Aled sent me an email asking if I could recommend some F1 books for him to read over the summer:
I am going on holiday in a few weeks, I want a book or two to read. I want a good book on Senna, one that will help me realise how so many people are fascinated by him as a driver and person. Any recommendations?
I did two articles on good F1 books to read over the summer last year: essential summer reads and more essential summer reads. Here’s a couple more books worth taking a look at – plus one on Ayrton Senna for Aled…
”The Death of Ayrton Senna” (Richard Williams, 1999)
Sure there are bigger Senna biographies out there but don’t confuse quantity with quality: a lot of Senna books are dross.
This is different: concise and free of that fawning tone some of Senna’s biographers adopt. Its title gives the impression that it’s only about Senna’s death – but actually this is as good an account of his life as you’ll find.
Here are some other biographies of Ayrton Senna I’ve reviewed:
- “Ayrton Senna: The Whole Story” (Christopher Hilton, 2004)
- “The Life of Senna” (Tom Rubython)
- “Ayrton Senna: As Time Goes By” (Christopher Hilton, 1999)
”Winning is not Enough” (Jackie Stewart, 2007)
One of my favourite books of last year and a popular title among F1 Fanatic readers too. Stewart tells his own story in a matter-of-fact fashion with little trace of ego and a lot of warmth.
When I interviewed him after it was published he said he originally envisaged it as being in two volumes and you can see why – it’s packed with stories and anecdotes. It’s a hefty hardback though (the paperback comes out in October), so it might not be the best book for the beach. Otherwise you can’t really fault it. The DVD is an excellent bonus extra as well.
“The Chariot Makers: Assembling the perfect Formula 1 car” (Steve Matchett, 2005)
Ex-Benetton mechanic Steve Matchett takes us through how an F1 car is built from the ground-up. But it’s not a book for hardcore techies – treat it as a quick and (above all) entertaining introduction to F1 car technology.
There’s a slightly odd narrative running through it where Matchett is explaining all this to a couple of people he met while waiting for a plane, but it doesn’t detract from the meat of the book. Matchett’s not short of an opinion or two as well which adds to the fun.
Looking for more F1 book recommendations? Here’s the full list of F1 Fanatic book reviews.
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