“The Little book of Grand Prix Legends” (Philip Raby, 2006)

?????ǣThe Little book of Grand Prix Legends?????? (Philip Raby, 2006)For this weekend’s F1 book review, something a little lighter than usual.

“The little book of Grand Prix Legends” is just over 100 pages on 30 of the biggest names of the sport.

There’s no shortage of similar books along these lines, so what makes this one stand out from the crowd?

How do you go about selecting the 30 greatest legends of the sport anyway? Say you start with all the world champions – that’s 27 drivers just to begin with.

Throw in some of the pre-world championship greats – say Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, Bernd Rosemeyer, Rudolf Carraciola, Henry Segrave, and we’ve merely scratched the surface of the pre-war period.

And, of course, all the great drivers who were never champions: Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks, Dan Gurney, Gilles Villeneuve, Ronnie Peterson and so on. You could easily come up with fifty candidates.

Having said all that there are some strange, one might say cynical inclusions in this list of greats. David Coulthard? Jenson Button? Nice chaps both but surely their place on the back cover has more to do with them both being active British racers.

Most of the inclusions here are bang on the money, from Mario Andretti to Tazio Nuvolari to Alain Prost, covering pre- and post-war, champions and non-champions alike.

Unless you have a very broad and deep knowledge of Grand Prix racing, there’s bound to be some good reading material here for you. I especially enjoyed the pieces on Emile Levassor and Henry Seagrave.

A decent proof-reading would have helped though – minor errors are excusable but spelling Senna’s forename ‘Aryton’ on the cover is not.

But it’s a cheerful book at a bargain price (GBP ??6.99) – an ideal gift for that wavering friend of yours who you’re trying to convert to full-time F1 fandom…

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