F1 Literature


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    Despite being a massive F1 fan I’ve never really read many books on the sport, but I began reading Senna vs Prost, until I left it behind in Edinburgh, and now I’m reading The Brawn Story and have enjoyed both so far. I was thinking of treating myself to a book about Gilles Villeneuve next if anyone has any advice.

    This is the best F1 community on the net so I thought it’d be a good place to get a discussion going on what books you enjoyed reading. What F1 books have you read and which would you recommend?



    For Gilles Villeneuve I’d recommend “Giles Villeneuve the life of the legendary racing driver” by Gerald Donaldson.

    It’s a great read, has a lot of detail and every chapter starts with a little quote which is nice. It’s the best thing I’ve read on him in all honesty.

    My favourite on Senna is a little bit of a tribute and just worships him but it;s the memories and mementoes one. It has sleeves throughout with copies of his letters etc, photos but goes into some great detail about his performances. It’s superlatives and focusses on just Senna’s character and ability rather than anything else but I like looking at the characters in the helmet so it suited me.

    This History of Formula 1 was good just as a little overview although it missed out teams/drivers who hadn’t won titles such as Minardi and Gilles which meant it missed out some of the biggest characters and contributors in the sport.


    Keith Collantine

    You’ll find lots more ideas for what to read (and avoid) here:

    F1 book reviews

    I’d advise reading the Gerald Donaldson Gilles Villeneuve biography too. I’d especially recommend:

    “The Racing Driver” – Denis Jenkinson

    “Cars at Speed” – Robert Daley

    “Memories of a Racing Man” – Jo Ramirez

    “Winning is not Enough” – Jackie Stewart

    “Enzo Ferrari – A Life” – Richard Williams



    Cheers Keith and Steph. I actually found Keith’s review for the book on Villeneuve when I googled it, and with an impulse buy on pay day I’ve already ordered it.

    I’ve just read the two other reveiws you gave links for Keith and I’m mighty tempted by Stewart’s autobiography as I’m a huge fan of his. But I’m really fascinated by everything Ferrari at the moment so I think I might go for the Ferrari biogrpaphy if can find time for it before the end of the summer.



    Was Senna vs Prost any good? Still haven’t bought it…

    My favourites are Williams and Chequered Conflict, both by Maurice Hamilton, and the Senna biography by Tom Rubython.


    Ned Flanders

    Gerald Donaldson’s biography of James Hunt is also excellent. It’s very well written, and of course Hunt had an incredible life. It gets my seal of approval.

    I really enjoyed Mark Hughes’ biography of Lewis Hamilton. It is largely focused on the explosive 2007 season, so it’s probably worth reading even if you’re not a Hamilton fan.

    Working the Wheel is also very good. It’s part circuit guide, part Martin Brundle autobiography, so there are plenty of interesting anecdotes.



    I’ve read Gerald Donaldson’s biography of James Hunt too, and I definitely agree – it’s a book that’s worth a read. It certainly opened my eyes to the James Hunt beyond the playboy image.


    Dan Thorn

    Donaldson’s bio of Fangio is also brilliant and it’s great to read about such a vastly different era. I’m glad to hear Donalson’s Hunt biography is also a good read, it’s next on my list of things to read. So I might get it started before christmas, who know!

    I started Enzo Ferrari: A Life a month or two ago, but being the lazy reader I am have barely finished a chapter!

    I also enjoyed ‘Forza Minardi!’ by Simon Vigar. It’s not the most complete of books but it’s quite a light hearted look at the team nobody could fail to love, I enjoyed it (lots of shiny pictures and short paragraphs, perfect to keep my attention!)



    Right guys in the last month I’ve finished Brawn Story which was good for some of the anecdotes but generally it didn’t shed that much light on a season that was already very fresh in the memory. I read the Gilles Villeneuve biography which I read faster than any other book I’ve ever read and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also found Senna vs Prost in a pile of boxes upstairs and finished that. And to belatedly answer you’re question KevinC its great and the interview with Prost was very inciteful and a great basis for the book.

    I also bought Schumacher: The Edge of Greatness by James Allen which I found was brilliant in the way it showed the contradictions of Schumacher who was clearly such a good man off the track with the man who often did desperate and dangerous things on the track. Also I’m finding myself re-evaluating my past dislike for Schumacher to some extents, although whilst reading the book I still couldn’t stomach some of the things in the early 2000s.

    Also Ned I saw Chequered Conflict and the Hamilton biography in the shop and was nearly tempted by them but I don’t think I can bring myself to read them yet. Instead I’m off to order Enzo Ferrari: A life, as I’m finding myself turning more and more into a Ferrari fan not just an Alonso fan.

    Anyone else read any good F1 books recently over the summer break?



    “as I’m finding myself turning more and more into a Ferrari fan ” can I just say yey at that?

    I have a mountain of Eng Lit books to get through for uni but I’ll probably toss them aside and finally read Alex Zanardi: My Story soon and maybe Williams: The legndary story of Frank W. or whatever it is called.

    Also pre-F1 but still worth a read is When Nuvolari Raced.


    sbl on tour

    check out crashed and burned- tommy byrne

    and the lost generation by david tremayne bout , roger williamson, tom pryce and tony brise

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