It’s a book called “The Top 100 Formula 1 Drivers of All Time”, it’s written by a British journalist, and Michael Schumacher isn’t in the top ten. This is going to go down well.
Alan Henry makes some interesting arguments and unusual choices: so we have Juan Manuel Fangio behind not one but two of his contemporaries.
Lewis Hamilton isn’t just one the cover – he’s in the list as well, along with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. And he’s ahead of one of them…
Some people find lists like this tedious and pointless exercises – to the rest of us it’s a harmless bit of fun that lets us argue the case for out favourite drivers.
I was expecting this to be one of those enormous coffee table jobs with glossy photographs and microscopic text but this is actually a ‘proper’ book compiled of 500-odd word biographies of the drivers Henry counts among the top 100.
A few thing struck me as odd about this book. First, for most of the time unless you read the cover you wouldn’t know this was a ‘top 100’ – there’s little argument about why one driver appears above another.
Most of the passages are straight biographies but occasional ones focus almost entirely on a single season of a driver’s career (like Jenson Button’s) and others miss out recent years. Several drivers from the pre-Formula 1 era are included as well.
But if you take the book for what it is – brief biographies of some of F1’s greatest drivers – you’ll probably enjoy it. Not a bad gift idea for a new F1 fan. Those who already know their Rosemeyers from their Raikkonens may find it a bit lightweight.