interestingly, Luca di Montezemolo, reiterating the story of how they offered Lauda the chance of pretending there has been a problem with the car and how (obviously) Lauda had refused.

 

1984 with extensive interviews from Ron Dennis, Prost and Lauda. I found these interesting, especially the degree with which it was clear Lauda respected, even feared, Prost’s raw speed. The impression was that at this time he believed he was the more complete driver but that he thought Prost was quicker.

1986  (Prost, Mansell, no Piquet)

 

Prost vs Senna was omitted for some reason unless I blinked and missed it

 

2007 and 2008. Hamilton and Massa interviews, as well as contributions from Matt Bishop and Paddy Lowe who gave his technical tale of Hamilton’s mechanical woes in Brazil 2007 and how he was going to quit when it looked like they weren’t going to win in 2008 because he didn’t think he could bear it again.



#23 Collombin

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 18:27

I was astonished they opened with 1976, and stopped at 2008, not to mention missing a few in between. I hope the Lotus 72 and the 1988 McLaren sneak a mention in the Great Cars episode next week!

Being picky, they said in a caption that Lauda retired at the end of 1978 which is clearly nonsense (his memorable Imola win in 1979 definitely happened, however forgetful the rest of the season must have been to the show's producers).

#24 Collombin

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 21:14

I've been on the sauce a little bit this evening, but did they really just manage to do a 70 minute documentary on history's great F1 cars without once mentioning Lotus?

I want to correct Tony Brooks' comment that he won as many races as Stirling in 1958, but don't want someone to reply that he was there and I wasn't.

#25 MJB5990

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 21:18

They seemed to mention 6 cars from the 50s. Then the '88 McLaren and the '92 Williams. No Lotus.

#26 milestone 11

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 21:32

I've been on the sauce a little bit this evening, but did they really just manage to do a 70 minute documentary on history's great F1 cars without once mentioning Lotus?
I want to correct Tony Brooks' comment that he won as many races as Stirling in 1958, but don't want someone to reply that he was there and I wasn't.

He was there and you weren't but your memory, or knowledge, is a little better regardless of the sauce. Maybe Tony buggered off halfway through Morocco when the Vanwall lunched the motor.

Edited by milestone 11, 12 October 2020 - 20:40.


#27 Collombin

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 21:51

In fairness Tony is an utterly charming and modest chap in real life, and a massively underrated driver, but his autobiography and recent TV appearances unfortunately seem to make him come across as a little bit bitter.

#28 Fastcake

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 22:25

I caught episode 2 after qualifying (haven't seen the first one yet!). It's not possible to cover every title decider even excluding the non-competitive ones, but it did seem to follow your criticisms of the first episode in being four vignettes stuck together. Nice pieces though, well written and succinct overviews of the five different races, though I'm amiss as to why these ones were chosen or what holds them together.

 

I feel like 1976 has been played out since Rush, and I know everything about Hamilton and Massa by now, but perhaps they'll make interesting bits in the future for new fans. (I'm assuming Sky will recycle this, as it's perfectly made to chop into small features.) The 1984 championship was more fascinating though. Since it's a bit before me, I tend to think of Lauda belonging to an earlier era than Prost, who I naturally associate with Senna, so I liked learning about their championship battle. As Sophie said, I was surprised to hear Lauda feared Prost, and how he accepted the beatings in qualifying. Interesting hearing Ron Dennis being so blase about two drivers going for the title - after all that's happened in his career he clearly still believes in having two top drivers in his cars!



#29 jonpollak

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 09:06

Enjoyed episode 1 also episode 2 yet there was something missing..

1997 !?!?
Hoping episode 4 or 5 will delve into it with the nail biting gravity it deserves.

Jp

#30 Alexis*27

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:49

First one was enjoyable but jumped around a lot quite randomly.
Second one was much more structured and very good.

#31 SophieB

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:58

I caught episode 2 after qualifying (haven't seen the first one yet!). It's not possible to cover every title decider even excluding the non-competitive ones, but it did seem to follow your criticisms of the first episode in being four vignettes stuck together. Nice pieces though, well written and succinct overviews of the five different races, though I'm amiss as to why these ones were chosen or what holds them together.

 

I feel like 1976 has been played out since Rush, and I know everything about Hamilton and Massa by now, but perhaps they'll make interesting bits in the future for new fans. (I'm assuming Sky will recycle this, as it's perfectly made to chop into small features.) The 1984 championship was more fascinating though. Since it's a bit before me, I tend to think of Lauda belonging to an earlier era than Prost, who I naturally associate with Senna, so I liked learning about their championship battle. As Sophie said, I was surprised to hear Lauda feared Prost, and how he accepted the beatings in qualifying. Interesting hearing Ron Dennis being so blase about two drivers going for the title - after all that's happened in his career he clearly still believes in having two top drivers in his cars!

 

I also thought it was interesting how Lauda was openly worried Ron would be giving the best of everything to Prost as the exciting young driver. It really is interesting how crazy this seems to have driven successive generations of McLaren drivers.



#32 Zoony

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:58

A bit nit-picking, I admit, but did I hear it correctly in Episode 3 when Gordon Murray told an anecdote about to Prost 'losing 200rpm [in the MP4/4] because his higher head blocked the air box'? Confusing, because of course we all know that the MP4/4 never had an air box to block.


Edited by Zoony, 28 September 2020 - 12:59.


#33 Collombin

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 13:48

1997 !?!?
Hoping episode 4 or 5 will delve into it with the nail biting gravity it deserves.

Jp

 

Toss a coin - it will either get covered fairly thoroughly or not get mentioned at all.



#34 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 14:08

I read that a planned chat with Jacques Villeneuve (and Nigel Mansell) had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Perhaps that might have had some bearing on 1997 being covered in depth, or at all.

#35 DN5

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 17:43

Latest edition concentrated on 4 drivers: Clark; Rindt; Lauda and Senna.

 

I am slightly disappointed that the whole 70 years is not being adequately explored. I guess I might have looked at a decade an episode as the early stories are amazing as well.



#36 chr1s

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 19:41

I thought it strange that in the 'Great cars' episode they overlooked Lotus completely,  the type 49 and 72 both deserved more than a  mention and the revolutionary 78 and 79 ground effect cars should defiantly been included.....



#37 Alexis*27

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 19:43

Loads of the Lauda and Rindt stuff were repeats from episode 1 for some reason?!

#38 SophieB

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 16:41

The controversies episode covers:

 

The Senna Prost Suzuka clashes (interestingly Ron Dennis flat out says he believes Prost deliberately caused the first collision; unsurprisingly everyone agrees Senna did the second on purpose). Ultimately unsatisfying as a segment because most of it feels like it was covered in better detail elsewhere.

 

Adelaide 94 and Jerez 97

 

Most striking for me, other than the stuff about Frank Williams promising Ron Dennis the race win, to Patrick Head’s enduring anger, is the extensive interviews with Ross Brawn speaking with thoughtfulness, and ultimately protectiveness, even love, for Michael Schumacher, stressing what a lovely person he was to work with, his stunning work ethic and his integrity. He also kind of stands by 1994 as “poetic justice“.

 

As he has before, Ross suggests that his lapses were some kind of fatal flaw, borne of his ultra competitiveness. As an illustration of this, post Jerez 97, he says how Schumacher was shouting to Todt to get Villeneuve disqualified (!). Todt’s expression in response is absolutely amazing, kind of stunned, fascinated disbelief, almost pity. Brawn believes he believed it at the time. Patrick Head says how damaged the car really was and it was fortunate.

 

Villeneuve is interviewed, but I don’t know enough to tell you if they are new interviews, JV fans.

 

Spa 98

 

Little to add except in which Martin Brundle wonders who would have won in a fight if it hadn’t have been broken up. Although was this a question really in dispute?



#39 AustinF1

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:01

Anyone have any idea if this may be headed to Netflix or some other streamer so North American viewers can see it?



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#40 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:03

Yeah i'll second that. I'm in Melbourne and would love to watch it.

#41 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 06:51

Anyone have any idea if this may be headed to Netflix or some other streamer so North American viewers can see it?

The series was made in collaboration with F1, so it should appear on F1TV at some point.

 

Oh, it's on YouTube

 



#42 thefinalapex

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 11:41

I think i saw it getting promoted on f1tv this weekend.

#43 Collombin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 11:55

Given our comments in this thread I am surprised anybody is asking how to get to see it!

The most recent episode followed a familiar pattern - taking an in depth approach to three or four examples and ignoring everything else. Were there no controversial incidents in F1 outside the ten year span covered in this edition?!

I guess they only have so many talking heads available and are naturally using them in as many episodes as possible.

#44 Imperial

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 09:24

As with others, the subject of 1976 holds no new interest or value to me, I only just caught up with half of Ep4 last night and couldn't believe they were playing the same interview segments with Lauda again. The parts with Luca di Montezemolo were nice. He seems like a very likeable man, I don't recall particularly seeing him being interviewed anywhere before, despite watching GP since the mid 80s.

 

Sounds like there is more regurgitated content to come through the remainder of the same episode, or in Ep5 from the above comments though. Perhaps the series should be renamed 'Race to Repitition'?

 

It remains a very disjointed offering though, and it doesn't help that it seems to be intentionally disingenuous at times too. Take for example the start of Ep4 covering Jim Clark and his death They completely failed to mention that it did not come in an F1 race. As the series is about F1, I took this as being a deliberate move to fit the narrative of the series being about F1. It therefore made it a bit perplexing as a story to hear Mario Andretti talking about being on his way to Phoenix (obviously for the USAC race, but again not mentioned) and Jackie Stewart talking about being elsewhere and receiving the news. If you don't know Jim died in an F2 race this will have been baffling, as Mario and Jackie are mentioned throughout the series as being F1 drivers around that time, so people may well have been questioning why they were not at the same race as Jim. Very messy.



#45 DN5

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 16:24

Another strange one focusing on teams this time - Ferrari and, for me slightly more revealing, Brabham.

 

The lack of detail on occasions is strange: why nothing on John Surtees championship?

 

NB There is a paradox that GP racing isn't just F1 as it had 2 years of F2 - I didn't really understand why it was introduced although it seemed to be a game changer for Ferrari



#46 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 20:25

A bit nit-picking, I admit, but did I hear it correctly in Episode 3 when Gordon Murray told an anecdote about to Prost 'losing 200rpm [in the MP4/4] because his higher head blocked the air box'? Confusing, because of course we all know that the MP4/4 never had an air box to block.

 

I'm sure he's just mixed one or two things up. He could easily have meant the /5. What's more confusing was that Senna was the taller driver and would have blocked it more.



#47 Imperial

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:42

 

NB There is a paradox that GP racing isn't just F1 as it had 2 years of F2 

 

Unless I am misunderstanding what you are saying here, are we in agreement here maybe that there seems to be a general rewriting of everything historically known as Grand Prix Racing is now referred to as just F1?

 

I'd started to write about this in my previous post, but took out what I'd wrote as I thought I may be going a bit too off-piste with it. This series definitely and intentionally blurs the lines between the categories, as I said above there was zero mention that Jim Clark did not die in an F1 race, which will have baffled viewers who do not know much about the sport - which is surely who it is aimed at?

 

But also as far as I am concerned, I started watching F1 in the mid 1980s as a kid, and it was definitely still referred to largely as Grand Prix at that time. Possibly even up to the early 1990s, many or most of the video games had Grand Prix in their titles, not F1, although I appreciate there may have been licensing issues. Anything I ever read about F1 in books, magazines, etc, on a historical basis always referred to it as Grand Prix. To me Jim Clark, was a Grand Prix racer.

 

I have looked into the naming and whether there was ever a formal changeover, and I do see that the formulae were set long before the term F1 came into popular use. So I guess that fits with both F1 and F2 being referred to as Grand Prix. I have however noticed a big push the last couple of years to refer to historical Grand Prix as F1, which seems to have coincided with Liberty entering the scene. 



#48 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 11:17

I think that it comes down to the commercialisation of the sport under Bernie. From 1946-1980, “Formula 1” was just the rule set for which Grand Prix racing was held under, with some exceptions. It was also common for races that weren’t Grands Prix to be run to F1 rules (eg The Race of Champions).

The FISA/FOCA war changed a lot. In 1981 the World Championship for Drivers and the World Constructors Cup were “replaced” with the FIA Formula One World Championships (for drivers and constructors). It set in motion the path for Formula 1 to be more than just the rule set but the brand as well. Grand Prix was never a brand and couldn’t be marketed as well.

In that time, the lower categories of F2 and F3 have also changed a lot. F2 disappeared entirely, was replaced by F3000. The International F3000 championship was then replaced with GP2 which was renamed back to F2 a few years ago, when the FIA took full control.

But I thought DN5 was asking specifically about why in 1952/3, the Grands Prix and WDC were run to F2 rules. That was because F1 didn’t have enough top entrants. Alfa Romeo had quit and the BRM wasn’t showing signs of working at all. So the championship risked being a walkover by Ferrari. In the end Ferrari dominated the F2 races with their 500, so it was a bit moot, but the 2 litre regulations did set a path for smaller constructors to get involved.

#49 Collombin

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 20:21

Having for the first time ever seen footage of the crash where Colin Chapman rammed his teammate, this is already my favourite episode of the lot! And the Hunt Chapman argument I had seen before, but long forgotten about. Excellent stuff so far, they've saved the best until last.

#50 Massa_f1

Massa_f1
  • Member

  • 5,195 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted Yesterday, 22:03

Finished watching this. I found it interesting in parts, but it was very poorly structured to the point it all became a little repetitive and showing the same things twice.