Formula 1 books

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    Is anyone into reading books about our beloved sport? I’m currently reading Jochen Rindt’s biography by David Tremayne. The price is a bit steep but it is well worth it, I was quite surprised to see it’s a huge book when I received it a while back, there’s plenty of fantastic photos in there too and a lot of the information is gathered first-hand.

    Are you reading anything or have you read anything before?


    Quite the readers here…


    I have read 07, 08 and 09 season reviews, as well as book that included short reports from every F1-race between 1978-1996. I have also read a book that introduced all the world champions from Nino Farina to Jacques Villeneuve and few other drivers like Stirling Moss and Ronnie Peterson.


    I got the Rindt book on released, love it. David Tremaynes other F1 bok “The Lost Generation” is equally good.


    I own and have read “The Lost Generation” as well, it’s a great book indeed. However, I like Rindt’s book even better because of the size of the book and the fact there’s photos on just about every page in the book.

    I have also read Gilles Villeneuve’s biography by Gerald Donald last summer, fan-tas-tic book. The only slight criticism I have is that it didn’t really tell me how Gilles felt about his teammate winning the world championship title in 1979. He couldn’t possibly have liked that, could he?

    Keith Collantine

    Lots of recommendations (and un-recommendations) to be found here:

    F1 book reviews

    Ben Saylor

    The book that made an F1 fan out of me was Michael Cannell’s “The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit.” I knew nothing about the sport going in and I was absolutely captivated by this book. I also read “In the Name of Glory” by Tom Rubython, which focuses on the 1976 season. It’s since been retitled “Rush to Glory,” presumably because of Ron Howard’s film “Rush.” It’s a decent read but gets repetitive after a while. Last year, I read Robert Daley’s “Cars at Speed,” which is pretty interesting, although I probably would have benefited from having more familiarity going in regarding some of the earlier drivers/races.


    I have ‘the 100 best F1-drivers’ by Alan Henry. Very good read and changed my point of view on some drivers.


    I read about “The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit” and I hear there’s an awful lot of mistakes in the book. Cannell wasn’t that interested in Formula 1 before he wrote the book, or so I’ve heard. I will still read it later on, because the story of Phil Hill and Wolfgang Von Trips is interesting and there’s not a lot written about them. I wish the author would’ve made sure there were no mistakes in the book though.


    I agree with @ardenflo about Alan Henry’s “100 best F1 drivers”. Though the order and concept is questionable (how can you accurately rank drivers across eras?) it gives a nice bio of almost every driver who has made a worthwhile contribution to F1 since 1950 (and a few before the start of the official championship.

    Tommy Byrne’s “Crashed and Byrned” is a pretty good read too, lots of nice insight into a driver I had certainly never heard of but who could have made an impact on F1 in the right circumstances.

    Though some don’t, I quite like Malcolm Folley’s “Senna vs Prost”. I don’t like it for the Senna/Prost stuff because we all know the various ins and outs of that relationship, I like the insights given by the people who where on the periphery of the two, like John Watson and Eddie Cheever.

    Aled Davies


    I have read a few! I read Christopher Hilton’s “The Whole Story” on Michael Schumacher and while I found the information about his earlier career helpful as i wasn’t a motor racing fan when i was a young child but it is a basic retelling of his career (Keith has reviewed it and is pretty spot on with his comments on it)

    I found James Allen’s “The Edge of greatness” book on Schumacher a lot better and more revealing about his character and what other people in the sport felt about him. It did lack a definitive conclusion and opinion from Allen though which would have been good to read what he, as a huge Ferrari enthusiast, really felt about it all.

    I have also read Christopher Hilton’s “The Whole Story” on Aryton Senna, i found this quite good, mainly because i wanted to learn more about Senna, all the races are in that if they do lack any real detail and insight from contemporaries etc.

    I am currently reading “SHUNT” on the career of James Hunt. So far it’s a good read with some funny stories in!

    hope this may be of help


    On seeing this thread and reading a few of Keith’s reviews I’ve ordered DC’s autobiography “It is what it is” and Jackie Stewart’s “Winning is not enough”. They’ve been on my radar for a while, now seems like the right time to get them. :)


    Jackie Stweart’s autobiography “Winning is not enough” is one book I would highly recommend, it not only serves as an autobiography, but is fantastically inspirational.

    The other books that I loved, and I premise this by admitting to not being all that technical at all, in case you fear it gets too technical, however they are written by former Benetton mechanic Steve Matchett. I read them in the wrong order, but would recommend 2 of his books:
    “The Chariot Makers” and “The Mechanic’s Tale”

    I’ve read Alan Henry’s “100 Best Drivers” and while it is well written, I found it a bit of a cheap thrill to read, its not something you would go back to often, whereas the others I have read multiple times.

    If you’re of the electronic age, you can get Steve Matchett’s books on Kindle, which I thought was a great way to unwind while lying back on a deck chair on holidays.

    PS Steve Matchett’s books have great photos too, especially of the Jos Verstappen pit fire in 1994, in which he is unfortunately was in the middle of.


    I forgot about that one, I own Jacky Stewart’s autobiography as well. I never read it completely though, I’m not sure why… Guess I should find it!

    How come you read Matchett’s books in the wrong order? What made you feel like you should’ve read the other one first?


    @roald I was given “The Chariot Makers” as a christmas present, the gifter just saw an F1 book and didn’t know that he wrote previous books. There really is no adverse affects from reading them in the wrong order, but you can see the progression of his writing over the 3 books. By the time he got to Chariot Makers it was very polished :)

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