Even though British teams like Lotus, McLaren and Williams won championships in the intervening period, of British champions were none.
That might have been very different had it not been for the untimely deaths of three promising British drivers who are the subjects of the triple-biography by David Tremayne.
Roger Williamson, Tony Brise, Tom Pryce. They might have won races, even championships, but instead their names rank among the Stefan Bellofs – potentially great racers who died before they had a chance to shine.
That they were all such popular characters, who died particularly unnecessary deaths, all adds to the profound sense of sadness of in book.
Tremayne has done justice to all three with the biographies, rich in detail about their backgrounds and giving much more emphasis on the lives they lived rather than the terrible ends they met.
Of course, it is inescapably morbid in places and the chapter on Roger Williamson’s infamous death is extremely harrowing. It reminded me very much of Koen Vergeer’s sense of horror in his book “Formula One Fanatic”.
If I can offer only one criticism it is that I don’t like the large-page, slim volume format of the book. It does allow for many pages of excellent photography, but I feel it breaks up the prose too much and has the unfortunate (given its subject matter) feel of those ‘coffee table’ books that are abundant in F1 literature.
But regardless “The Lost Generation” is probably the best new F1 book to come out in 2006. Make some room on your bookshelf for it now.