Coulthard’s book hit the shelves a few weeks before Jackie Stewart’s “Winning is not enough.”
But while Stewart, who has dyslexia, painstakingly narrated a vast book that he admits would have worked better in two volumes, Coulthard handed the task over to ghostwriter Martin Roach. That’s hardly unusual for an active F1 driver though.
It’s odd that Coulthard has chosen this time in his career to put an autobiography about. Many times in the past few years he has fobbed off journalists asking the same old questions about when he will retire, always insisting that he intends to keep racing for much longer. So why put out an autobiography now?
I can’t answer that, but I can tell you it’s a decent book. The whole Coulthard story is here, with plenty of interesting background story on his path to F1 and stacks of amusing anecdotes that his most devoted followers will surely adore.
He has a few highly topical remarks to make on the equality of treatment he got at McLaren alongside Mika Hakkinen. Reading his remarks about getting equal technical treatment, but feeling he lacked the support of the top management, it almost begins to sound like what Fernando Alonso has been complaining about.
The content is generally really good, although I hoped for a little more on his feelings about the state of the sport, and some insight into the inner workings of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, where his intelligent mind has been put to good use.
The style is awkward, though – it really feels like a ghostwritten book, with the author reporting what happened in a rigid chronology.
As an autobiography it’s slightly disappointing – Coulthard’s character doesn’t come out in full colour – it feels dulled for coming at us second hand.
Perhaps he’ll take a second crack at writing an autobiography in the future – a proper one, penned from his own hand. With any luck, shortly after stepping down from what I expect would be a hughly successful tenure as president of the FIA…
- “Winning is not enough – the autobiography” (Jackie Stewart, 2007)
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