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Formula One on the BBC

March 8th, 2009

In a few weeks time Formula One will return to the screen on BBC after twelve years at ITV and in preparation for this the BBC have been developing their new Formula One website.  Its importance to the BBC is reflected in the fact that the Formula One link comes right after football in the main navigation.

There’s some good content on the site already and this video in particular of ‘F1’s greatest hits’ has some of the greatest moments in Formula One of the last twenty years.  There are crashes (Mansell’s tyre exploding at Adelaide in 1986, Schumacher taking out Damon Hill in 1994), amazing passes (Hakkinen’s pass of Schumacher in Belgium in 2000, Alonso passing Schumacher on the outside of 130R at Suzuka in 2005) and things we just don’t see any more (wingtip vortices and drivers leaping out of their cars for a punchup.)

The BBC have announced that they will use The Chain by Fleetwood Mac as the music for the intro to their Formula One footage when they take over the broadcast rights this year.  This should please a lot of fans, particularly these guys at the TopGear website.  It seems nostalgia and a twelve-year gap has elevated the old BBC intro music into some kind of hymn to F1.  Murray Walker is clearly delighted as, according to the Telegraph‘s Andrew Baker, when he found out the BBC was going to use the old tune the 85-year-old presenter raised his hands and started to clap in time with Fleetwood Mac’s beat, exclaiming “Yes, yes, yes!”

I admit, it is a good tune. Here’s a video of the original BBC intro from the 1988 Australian Grand Prix:

I was in Australia when the BBC was broadcasting F1 so I never developed the same attachment to The Chain. I do however have memories of Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports (or was it Sports Sunday) playing short video segments featuring super slow motion shots of Formula One cars set to classical music. I used to love watching these so I turned to Google to see if I could find something on YouTube. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything which means either no-one has a copy of these little videos or I imagined the whole thing.

Either way I thought I would have a go at making my own version. So here is what you get when you take a nice YouTube ‘Tribute to active suspension era video‘ and mash it with Pachelbel’s Canon and Gigue. I think it works but I’d love to hear what you think in the comments:

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