Recently I realised that I really don’t know enough about the history of the sport I love so are there any books or films my fellow fanatics would recommend to learn a bit about the origins of F1 and motorsport in general?
What really inspired me to look into the past was hearing about Fangio’s earlier exploits in the huge road races in Argentina, so any information about those sorts of races would be great.
I clicked on this link posted in the comments the other day, and to my disbelief, sat through the full hour! http://vimeo.com/4228678 If you click on the uploader’s profile, you’ll see he has many more great documentaries. :-)
I’m also interested in looking for any books which cover pre-Second World War racing.
I’ve read about Fangio’s exploits too and the stories are just insane. If you’re looking for more of that sort of thing Richard Williams’ biography of Enzo Ferrari has a lot of good accounts of his exploits with Alfa Romeo in the Targo Florio, Mille Miglia etc with drivers like Nuvolari, Varzi and Moll.
A good book I discovered recently is Go Like Hell by AJ Baime, it’s all about the Ford VS. Ferrari wars at Le Mans in the late 60’s. Though it has a lot of info about F1 in it as well. Especially about Phil Hill and John Surtees, and the relationships they had with Enzo Ferrari while racing for the Scuderia.