The cherry on top of the nonsense of lavish award ceremonies aka the Oscars headlined every magazine cover and newspaper out there for the last few days after invading the internet like some sort of pretentious plague. While the debates on the best dressed and best red carpet pose are in full swing and the world’s media is busy making photobomb and selfie round-ups, I thought I’d turn my focus to narrating my very own version of the Academy Awards – one where a driver floating in space for two pointless hours doesn’t get 6 trophies.
As I can’t afford to hijack the FIA headquarters and steal a red carpet, I’ll just have a glass of wine in honor of the nominees and I invite you to do the same. Without further ado…
Best actor in a leading role:
Because not many got to lead so the nominations on this one were scarce. An increasingly convincing performance as the season evolved; even when he wasn’t cast in a leading role, he made sure to make his mark (get it?). Some might call it stale towards the end but Friends is still a great show even with those sketchy last few seasons.
Best actress in a leading role:
From the moment Peter Sauber threw the spotlight on her, she did a great job out of the mess she was left in. While she generally comes across as very approachable, her best performance yet was fielding all the bankruptcy gossip and never-ending questions from the media on both the money subject and their drivers’ faith. She handled the Sirotkin episode quite gracefully considering there weren’t many ways to sugar-coat it.
Best actor in a supporting role:
A category with tough competition but Felipe deserves this at least for the first half of the season. If there was a Lifetime Achievement Award then I’d have honored him with it, but seeing as there isn’t, he deserves a golden statue here. Runner up goes to Romain who rose up to the challenge – like Robin when Batman got a cold – and filled Kimi’s prematurely emptied shoes. Valtteri deserves a mention for being quite kick-ass all season, particularly in the Canadian episode.
Best actress in a supporting role:
For her pleasant performance in both the drama of The Toilet Chasers and her convincing debut as permanent host of The F1 Show. She is funnier than I previously thought and has a nice connection with the drivers, so the notoriously dull interviews on the back of a truck get a welcomed lift.
Best animated feature:
The Evolution of Formula 1
One of the coolest videos of the year was the creation of Brazilian TV, who started their coverage of the season finale with this entertaining animation of racers through the ages. From Fangio to Vettel, you’ll find all the cars that delighted us for over half a century. I have a feeling this year’s cars will look better as a cartoon than in real life.
A joint award this time since I (by that I mean the awards committee) couldn’t decide which staged play was more persuasive: Greenpeace’s remote-controlled banners on the podium in Spa or Christian Horner’s persistence in convincing us that the game was still on even after Seb’s crushing ennealogy* of wins was well on its way.
*The wise Wiki Answers claims ennealogy is the term for a story in 9 parts (like a trilogy but with trophies instead of rings)
Best costume design:
The highlight of the collaboration between Lotus F1 and Columbia Records was the mysterious appearance of the French electronic duo during the Monaco GP. Sporting their trademark helmets while escorting the drivers to the grid, Daft Punk made quite a fuss about their album launch. Never a fan of electronic music, I still listened to their album and found it quite entertaining. Anyway, the adapted team kit was better than their regular one.
He danced his way around the delicate secret test issue and not for one moment he seemed like losing control over the situation. Confusing intrusive news crews was nothing compared to the way he subtly but perfectly directed the outcome of the imposingly-called tribunal hearing, ending up with pretty much what he wanted all along: a private test and not having to bother with young drivers. Sam Bird might not have been particularly happy about that but at least they cut his suffering short – a privilege withheld from a certain Italian reserve driver.
Best documentary feature:
Sky F1 Inside the Team
I know there was more than one video, but that feature on Lotus F1 during the Chinese GP (I think) was one of the inside stories I enjoyed the most. We hear from drivers and team principals so often (and they’re saying the same thing every time) but crew members rarely get a chance to talk about their work. With all of Lotus’ problems, at the core of the team I still think there are those dedicated, hard-working and lovable people that complete the puzzle.
Best documentary short:
Sky F1 WAG debrief
Slightly less entertaining was the constant ‘WAG Watch’ at some races. I do realize it’s difficult to fill airtime when nothing of any interest happens on track but talking about how Sutil’s lady looks and how she reacts to any little thing that happens is not news. Lewis’ on-off love life neither. Most women aren’t interested and I’m pretty sure men would subscribe to this too.
Best film editing:
Mark Webber’s video adventure in low definition CCTV feed must have been one of the most broadcasted “don’t try this at home” internet sensations. No editing whatsoever and it still was top of the charts – the sign of a good homemade movie.
Best foreign language film:
The Scemi/Geni Duality
Fernando Alonso’s majestic interpretation of the Italian radio play gains him recognition in this often underappreciated category. As any independent film, people pretend it’s cool and with a deep meaning, until you actually watch it and realize it’s not really worth the buzz unless you’re a critic/journalist with column inches to fill.
Best make-up and hairstyling:
Britney sweeps the trophy cabined clean on this one, with the countdown of hair retouches after his Monaco win stopping somewhere around 10. Seb’s blondness was a runner-up in the category but could hardly classify as “best” – “eye-catching” at most.
Best original score:
Sky F1’s Just Drive
Team Sky is presented with this award for “the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring” for their theme song that gives me goosebumps and it’s getting rather outdated at the same time (something a bit more lively wouldn’t hurt, this isn’t a museum tour). Anyway, the dramatic music on the background of minor incidents is both funny and worthy of an award.
Best original song:
The Kimi-Permane talk-show…
…because just like a Bieber song, everybody seemed to have a radical opinion about it. But unlike a 3min song, it seemed to last for ages.
Best production design:
Natalie Pinkham in a dress
They finally got her out of the school uniform and into something more ladylike – this isn’t only a boys’ sport anymore. Might not sound like much but I’m sure both the ladies and gentlemen viewers welcome the change as Ted’s shorts or the Herbert-Brundle tandem of matching shirts aren’t particularly compelling.
Best animated short film:
And more specifically the Mika Hakkinen episode – a personal favorite of mine. While McLaren failed to capture our attention on track, with the exception of a few verbal sparks between its drivers, the animated series was a highly anticipated part of Sunday coverage. And it most certainly increased the audience during commercial breaks, when you never knew if the irritating Rolex ad will be followed by the equally persistent Sky Atlantic promo or a brand new cartoon episode. I’m a child at heart, sue me!
Best live action short film:
Although the BBC had some worthy contributions over the season, Ted’s Notebook was still the reference point (for me at least) in all essential matters. While the paddock might not be exactly Disneyland, the walking tour he usually gives us is compelling in itself.
Best sound editing:
The saga of the misheard command was surely a highlight of the season – right up until Bahrain when the debate got plain boring for most fans. Whether the radio connection was misleading or Seb edited the mega-ultra-secret code in his head, this is a clear example of PR people giving a multitude of solutions and drivers taking none of them, resulting in some tabloid-friendly sound bites.
Best visual effect: The illusion of a fire car…
…rolling down the track in front of a fleet of weaving F1 cars and confused drivers. Oh wait, that wasn’t an illusion, was it? The British GP extravaganza by Pirelli was another serious contender.
Best original screenplay:
The Korean Chaos
For a track we’re unlikely to remember much of, it sure went out with a bang. More than one to be fair: Adrian hitting Mark’s car like a flaming piñata, Nico’s front wing fondling the tarmac, Sergio’s tyre shredding up like Oreos and Romain bursting on the radio. Not to mention the lasting impact of the fire truck jokes and memes. A screenplay to remember indeed.
Best adapted screenplay:
The 2013 season…
…as a slightly more challenging 2011.
The cinephiles amongst you might notice one glaring omission: Best Picture award. The reason for it is that I ran out of wine. Just kidding, but I just cannot decide which is the best race. As always, some races stick to my mind due to certain unwelcomed incidents and others for a solitary overtake or a rewarding strategy call. There’s not one I’d call perfect from a sportive and entertainment point of view. We each have our own nominees and I’ll let you decide for yourself.
*credit where credit’s due, none of the photos belong to me but to talented people that I don’t know.