But wait – this one is actually pretty good.
In fact “The Full Story”, written by top F1 scribe Mark Hughes, is the first biography of Hamilton I’d actually recommend reading.
The hype surrounding Lewis Hamilton is suffocating. Many comments are left on these pages by people claiming the media attention to Hamilton is putting them off him.
And so it’s easy to write off any attempt to write a biography of the 22 year-old as an obvious cash-in. It’s not an unreasonable point of view.
But that alone doesn’t mean you can’t write a decent book about Lewis Hamilton and that’s exactly what we have here.
Mark Hughes is a regular contributor for Autosport and, though I’ve often admired his work, I did wonder how well his pithy style would work in a 280-page book instead of a half-page column.
In fact it reads very well in its own right, and vastly better than the other Hamilton titles I’ve read (links below).
Hughes gives a wider perspective that other biographers of Hamilton don’t offer – whether it’s the frank admission that you need more than talent to progress through the junior ranks of motor racing (and that’s what McLaren provided), to questioning what other F1 drivers thought of a rookie challenging for the championship (they didn’t like it).
He gives the controversial points of the 2007 a thorough treatment and isn’t afraid to point out where Hamilton may have transgressed – such as the infamous Hungaroring debacle.
As good as it is, it does fall into the same traps that claim all of its rivals. There’s no original comment from Hamilton himself (although he’s done his homework and sourced some interesting remarks that escaped wider media attention).
And you have to ask whether it’s really necessary to produce a biography of a driver so early in his F1 career. Perhaps not. But if in ten year’s time he’s ascended the heights many expect him to scale, perhaps then we’ll see things differently.
If you are thinking of getting a Hamilton book, don’t be duped into thinking the official book will automatically be the best option. “The Full Story” is a far better choice.