“Formula 1: All the races” review

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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

Rating four out of five

Buy Formula 1: All the Races (UK)

Buy Formula 1: All the Races (USA)

Formula 1: All the races

Publisher: Haynes
Published: March 2012
Price: ?é?ú30.00
ISBN: 9780857330581

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22 comments on “Formula 1: All the races” review

  1. Estesark (@estesark) said on 1st April 2012, 10:37

    Does it only include the top six drivers even for the races where more than six drivers scored points, like in recent seasons? If so, that would seem to be a pretty big flaw, and enough reason to put me off getting it.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st April 2012, 12:07

    Assuming the author had available information of all finishers, it’s a shame there is no E-book version in which all that information could easily have been included.

    • smiggs (@smiggs) said on 1st April 2012, 20:45

      It seems strange to me that they would bother putting this in a book at all when a subscription website or app would to me be the perfect venue for such data. Keep such a website updated with the current season and back fill with retrospective content and you could easily build up a dedicated following and subscriber base, it would be a nice little earner. A book on the other starts reducing in value as soon as you send it to the printer.

  3. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 1st April 2012, 12:47

    Yes, indeed. They must be doing this just to annoy Vettel.

  4. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 1st April 2012, 12:49

    How does the data in this book compare with online sources such as this fine site, F1.com, Wikipedia etc?

  5. John H (@john-h) said on 1st April 2012, 16:14

    If you need stats on Indianapolis 2005 then this is the book for you!

  6. ozzy (@ozzy) said on 1st April 2012, 18:31

    Could we please have a DVD-set or something with all the possible video footage from all the races? That would really be great. Bernie, Hello?

  7. Lotus49 (@lotus49) said on 2nd April 2012, 13:04

    This book was under consideration, by me, as a major cross reference item. Thanks for the warning Keith, now tagged ‘Avoid, Incomplete’.

  8. Fernando Cruz said on 3rd April 2012, 11:23

    What I think is lacking in terms of history books is one that includes all the non-championship races held not only since the beginning of F1 World Championship in 1950 but also including all the GP ever held – start of 20th century, all those counting for the European Championship (time of Nuvolari, Caracciola, Rosemeyer) and so on.

    Also I think the winners of the Indianapolis races counting for F1 (1950 to 1960) should not be listed in the ranking of GP winners, as they were not F1 drivers and their cars were not F1!

    • Jon Allen (@jona1976) said on 12th August 2012, 16:47

      However the Indy 500 was counted towards the F1 championships officially. Hence their inclusion. Admittedly it was only done to lend some credence to the fledgling F1 series but the races “counted” officially.

      Btw – there is an old history book that came out around 2000 called Chequered Flag, 100 Years of Motor Racing (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chequered-Flag-Years-Motor-Racing/dp/0297824023) which includes the info you would like to see. It’s still a decent reference book for the sport in general and particularly in it’s coverage of the first 50 years of motor racing.

      In regards to anyone holding or declaring they aren’t going to buy Roger Smith’s book reviewed here. I was also initially hesitant because of the “incomplete” list of finishers however what it lacks in the way of listing the finishers is more than amply made up for in other areas and to dismiss purchasing this for anyone wanting a reference tome for their F1 library is being churlish. The book doesn’t just provide precis of each race but also breaks down in some detail the shenanigans on and off the circuit which influenced the outcome. I thought I was pretty well versed in the history of F1 having amassed a large library of books on the sport in the 30 years I’ve been following it including several boxes of Motorsport and Autosport magazines back to the early eighties (my credentials as an F1 geek now assured). However I still found nuggets of information in the season details and folklore section which I knew little or nothing about and has inspired me to go and investigate these details before.

      In short this is not just a dry book full of stats. Roger Smith has excelled in breathing life in to what could’ve just been a reference book. Yes, it misses a trick by not providing the top 10 finishers but to overlook it for your F1 library would be foolish in my view and it deserves a place on your bookshelf regardless.

      Besides – if you want a dry listing of all the finishers of each race then http://www.grandprix.com or http://www.formula1.com can fulfill that requirement. This book will supplement those results lists with some colour and context.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd April 2012, 13:36

    It does seem a shame to truncate the results at 6. Why 6? Why not include all the points scorers at least.

    I think these days, with eBooks only on the up they really should have included all the post-race standings.

    However, I doubt there is something as good as this on the market.

  10. GeoCucc (@geocucc) said on 3rd April 2012, 20:37

    Its great, that there are statistics about pit stops in the book. But considering there are only the first 6 drivers listed, I suppose there are pit stop stats only for those 6 drivers, right? So it sounds even less attractive.
    However, I’m still interested. Nowadays you can find the full race results anywhere, and I think it would be still faster to browse it on a stats website, rather than searching it in a 600 pages book.
    Would be great to know more about the additional informations, and how a race summary actually look like. Are there things what I can’t find elsewhere?
    Nice, nice, but would like to have a look at it before buying.

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