There are two different kinds of F1 books on my shelves: Recent books in good condition, and old ones with tatty covers and faded pages.
However I do have one book which already looks old despite being quite new.
This is the Grand Prix Data Book, which despite being published only a few years ago is already looking rather dog-eared. The binding is coming apart and its spine is held together with sticking tape.
This is a much-used book, mainly because it’s packed with full results for every race up to 2005 and several more chapters’ worth of information. It’s rare for a workday to pass without me picking it up to double-check some arcane piece of F1 trivia.
But that may be about to change.
Haynes have published a new title which also boasts results for every world championship race and a lot more information besides. The 858 races up to the start of this season are condensed into a surprisingly compact volume of 600 pages.
Each race gets a detailed, tautly-written summary and the usual details on lap leaders, starting positions and so on. Plus one particularly useful statistics often missing from such books – how many pit stops each driver made.
Writer Roger Smith has also selected his personal top 100 races, which are highlighted throughout the book. It also includes a list of winners of those often-overlooked non-championship Grands Prix.
What would otherwise be page after page of tables is broken up by colourful illustrations of cars from each of the seasons.
It promises to be a superb reference package but for one rather significant flaw: Only the top six finishers for each race are listed.
This saves a lot of space – particularly for those races in the late eighties where the entry list numbered in the high 30s. But it also limits its usefulness as reference material.
It’s the only thing that stops it from getting full marks. And it is that which will surely keep my Grand Prix Data Book in service for several more years.
F1 Fanatic rating
Formula 1: All the races
Published: March 2012
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