Lewis Hamilton has driven 17 Grands Prix so far and had eight books written about him. At that rate, by the time he’s racked up a tally to rival Michael Schumacher’s 250, vast swathes of forests will have been plundered to record his every movement in microscopic detail.
Many would question the point of having eight different books about a driver whose F1 career is not over yet. But perhaps Schumacher’s not done yet. He will make a second appearance in testing next week in addition to his recent karting victory and approaching appearance in the Race of Champions.
Perhaps this books claim to be “The definitive race-by-race record of his Grand Prix career may end up being out of date?
Christopher Hilton is one of the most prolific F1 authors and was one of the first to put out a biography of Schumacher following the end of the German’s career this time twelve months ago.
This hefty and well illustrated 350-page hardback volume covers each of Schumacher’s Grand Prix appearances in very close detail – much like Hilton’s similar book on Ayrton Senna, “His Complete Racing Record.”
Hilton has an unusual style that I suspect may win over some readers as much as it alienates others. He tends to latch onto peculiar key phrases and lean on them very heavily.
The reportage is straight, factual, more like a corporate press release than something you would read out of choice. Schumacher’s blunt analyses of the various events are rehashed with little or no interpretation.
This is a significant problem because you can’t write 350 pages about Schumacher’s 250 races without mentioning the odd dodgy moment. But whether it’s the collision with Damon Hill in Adelaide or parking up at Rascasse in qualifying, all are passed by with a kind of glib disinterest that suggests the author thinks it would be wrong to impugn the integrity of a man who won 91 Grands Prix.
To be fair, Schumacher’s greatest moments are passed by with a similar lack of excitement. Thus a remarkable career is rendered entirely unremarkable.
None of this will matter much to ardent Schumi-philes who will lap it all up. The book is rich in statistical detail and the layout and photography are of a high standard.
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- “Michael Schumacher – Driven to Extremes” (James Allen)
- “Michael Schumacher: The edge of greatness” (James Allen, 2007)
- “Schumacher: The Life of the New Formula 1 Champion” (Timothy Collings, 1994)
- “Team Schumacher” (Timothy Collings, 2005)
- “Michael Schumacher: The Whole Story” (Christopher Hilton, 2006)
- “Michael Schumacher: Driving Force” (Sabine Kehm)
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