“Lewis Hamilton: A Dream Comes True” (Brian Belton, 2007)

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Yes, that’s right, it’s the first biography of Lewis Hamilton and it’s out before the season’s even finished. It’s written by Brian Belton, a youth worker who met a young Hamilton and has kept an eye on the British star’s career for more than ten years. He says he’s written the book from a fan’s … Continue reading “Lewis Hamilton: A Dream Comes True” (Brian Belton, 2007)

“Michael Schumacher: The edge of greatness” (James Allen, 2007)

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Past titles with the word ‘Schumacher’ on the spine vary from half-decent to downright awful. But ITV F1 commentator James Allen’s new book on Michael Schumacher took me by surprise. Unfortunately Schumacher has not deigned to be interviewed for the “The Edge of Greatness”. Undeterred, Allen nonetheless collared Schumacher’s former team mates Eddie Irvine and … Continue reading “Michael Schumacher: The edge of greatness” (James Allen, 2007)

“Against All Odds” (Eoin Young & James Hunt, 1977)

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Having entered a snowmobile race at the start of the year under the name ‘James Hunt’, Kimi Raikkonen used the name again to disguise his presence at a recent party – at which he also arrived dressed as a gorilla. Party animal Hunt would have approved. But Raikkonen will also want to emulate Hunt’s 1976 … Continue reading “Against All Odds” (Eoin Young & James Hunt, 1977)

Essential & cheap summer reads for F1 fans

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The three-week summer break follows the next Grand Prix in Hungary. If you’re heading off on holiday a stack of summer paperbacks is essential for those long days at the beach. Here’s a selection of five of my favourites from biographies to general topics. Plus you can pick them up at bargain prices from F1Fanatic’s … Continue reading Essential & cheap summer reads for F1 fans

“Brooklands: The official centenary history” (David Venables, 2007)

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Built in 1907, Brooklands was the first purpose built banked racing circuit. Although it never held a round of the F1 World Championship, it holds an important place in motor racing history. Timed to coincide with its centenary this new book from Haynes covers not just the decades of motor racing that took place at … Continue reading “Brooklands: The official centenary history” (David Venables, 2007)

“Graham Hill Scrapbook 1929-1966” (Philip Porter, 2007)

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I had the fortune to meet the author of this book, Philip Porter, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed a few weeks ago. He explained how this series of books had begun as a means of publishing some of Stirling Moss’s extensive collection of racing mementoes, including his diaries. The Stirling Moss scrapbook is now … Continue reading “Graham Hill Scrapbook 1929-1966” (Philip Porter, 2007)

“Unraced… Formula One’s lost cars” (Sam Collins, 2007)

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There’s a peculiar fascination with the worst of Formula 1. The great hopeless outfits of the early 1990s are a great source of comedy for F1 fans – whether it’s Andrea Moda sending Perry McCarthy out to qualify on wet tyres on a dry day at Silverstone in 1992, or Life’s farcically unreliable W12 engine … Continue reading “Unraced… Formula One’s lost cars” (Sam Collins, 2007)

“The Ford Cosworth DFV” (Andrew Noakes, 2007)

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Formula 1 as we know it today could not possibly exist without the Ford Cosworth DFV. How would the likes of McLaren and Williams fared without an affordable, reliable engine unit on which to build the foundations of their success? The DFV appeared in 1967 and variations of it were still being used two decades … Continue reading “The Ford Cosworth DFV” (Andrew Noakes, 2007)

“1982” (Christopher Hilton, 2007)

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The 1994 season was F1’s last annus horribilis. Before that came the horrors of 1982. Two drivers died and another was horrifically injured, Suddenly F1’s champions were leaving the sport in droves, and the cars were brutal death traps. Between the trauma on the track and political chaos off it, it’s a wonder 1982 hasn’t … Continue reading “1982” (Christopher Hilton, 2007)

“Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion” (Gordon Kirby, 2001)

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Lewis Hamilton is a cracking F1 driver. But just how good a racer is he, really? I want to see how he would adapt his turn-in style to the British Touring Car Championship in a front wheel drive Seat Leon. I want to see him tackle the Indianapolis 500 where they turn 230mph average laps … Continue reading “Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion” (Gordon Kirby, 2001)

“An Independent Man – the Autobiography” (Eddie Jordan, 2007)

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Eddie Jordan is Marmite personified. To some he’s F1’s much-missed wheeler-dealer cheeky chappy – but plenty of others remember him as a whingeing upstart whose team might have been more successful ahd he run a tighter ship. This being an autobiography it will doubtless provide plenty of fodder for both sides to support their points … Continue reading “An Independent Man – the Autobiography” (Eddie Jordan, 2007)

“Life in the Fast Lane – An Autobiography” (Alain Prost, 1988)

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Alain Prost’s position as one of the most successful F1 drivers of all time is too often overlooked. He won 51 Grands Prix – more than any other driver bar Michael Schumacher – and four world championship – fewer only than Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio. Against that terrific record you have to ask, where … Continue reading “Life in the Fast Lane – An Autobiography” (Alain Prost, 1988)

“Ken Tyrrell: The Authorised Biography” (Maurice Hamilton, 2002)

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Should teams be allowed to buy chassis from other constructors and race them in Formula 1? It’s one of the most divisive arguments in F1 today and it’s not a new debate. Up until the early 1980s it was entirely commonplace for teams to race customer chassis. Those in support of it today maintain that … Continue reading “Ken Tyrrell: The Authorised Biography” (Maurice Hamilton, 2002)

“Beyond the limit” (Sid Watkins, 2001)

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At the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on 15th June 1997, Olivier Panis’ Prost speared into a tyre barrier, breaking both of Panis’s legs. The race was stopped and, as ever, Professor Sid Watkins led the efforts to treat Panis as quickly as possible. After the race the two championship protagonists of that year spoke … Continue reading “Beyond the limit” (Sid Watkins, 2001)

“Mario Andretti World Champion” (Nigel Roebuck, 1979)

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Regular readers of Nigel Roebuck’s “Fifth Column” in Autosport will know he has a couple of all-time favourite drivers. If Mario Andretti isn’t number one, he’s surely a close second to Gilles Villeneuve. But a professional closeness and admiration for someone can be a mixed blessing when it comes to writing a biography of them. … Continue reading “Mario Andretti World Champion” (Nigel Roebuck, 1979)

“The Grand Prix Saboteurs” (Joe Saward, 2006)

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Truth really is more extraordinary than fiction. If you tried to sell a screenplay about a Grand Prix racing driver who turned into a spy for the British government during World War Two, you might expect to be told that your imagination had run away with you. But that is exactly what became of “W … Continue reading “The Grand Prix Saboteurs” (Joe Saward, 2006)

“Motor Racing’s Strangest Races” (Geoff Tibballs, 2001)

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What’s the weirdest race you’ve ever seen, or heard of? I would have to nominate the round of the F3000 championship at Enna-Pergusa that was abandoned when the cars happened across a knot of frogs with predictable and gruesome results for the poor amphibians… Although that particular anecdote is sadly missing from “Motor Racing’s Strangest … Continue reading “Motor Racing’s Strangest Races” (Geoff Tibballs, 2001)