The first 60 years of F1's world championship are the subject of an hour-long documentary to be screened on BBC4
on Sunday night [27 March].
Entitled Plus Ça Change
, the Mark Stewart Productions creation describes F1's 60th anniversary celebrations at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix, featuring exclusive interviews with the 18 world champions who attended the race, as well as rare archive material from six decades of the sport and new high definition sequences shot behind the scenes at the grand prix.
Plus Ça Change
follows the events of the Bahrain race weekend, culminating in Fernando Alonso's debut win for Ferrari, but also examines, through the
reminiscences of the different champions, different themes that have continued in F1 over the last 60 years. These include the tenacity required to win the drivers' championship, personal heroes, danger, rivalries, fame, superstitions, talent and the enduring passion inspired by F1, with Nigel Mansell reliving his epic battles with Ayrton Senna, and the likes of Jenson Button, Mario Andretti and Sir Jackie Stewart reflecting on their admiration for Alain Prost, Phil Hill and Juan-Manuel Fangio.
Michael Schumacher reflects ruefully on his coming together with Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, an incident that defined that year's world title, while some of his rivals describe the superstitious rituals they follow, including Fernando Alonso's fascination with hotel room numbers and others' various lucky items of clothing. In return, Niki Lauda offers a blunt opinion that superstition is all 'bullsh*t'.
Among the film's other highlights are rare colour footage of F1's first ever grand prix at Silverstone in 1950, which was watched by the young future Queen Elizabeth, and interviews with champions such as Sir Jack Brabham, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mika Hakkinen, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter and John Surtees, and other influential members of the F1 fraternity, including Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt Sir Frank Williams, Ross Brawn, and Gordon Murray.