Martin Brundle Scrapbook reviewed

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Now in his 17th year as a motor racing commentator, Martin Brundle is known to one generation of Formula One fans chiefly for his excellent commentary.

But that role was preceded by (and overlapped with) a successful racing career. It may not have brought him an F1 championship title or a grand prix win, but did see him crowned World Sportscar Champion in 1988 and clinch victory at Le Mans two years later.

A racer to his fingertips, Brundle was one of the last F1 drivers to regularly dovetail his grand prix commitments with sports car racing. The breadth of his racing activities and accomplishments is explored at length in the newly-published Martin Brundle Scrapbook.

It details his famous F3 rivalry with Ayrton Senna, touring car scraps with Nigel Mansell and playing mind games with The Intimidator of NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt, in the IROC series. And there’s also the small matter of 158 grand prix starts for teams including McLaren, Benetton, Williams, Brabham and Tyrrell.

Porter Press’s Scrapbook series already has editions for great F1 names like Stirling Moss and Graham Hill. As you’d expect from the name the books lean heavily on photographs, newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia to tell the story. These are interspersed with comments from Brundle himself as well as other racing drivers, former team managers and so on.

This approach brings mixed success. On one hand it’s an easy book to ‘dip into’ and find some interesting highlights – his one-off appearance in the inaugural British Truck Grand Prix at Donington Park in 1984, for example.

But actually sitting and reading it as you would a normal biography is a rather frustrating experience. The fragmented nature of the layout makes it hard to get into the flow of the narrative.

Some of the ‘scraps’ feel a bit whimsical and unnecessary – I’m not particularly interested in looking at his old school reports and swimming certificates. That’s not a criticism you can make about the majority of material in the book, however.

And there’s plenty of it. The sheer volume of material on offer – 256 wide pages crammed with content – more than makes up for the shortcomings in presentation. You get a serious amount of book for your 35 quid.

Shining through it all is Brundle’s appealing and frank style which makes him such a popular television personality. He is entirely straight about his own abilities (“I occasionally beat Senna, Schumacher and Hakkinen but I didn’t do that anywhere near often enough”) and has stacks of amusing and interesting anecdotes which I won’t spoil by repeating here.

Though I have some reservations about the style, there’s plenty of substance in the Martin Brundle Scrapbook which makes it definitely worth shelling out for.

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Martin Brundle Scrapbook

Author: Martin Brundle and Philip Porter
Publisher: Porter Press
Published: July 2013
Pages: 256
Price: ??34.95
ISBN: 9781907085123


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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Martin Brundle Scrapbook reviewed”

  1. Seems nice, I would love to get my hands on a copy of this!

    1. Abdurahman (@)
      21st July 2013, 13:23

      Yikes! Would love to buy it, but that is a weeks worth of groceries!

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        21st July 2013, 16:57

        I once spent £70 quid on a book.

      2. @Abdurahman please tell me where you shop, as my weekly shop is well over £100!

        1. Abdurahman (@)
          22nd July 2013, 16:45

          haha, I am currently living in Jakarta. Moving to Cambodia soon, 35 quid, about 60 u.s.? Yeah, that can be a weeks groceries. Indonesians aren’t huge about F1 but they are mad for MOTOGP. Was in Malaysia recently and they are crazy about all motorsports! Great driving there as well, the fast lane on the highways, everybody is going at least 90mph and driving smooth.

  2. Oh so Brundle had a rivalry with Senna?

    No wonder he doesn’t like Lewis……

    1. @jason12 I don’t see any reason to believe he doesn’t like Hamilton. I saw an interview he did with him recently where they shared a car on the way to a circuit and I thought Brundle was, if anything, quite generous. It was while the row over the Mercedes test was going on and as I recall Brundle didn’t even bring it up.

      And I have no idea why a rivalry Brundle had with a different driver in F3 30 years ago should make any difference to that.

      1. Because now we get to talk about Hamilton, even though the article is completely unrelated ;)

      2. @keithcollantine One of the things I love most about reading your comments below the articles is your willingness to speak truth to nonsense. They say that you never argue with a fool, else he brings you down to his level and beats you with experience, but you have a great knack for staying out of the pit without belittling people.

        …Which sometimes I think they deserve! ;)

        1. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
          21st July 2013, 20:30

          Oh yes, off course he does, until the subject is Red Bull and Vettel…

        2. @hwkii
          I share your sentiments here fully.

          You’d have to be a fool (or just totally in denial) not to be able to read between the lines of Brundle’s commentary.

    2. @jason12 Didn’t get the joke…

  3. Abdurahman (@)
    21st July 2013, 15:10

    I am fascinated with his one off seasons at Benetton and McClaren. I just watched the 95 review recently and it was so odd seeing the Peugeot emblem on the car!

    1. That’s 94 you’re thinking about! 1995 saw him at Ligier. I don’t consider Brundle one of the best drivers, but despite not watching F1 that year, it still irks me he had to give up his seat at Ligier to Aguri Suzuki so often. I’ve been watching some of the pre-race footage of our Dutch broadcasts, and Brundle just looks miserable throughout the 1995 season.

      1. @npf1
        I think that Brundle’s time at Benetton was clearly the best part of his career. Although not on Schumi’s level, he was a good starter and occasionally used to put one over the German.

        1. Schumacher once said (In around 1999 from memory) he thought Brundle was the best team mate he’d ever been with & that he was dissapointed when Briatore didn’t re-sign him for 1993.

          Interestingly Briatore himself said in 1995 that he regretted dropping Brundle at the end of 1992 & had only done so because he thought bringing in Patrese woudl help development of there active suspension system since he’d been running it at Williams & knew what a good active system felt like.
          He found out later that Petrese actually hated running active suspension & they didn’t benefit from any of his previous experience of it.

          Its actually surprising that Martin never got more shots in top cars because a lot of people in F1 at the time seriously rated Martin highly from what I heard when I joined the F1 circus in ’97.
          I also think him returning to racing after a few years away in 2011 to run the Daytona 24hrs, Having brilliant pace all race & narrowly missing out on a podium shows how much natural talent Martin really has.

          1. Abdurahman (@)
            22nd July 2013, 16:50

            Good info there, was wondering more about why he got dropped from Benetton, it just didn’t make any sense.

            I got to see him in the USA when he was in IMSA. Somebody on here has said he was highly over hyped and I cannot remember that ever being the case. Maybe in the UK media?

  4. I always remember Brundle and Blundell driving, both without any notable success but still drove for many, many years. I can’t remember now all the teams Blundell was in but atleast Brundle was at top teams at times and had the chance to mark his name as, atleast F1GP winner, but couldn’t pull it trough. Brundle&Blundell ring similar bells as Andrea de Cesaris and such.

  5. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    21st July 2013, 17:54

    Don’t like Brundle now he’s at SKY. Looks like i’ll never see him commentating on free tv now SKY increases its world domination tv regieme

    1. Welcome to capitalism?

  6. I would love to have this book, I’ve always been interested in the mentality of drivers like Brundle, Coulthard, even Barrichello who just can’t get away from F1, even after their racing career is over they’re still around the paddock and would kill to have a chance to drive an F1 car again, it shows how much they love this sport.

  7. Most over-rated driver in history.

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