Formula 1: The Pursuit of Speed reviewed

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The Cahier photographic archive has been raided for this latest candidate for your coffee table. But is this more than just a collection of pretty pictures?

“Formula 1: The Pursuit of Speed” takes a broad sweep through the entire history of the world championship and illustrates it with a diverse selection of photographs

Candid views of famous faces, dramatic shots of cars in action, and the occasional historic treasure rich in detail, this book has everything you’d want from a photographic collection.

What lets the book down somewhat is the text. Maurice Hamilton has written many excellent books on Formula One but it seems his brief here was to supply a fairly generic commentary. It’s as if the text and pictures were produced separately, then put together.

Too often the text doesn’t even refer to which race a particular image is from. Revealing details in the pictures tend to get overlooked. It feels like a trick has been missed and the book lacks depth as a result.

A few liberties have been taken with the brief in order to justify the inclusion of some pictures. The section on great F1 rivalries ticks off the ones you’d expect: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill. But Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine?

Enthusiastic F1 fans with an eye for photography will no doubt appreciate the breadth and quality of the images. But this is an artistic exercise first and foremost and offers little beyond the most straightforward information about its subjects.

F1 Fanatic rating

Formula One: The Pursuit of Speed: A Photographic Celebration of F1’s Greatest Moments

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Formula 1: The Pursuit of Speed

Author: Maurice Hamilton
Publisher: Aurum Press
Published: 2017
Pages: 272
Price: £30
ISBN: 9781781317082


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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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