1981 FIA F1 season review video

“Start to Finish” – 1981 F1 season review video

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This is as early as the official FOCA reviews stretch back, and it shows. The 1981 season review video is disjointed and narrated rather poorly by the nevertheless very well-informed F1 pundit Simon Taylor.

It’s a shame because aside from the politicking and the sad events of Zolder (where one mechanic was killed and another shockingly run over and injured during a chaotic race start) there was a lot of entertaining action in 1981.

Famously, the season began with Carlos Reutemann infuriating his Williams team-mate Alan Jones by refusing to defer to team orders in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Reutemann and Nelson Piquet subsequently raced for the championship before Reutemann crumbled at the final round and Piquet took the points he needed, despite vomiting with exhaustion in his helmet.

There are two fabulous wins from Gilles Villeneuve – indeed, his final two.

But it’s all rather spoiled by Taylor’s stilted commentary and the odd way in which the film is compiled, with a large amount of material presented in a haphazard fashion at the beginning of the feature, before settling into a chronological review of the year after about half an hour. The commentary is more observation than information.

Best bit: Villeneuve single-handedly holds off four rival for nearly seventy laps at Jarama to take an inspired win.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 4 comments on ““Start to Finish” – 1981 F1 season review video”

    1. Do you know the name of the opening song on this video it seems to be an instrumental rock.



    2. Same question, I’d love to know the name of the opening tune.

    3. Brendan Malloy
      19th February 2013, 8:08

      My god. As a new fan to F1, I’ve watched many, many of these season reviews – most from the period 1990 – present and some prior to 1980 as well. And this one, the review for 1981, is by far the worst of the bunch. That isn’t to say that most, or even a majority, have been bad. Rather, it’s to emphasize how utterly ridiculous the first thirty minutes of this video are. Fifteen minutes in and I was convinced that this was a Monty Python skit gone mad. Just when I thought the narration couldn’t get any more contrived or hyperbolic…well, you know. I’m finally to the racing bits now, hope it starts to turn the corner…but the first half hour is pure hell – I had to stop watching to look and see if anyone agreed with me and, well, you did.

      1. Same here! It so ridiculous, horrible long enumerations of things… The reviews from 1969 to 1980 called “The Grand Prix Collection” are really good and when I came across this one, it drove me crazy. I just couldn’t watch it without getting mad thinking I’m the only one finding it horrible.

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