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Better than half the grid // Reviewing the 'Life Behind Lewis' documentary

Published by Mr. C

At the tail end of last year, on the 30th December to be precise, a Formula 1 related video documentary aired in the UK on ITV4. You may not have heard of it, I imagine most people didn't know it was on because ITV didn't bother to promote it.

I didn't see any advertisements for the program, and no mention was made on their F1 website, so you can be excused if you missed it. We only heard about it because a friend of ours texted to suggest we tune in. The documentary was entitled "Life Behind Lewis".

As it happened, we were busy at the time the program aired, so we threw the details into the PVR and went about our business. This week we managed to catch up and it turns out we got it completely wrong. The show had nothing to do with Lewis Hamilton, and made no reference to his dad at all. It was in fact a documentary about Anthony Davidson. The 'Behind Lewis' premise being something to do with following the McLaren driver from some distance.

In an ideal world the program would have been called A Year in the Life of Anthony Davidson and we'd be raving about it for weeks to come.

The content was a mix of the fantastic peppered with the surreal. At times we got to see some really unique footage of an F1 driver away from the media. Anthony getting himself lost while following Sat-Nav through France, or taking 12 minutes to top up his oil at a service station were just a couple of the highlights. But every now and then the narrator would drop in some random reference relating to Lewis, as if to keep the casual viewers attention.

More Davidson highlights included what I assume to be a sneak preview of Super Aguri's 2008 challenger sitting in a wind tunnel - it had a McLaren style bridged front wing attached, which as far as I'm aware has never been publicly tested, let alone raced.

The program was also the source of Anthony's wonderful soundbyte that did the rounds the first couple of days of this month:

I'm so happy I've proved to myself that I'm good enough for Formula 1, and probably better than half the grid – I can say that easily, without a doubt.

Added to that, Mr. Ecclestone must have been having a good day when this idea was pitched to him, because official FOM race footage appeared during the broadcast, including a re-run of Ant's stellar qually lap in Turkey. Bernie's going soft in his old age.

At points the tenuous Hamilton connections started to wear thin, as did the lack of video - I had to hide behind a cushion when the camera slowly panned across a collection of Autosport magazine covers, presumably due to a lack of any suitable Lewis footage.

Due to the vagarities of our PVR, we did manage to miss both the beginning and the end of the show, so there may have been other key bits we didn't see. I'd be curious to learn what Anthony thought of it all as there's nothing on his official site, nor on Super Aguri's.

It's such a shame that ITV decided to bury this program, because a documentary like this deserves better.

If you did manage to catch it, please let us know your thoughts.

Disclaimer: Didn't appreciate this at the time, but this TV show was made by a company called USP Content, the very same people who took us to Honda Dreamfields in 2007. My complaints still stand though, some things could've been better.

Update: It's been pointed out to us that during television re-runs, the FOM footage was excluded due to rights restrictions. In short, scrub the bit about Bernie going soft in his old age!




  • we may not be the only confused viewers, here's a quote from a bebo user:

    Did you watch Life Behind Lewis? A programme about Lewis Hamilton....that hardly had him in it lol, woo

    what's in a name eh?

  • It’s a shame that ITV did not promote this, I would love to have seen it but unfortunately I was not aware it was on. An annoying thing about ITV at the moment is that unless any F1 related program has Hamilton in it directly then they do not tend to promote it. Even if it is not about Lewis they try to put facts about him in it. There review program disappointed me as they featured an interview with Lewis, which in itself is not disappointing, but the interview was half an hour. That’s half the show!!

    lou

  • Can't even find it on Bittorrent.

    Pity, would love to have seen it.

  • More Davidson highlights included what I assume to be a sneak preview of Super Aguri’s 2008 challenger sitting in a wind tunnel - it had a McLaren style bridged front wing attached, which as far as I’m aware has never been publicly tested, let alone raced.

    Does this mean Super Aguri won't be racing last year's awful Honda? I am not sure racing would be the appropriate verb.

  • Aargh! I'm adding 'Life Behind Lewis' to my file of ridiculous Lewy-love. It's really gone overboard when entire programmes about other drivers are named after Lewis Hamilton.

  • There review program disappointed me as they featured an interview with Lewis, which in itself is not disappointing, but the interview was half an hour. That’s half the show!!

    we didn't catch it, but that's frustrating. how many drivers took to the grid last year?

    Can’t even find it on Bittorrent.

    Pity, would love to have seen it.

    we have half of the show! although it's apparently trapped on our PVR because that doesn't yet support vista.

    if it's repeated, we'll yell.

    Does this mean Super Aguri won’t be racing last year’s awful Honda? I am not sure racing would be the appropriate verb.

    i should hope not. the documentary didn't explicitly say, but it's fair bet they'll start with last years car and then pick up the honda '08 chassis later (if they're not already beating them).

    I’m adding ‘Life Behind Lewis’ to my file of ridiculous Lewy-love.

    you have a file?

  • you have a file?

    Actually, no. I fear that if I start it would soon turn into a filing cabinet.

  • A Word From the Sponsor

    Glad to here the documentary was so favourably received by all who saw it.

    We were all really proud in sponsoring a documentary about Ant and are giving away a VIP tickets to the 2008 British Grand Prix with a behind the scenes tour of the Super Aguri team a chance to meet Anthony Davidson himself.

    http://www.eachonecounts.co.uk/life-behind-lewis.htm

    We'll also keep the website updated with any news should the documentary repeat. We're hopeful to see a re-run before the season kicks off again.

    Happy Racing & Recycling All!

  • We’ll also keep the website updated with any news should the documentary repeat. We’re hopeful to see a re-run before the season kicks off again.

    very much appreciate that john. we'll give it a plug when it airs again.

  • I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear something. :)

  • Life Behind Lewis is going to be shown again on Sunday the 9th @ 5pm. Before the official preview programme.

    Hope you can catch it.

  • cheers john, we was just talking about you! lou might've beat you to it, but thanks for getting back to us.

    :)

  • I wonder what happens to the competition now?

  • I wonder what happens to the competition now?

    alianora, i salute you for remembering this, your power of recollection knows no bounds!

    :)

  • Um... ...I wasn't reading this site when the competition was originally reported by Sidepodcast. I just followed some links to get here. The "Better Than Half The Grid" title was too provocative ;)

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