Formula 1 books
24th April 2014, 17:07 at 5:07 pm #258077
I started last year with my F1 related readings, based on Keith’s recommendations. I’ve read Jackie Stewart’s autobiography (it’s quite long and sometimes it’s boring, but you read it all in his voice ! it’s very nice), and Peter Warr’s too (EPIC book ! loved it from start to finish). I still have in my bookshelf the McLaren M23 Haynes Owner’s Manual which I’m reading now, and the enormous “Inside the Innovator” by Karl Ludvigsen (about Colin Chapman, also recommended by Keith but not reviewed on the website).
Another one Keith missed is Mark Donohue’s “The Unfair Advantage”. It was the first book of motorsport related stuff I’ve read in english. As he was a mechanical engineer like me (well, sorta, I’m still in university), I decided to have a go and I got it.
Excelent from every angle. He goes into detail on all the cars he drove and how he worked to make them faster, all the different ones aswell ! from amateur races, Trans Am, to Can Am, Le Mans and F1. I reckon if it came with a perfume, it’d be racing fuel in a little glass bottle, cuz that book screams motorsport. Recommended !25th April 2014, 8:01 at 8:01 am #258117
Thanks for the recommendations! Some books I didn’t know about yet. I think the books review section on your website is really underrated @keithcollantine !5th May 2014, 10:26 at 10:26 am #258801
Since I never read one… what’s the best book about Senna in your opinion?8th May 2014, 7:49 at 7:49 am #259120
No one?18th May 2014, 9:14 at 9:14 am #260604
I’ve been meaning to post in this thread for a while now, but kept forgetting..
I got a book on 50 years F1 when I was a kid, which had all the races in very short reviews. To be honest, I never read it much, because it read pretty hard for a kid (and I didn’t know much about F1 pre-1994 back then). It got some pretty poor reviews in F1 magazines as well, mainly because they kept using the same expressions, like “If there really were 100.000 people, half of them dressed up as empty seats”. Ironically, I got the ’60 years of F1′ version of the same book 10 years later..
I’ve also read James Allen’s Schumacher biography, but being a massive Schumacher fanboy at the time, there wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t already knew and I don’t think I ever read it cover to cover.
My parents have a book on ‘100 years of Grand Prix racing, 50 years of Zandvoort’ which I used to read quite a lot. It had a pretty decent info-level for a novice reader, but lately I haven’t been inclined to read it, again because most of the info is pretty much common knowledge to F1 fans who’ve been watching for a while.
Recently I picked up some in-depth season reviews by Ulrich Schwab at a used book store. I currently have the 1981 and 1982 books, but am looking to get more, as they do have a level of information you don’t often find online or in magazines, especially on the cars (not that I’m doing much with the information what type of crankshaft the Hart engine of 1981 used) and they have some great pictures. The 1982 book even had some hidden gems; a Mobil 1 poster with Keke Rosberg and a picture of Elio de Angelis’ win at the Austrian GP. Based on the content of the books, I’d say that his season reviews are worth checking out if you enjoy in-depth reviews of races and plenty of technical information on the cars. His writing style is somewhat opinionated, though.
I need to get my hands on Stewart’s autobiography after reading this thread, though. I’ve also been looking for Matchett’s books and Di Spires’ ‘I just made the tea’. To be honest, the mechanic and (especially) hospitality angles of the F1 life are very intriguing.18th May 2014, 9:53 at 9:53 am #260638
Keith CollantineKeymaster19th May 2014, 12:31 at 12:31 pm #260706
Given today’s sad events I should recommend finding Jack Brabham’s 1971 autobiography “When the flag drops” if you can. I find autobiographies can be very hit-and-miss but his is pithily written and full of great stories.21st May 2014, 6:36 at 6:36 am #26086327th May 2014, 11:50 at 11:50 am #261905
Just ordered “The Death of Ayrton Senna” by Williams, the Ecclestone biography by Watkins and “Remembering Elio”, a hardcover book with pictures about the life of Elio De Angelis.27th May 2014, 13:50 at 1:50 pm #261919
From Starting Grid to Chequered Flag By Paul Frere is very good. It is an account of his racing career as a journalist/driver from 1948 to 1960, from entering his first motor race after persuading his friend to enter his mg is spa 24hr to his entry in many grand prix (including monaco 55 and spa 55,56 where he finds himself driving for the ferrari team) and le mans 24rh races. I would whole heartedly recommend picking this book up if you can find it!11th November 2014, 8:35 at 8:35 am #285337
I recently read “My Years with Ferrari” by Niki Lauda. The first half is an absorbing account of his 4 years with the Scuderia, although it definitely left me wanting more. The second part of the book is written by journalist Herbert Volker and is meant to round out the book’s presentation of Lauda. These chapters weren’t nearly as interesting for me and were more about Lauda’s personality/psyche than they were about his time with Ferrari. Overall, this one was a bit of a letdown.11th November 2014, 15:59 at 3:59 pm #285400
If anyone is interested in a fictional book with an F1 theme I would highly recommend Quick by Steve Worland as the basic story line is an ex professional racing driver who now works for the police goes undercover to try to catch some armed criminals who are robbing various banks who have connections to the F1 world. I wont spoil the rest of the story but it involves high speed racing, shoot outs/ car chases and various other F1 teams/ references.
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