“F1: The Pinnacle”: book reviewed


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Automotive coffee-table books can be something of a minefield – for every gem there are five soul-sappingly dull variations on ‘The Power and Passion of Ferrari’.

However, I’m pleased to report that ‘F1: The Pinnacle’ is very squarely in the former camp.

Compiled and written by the excellent Simon Arron (please hurry up with the Formula 3000 book the world needs) and Tony Dodgins, ‘F1: The Pinnacle’ is structured around pivotal events throughout F1’s history each largely captured through a lushly illustrated double-page spread and some well-chosen text.

The curation of said ‘pivotal events’ is what sets ‘The Pinnacle’ apart – Arron and Dodgin’s deep insider knowledge means that those highlighted go beyond the clichés and received narrative. This is both refreshing and comforting. Benefiting from not being an official F1 publication, the book is able to dive into rarely charted coffee-table topics – controversies, commercials and Herman ‘the hairpin’ Tilke.

The illustrations themselves are superb – with lots of pictures that I hadn’t come across before, together with several classic images.

For the seasoned F1 fan, it’s debatable whether you need ‘F1: The Pinnacle’, but at £36 it is reasonably priced for a book of this quality and would certainly be a very worthwhile investment for newer followers of the sport.

RaceFans rating

Rating four out of five

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F1: The Pinnacle

Authors: Simon Arron & Tony Dodgins
Publisher: Ivy Press
Published: May 2022
Pages: 240
Price: £36
ISBN: 9780711274204

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Author information

Ben Evans
Motorsport commentator Ben is RaceFans' resident bookworm. Look out for his verdict on the latest motor racing publications on Sundays....

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5 comments on ““F1: The Pinnacle”: book reviewed”

  1. I read half of this in a bookshop last weekend and decided it was good enough to buy and read the second half later. A really interesting read, and I learnt a lot of new things from it such as the origins of ‘British Racing Green’ and information about technical innovations of the early years, and I also agree that there are some great photographs from the 1950s-70s in the book (particularly one of the 1959 French GP). Also, an interesting fact from the book is that safety cars were introduced in the USA 82 years before they became a regular thing in Europe.

    1. Well, you’ve sold me! I’ll keep an eye out for it! You can never have enough F1 books.

  2. A 2021 monaco photo does not make for the most evocative cover. Nothing happ

    1. Haha, true! Especially when you consider that Lewis didn’t even win that race…

      1. Why not Abu Dhabi or Silverstone? any particularly memorable race would make for a great cove

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