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Fifty years of on-board Formula One: DVD

Updated on June 10, 2015
Fifty years of Formula One
Fifty years of Formula One | Source

Formula One history as seen by the drivers themselves

I recently read a statistic on the internet that said that the average American watches almost two thousand hours of television per year. I feel that I'm missing out. I watch about sixty hours a year.

And it's always Formula One

Yep, I'm a race fan. There are only two races that are shown at what I call 'normal' times; the US and Canadian Grands Prix. The remainder mean getting up at sometimes ridiculously early hours during race weekends. But I love it.

History to watch at home on DVD

It's hard to explain to non-aficionados but getting up at crazy hours to watch qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday is essential. Recording races just isn't the same. (How can they race without me watching?) But luckily, there is plenty of racing - going back fifty years -on film.

From the drivers' points of view

This amazing DVD has in-car (on-board) footage of all the greats. If you've been watching the series for as long as I have, this will bring back incredible memories. If you're relatively new to the sport, you'll learn so much about its history.

How things have changed

Fifty years isn't really such a long time. But you'll be amazed at how much Formula One has changed in that time. Technologically, it's like night and day. See too how unprotected the drivers (and the spectators) were. Then watch the latest footage - the differences are astounding.

A great gift for the new or veteran fan

I bought this a few months ago for the other half.

He's as dedicated as I am these days - and even willing to get out of bed at stupid hours to watch live races - but he wasn't as familiar with the history.

This DVD has really shown us both how times have changed for our favorite sport.

Here is another highly recommended film that is perfect for the fan or enthusiast.

Senna [Blu-ray]
Senna [Blu-ray]

If you're thinking of buying this as a gift, do check with the recipient first that they don't already own it. I don't know any F1 fan who doesn't. If they don't have it, then you are choosing a 100% winner when you buy this as a gift. Ayrton Senna was only thirty four when he had the racing accident that took his life. This is an incredibly powerful and moving film. See the reviews from people who have never even watched a Formula One race - they give it rave reviews too.


Here's a flavor of what racing was like fifty years ago. THis is Jim Clark at my favourite British circuit, Oulton Park. Scary, isn't it?

Another era

Formula One seems to change every few weeks these days. That's because the technical regulations alter so much and also because of safety issues. Teams come and go,personnel are the same.

There are regularly new drivers entering the sport from lower formulae who bring new fans and different experiences. For example, if you are watching Grand Prix races this year, I imagine that you can enumerate several changes that have taken place since last year.

So it's hardly surprising when we see the changes that have taken place over the last fifty years. To the newer fan, those days seem so primitive,

Probably the most important changes for the layman are those which concern racing safety. Legends such as Sir Jackie Stewart were largely responsible for these and he says that during the days that he was actively racing in the sport, it was generally accepted that at least one driver would die every season.

In his autobiography, he describes his own near-death experience when an accident caused him to be trapped in the car, injured and with leaked fuel all around him, whilst spectators ran to their own roadcars to get the tools to free him.

He was transported to hospital on a flat bed truck. You can read more about his autobiography here.

Another person who made the hugest contribution was Sid Watkins. He was recruited by the man who is known as the 'supremo' of the sport, Bernie Ecclestone, to revolutionise the safety standards and the medical facilities at the circuits throughout the world.

Many top racing drivers say that they owe his life to this remarkable man. You can read about his autobiography here.

Every time you go to a motorsport event, there is a disclaimer on the back of your ticket. This says that by purchasing the ticket you acknowledge that the sport is dangerous and that even spectators are at risk. Even today, there are accidents involving spectators, particularly at rallying events.

But modern safety developments on the international Formula One circuits have improved the situation for everyone.

When you watch the DVD you read about above, watch for the absence of safety features - frightening,isn't it?

© 2013 Jackie Jackson


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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: It really is - it's SO good!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great gift idea for somebody!


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