The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

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Toby.
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The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Toby. »

Welcome to the Official PlanetF1 Motorsport Books Thread. Very occasionally, a thread pops up regarding Formula One books and a few of us on this forum are very intrigued by what others are able to say about their experiences with various books regarding motorsport. I can’t imagine this is going to be the most popular thread, but having one place to keep a record of our reviews and simply what we’ve just spotted whilst walking through the shops can’t hurt – can it?

For those of you who have previously committed (or are currently committing) yourselves to learning the history of the sport through reading, we would very much like to be able to read your reviews. They can range from a few words to an entire review – so don’t shy away from saying simply “It wasn’t very good”!

What we’re looking for is:

Reviews
They don’t need to be long, unless you want them to be. They don’t even need to be yours – any opinion is better than no opinion. There’s a link at the bottom of this post to the F1Fanatic book review page. Collantine has got an excellent catalogue of reviews for books he’s read – it’s usually where I go first to find my next purchase. Don't forget to rank them out of 5 in your reviews, either!


Pictures
Got an old gem, well-worn from your or the whole family’s reading? Throw it on here. Got a new book with a snazzy cover? Put that one up, too! If you find it interesting, other people probably do too.


Good quotes from the text
Quotes. Who doesn’t love quotes? Stories of motorsport personalities getting up to no good, behaving admirably or heroically, or just something you found intriguing. Books are loaded with a lot more information than your regular internet article is going to be able to provide, so we’ll probably all learn something we didn’t know if you’re happy to write it up here.


Boastings of your own collection
This one is more to let you feel good about yourself. Look at that collection – my word! Who’s a big motorsport fan? You are! Yes you are, yes you are.


F1Fanatic book reviews - http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/f1-informati ... ews/books/
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Toby.
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Toby. »

I’ll start it off.

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I’d seen it on bookshelves for a while, but I finally forced myself to pick up a copy of Senna Verses Prost (Malcolm Folley). The blurb promised a good coverage of the battle between the late Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, so I was eager to sit down and read this one.

I learnt a lot in the book that I didn’t already know. It was full of stories from people that knew the two and really opened my eyes to the deep battle between the two greats. I enjoyed reading it, but thought it lacked a certain something – some of which I can easily identify.

The book was written in 2009 – some 15 years after the death of Ayrton Senna. That doesn’t mean that the information is dated or it’s vague – far from it – but what it seriously lacks is input from Senna. Whereas Folley was obviously able to be in contact with people that knew both Senna and Prost, he was (for obvious reasons) unable to get masses of information from Senna’s perspective regarding exactly what Folley was after. That probably let the book down a lot.

The book also suffered with the repetitive use of a few sources. Granted, Jo Ramirez is a great source – but he seems to be the only one able to bring lots of evidence to the table when Folley is recalling 1988 onward. I don’t know if it hurt the book, but it did get a little irritating reading “As Jo Ramirez recalls,” or “Ramirez was there to witness all of it:” continually.

Overall, I’d give the book 3/5. It’s a really good read – probably the best out there regarding the rivalry between the two – but it feels as if it lacks something.
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Balibari »

Not the first F1 book I'd recommend by a long shot, I mention it as it's a good companion to Toby's suggestion and it seems logical to put them side by side.

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Essentially it juxtaposes 1989 and 2007, drawing some comparisons and giving the lowdown on the course of events that lead to McLaren losing two of the best drivers of the modern age in Prost and Alonso. It shows that the two debacles were completely different. It's probably more focused on 2007 and as a result settles a number of the issues people can sometimes still debate here on the forum. It's not a fantastic book but it's very readable and of value if you're interested in the Prost/Senna rivalry, or just want to know more about what really happened in 2007.
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Johnston »

Three books I would thoroughly recommend

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A seriously can't put down read. Must have read it in less than a day.

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Steve Matchetts the mechanics tale isn't bad either.

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One of the funniest books I've ever read. read it multiple times now and even the Mrs near wet herself reading it and that was before she got into F1. Mines the pre-stig edition though.
Disclaimer: The above post maybe tongue in cheek.

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Balibari »

Trying to think of the best F1 books I've read but it's difficult. One I think every F1 fan should read is Steve Matchett's 'The Chariot Makers'.

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Matchett's 'Life in the Fast Lane' is one of my favourite F1 books, just brilliant. But this one is a little less well known and gives an excellent insight into how F1 cars work, an insight that still informs my understanding of how an F1 car works. It's incredibly accessible, I have no mechanical understanding whatsoever but I took it all in easily. Matchett and a few F1 types are stuck in an airport and decide to (theoretically) build the greatest F1 car ever while they wait for their plane. But that's just a framing device, it's really an explanation of how an F1 car fits together and works, which parts it uses and where they go etc. If you're not a mechanical engineer but you want to know more about the basics of the mechanical side of F1, this is the best book I've come across.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
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Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Balibari »

Johnston wrote:One of the funniest books I've ever read. read it multiple times now and even the Mrs near wet herself reading it and that was before she got into F1. Mines the pre-stig edition though.

Couldn't agree more. Along with Niki's To Hell and Back it's probably my favourite driver autobio. Mine's the post Stig one but I don't remember the Top Gear stuff being of much interest even though I like the show. (Though there's a nice epilogue about how he's finally getting paid in Sportscars that may also be missing from earlier versions). Even Damon Hill's foreward is funny. It starts something like, 'When you first meet Perry McCarthy, be aware he will immediately ask you two things: "have you got any money?" and, "can I have it to go racing?"'
Last edited by Balibari on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Johnston »

I had the Chariot makers. Pre-ordered it 1st edition from Amazon. Never got to read it. The then GF kicked me out and oddly her house turned into the Northern Ireland Bermuda triangle. It's one of the things I never got back :evil: :evil: .
Disclaimer: The above post maybe tongue in cheek.

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Toby. »

James Hunt: The Biography (Gerald Donaldson)

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Finished this book last night and I was thoroughly satisfied with it. I knew how it was going to end, but Donaldson’s build-up and brilliant insight into Hunt’s life made it an outstanding piece.
I found the early chapters of the book to be a bit slow. Hunt’s early career wasn’t brilliant – but perhaps that’s what makes him such an intriguing character. Donaldson provides great (previously unknown to me) information about his early life and his early escapades in motor sport. There’s a lot of funny stories in this one.

The book really sells itself from 1976 onward. The author has a brilliant way of conveying the excitement of motorsport and the passion involved onto the page. I honestly felt as if I knew James Hunt himself, such was the level of detail put into the book. You must read on if you buy the book and you’re not convinced after the first third. It gets better and better with every page.

Donaldson sets up the tragic final chapter of his life brilliantly. His ability to explain exactly how James was operating in the days before his death really was the high-point of the book. Everything within the biography – especially the final chapter – really opened my eyes and greatly enhanced my knowledge of the 1976 World Champion. The epilogue provides all the notable speeches from his funeral from people close to him – it’s really moving stuff.

The main issue I had with the book was in the second half. I don’t know if it was a printing issue with my book, but there were a number of typographical issues. Full stops were missing (Though you could tell where the new sentence began because a word would start with a capital letter), Jodie Scheckter was once spelt with a lower-case “j” and one paragraph started with “the 1997 season began with…” when it should have said “The 1977 season...”. Tiny errors, but they did disappointed me a little after a while.

Overall, the book is a great analysis of James Hunt’s complete life. It covers information from his early years to his untimely death, telling us about his racing life, his personal life (a few amusing sexual stories are briefly covered) and his less-published psychological issues that he battled throughout his life.

4/5
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by MistaVega23 »

I read Richard Williams' The Death of Ayrton Senna a couple of years back - I remembered I enjoyed it but will need to read it again to know exactly why!

I've nearly finished David Coulthard's autobiography 'It Is What It Is'. It's a very disappointing book. He almost skims over the racing element and instead prefers to talk about his previous girlfriends, his 'ladies man' persona given to him by the media and almost showing off the fact that he's 'made it' as a famous celebrity. He says he doesn't remember in detail every race he's driven, but I'd have preferred to get the insight into some of his impressive drives and battles with Schumacher. It was interesting to read into his issues with Hakkinen at McLaren and his near-fatal plane crash in 2000, but all in all a very weak book. I'll probably finish it by the weekend but would already give it 3/10.

I was bought In The Name Of Glory recently for my birthday, about the 1976 battle between Lauda and Hunt. Will definately start this in the new year. Anyone read this?
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by beyamei »

I must've been good this year because Santa gave me a great present.
Ok, not really. I found this two days ago (on Xmas day!) in a secondhand bookstore. I couldn't believe my luck!

This one is a big, thick book filled with photos of each year from 1950 to 2001. It's filled with rare pictures that have never been published before.
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I found this one for a very cheap price of PHP 245.00 (around USD 6.00 ). It's in very good condition too.

More pics:
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My favorite part of the book is definitely the ones from the early days of Graham Hill and Jim Clark.

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Damon Hill was a pretty young lad, wasn't he?

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Finally, colored pictures! :)
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Is there a video of this?? :))

What I really loved about this book is every page is not just filled with photos, but they actually contain detailed accounts on the events of that year.

That's it for this one. I actually got another book but I feel too lazy to upload it now. :)
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Toby.
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Toby. »

Great pictures! You've got a gem there. :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Johnston »

beyamei. that reminds me I have one that lists every car and team raced up to about 2000 when it was printed. Must dig out it's name.It's up in the attic with the rest of my books.

Ah Amazon and it's ability to look up previous orders

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1861 ... 02_s00_i04
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by beyamei »

Johnston, that's cool! I'm planning to buy more books that goes way back in the beginning of F1. :)
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by sennafan24 »

I am currently reading the James Hunt book, it is really good. The book covering 2007 is excellent also.

I would endorse these.

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A great insight into Schumi, comments from Eddie Irvine and other relevant players make it a essential read. The Monaco 2006 incident is covered in great detail, and sets the tone for a book that is very unbiased and insightful. 9/10

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Anyone who wants a more in-depth and unbiased viewpoint of Senna, or Senna vs Prost would be advised to track this down. It covers Senna vs Brundle, The Lotus years and everything else. - 9/10

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Good insight into the life of F1 boss, you learn a lot about his dealings with Damon Hill, Schumi and Frentzen. I think he does leave some stuff out here and there, but still worth a look. 8/10

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by A2jdl »

Agreed with the Eddie Jordan one I'm not a big book reader but enjoyed that. And also good insight into his dealing with bernie.

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by sennafan24 »

A2jdl wrote:Agreed with the Eddie Jordan one I'm not a big book reader but enjoyed that. And also good insight into his dealing with bernie.

"I do not care for you much Jordan, but I am worried about your family" :lol:

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Toby. »

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An absolute gem to own, “Jim Clark At The Wheel: His Own Exciting Story” is a great insight into the little-publicised life of the 1963 and 1965 Formula One World Drivers Champion.

At The Wheel takes the reader on a very personal story with Clark from his early life until the end of 1963 (or half-way through 1965 if you are able to find the new edition). Written in his own voice, the text is a brilliant source of stories and personal opinions that provide excellent insight into the renowned racing star.

There’s a lot of information to be taken in. As a result, it’s a book that can’t be read fast. Though it appears short, the 180 pages will take you many hours of reading to get through. By no means does this detract from the autobiography – in this modern day there’s a dangerously little amount of information available about Clark and every sentence should be cherished. Despite his success and legacy, the Jim Clark story seems to be told in detail by substantially fewer texts than other motor-racing greats.

The book is also a treasure chest of anecdotes regarding his life, both pre-Formula One and during his career. The story introduces many familiar faces and provides a familiar personality to them, but also identifies to the reader a number of influential people in Clark’s life who do not get a mention as often as they should. Ian Scott Watson – the man without whom Jim Clark may have abandoned motor-racing if not for his constant support during his early career – is one of those.

The beauty of the book is that it reads like you would imagine Jim Clark to. The words flow so freely and the stories leave nothing to be asked. The experience is one that I have found to be rare in autobiographical pieces. You can imagine yourself sitting opposite Clark as he regales his life stories. This is definitely the voice of a soft-spoken, well-educated Scotsman.

Overall, for both its sentimental value 50 years after it was first published and for the text’s level of detail into Clark’s life, I highly recommend this book. If you can find it, don’t hesitate to purchase it. Clark detailing, near the end of the book, his wish to retire from Formula One at a relatively young age because of the dangers of the sport really sticks with you and ends the book on a very moving note.

4/5

At East London, we had the opportunity to go water skiing. As I had never done this before, Stirling undertook to teach me. We put on our skis at the end of the jetty and Stirling leapt into the water, landing gracefully on his skis and taking up his position ready to be towed. It looked quite easy and I decided to follow suit. I leapt gaily off the edge expecting my skis to cushion the landing. Instead, I got a tremendous shock as I sank to the bottom like a stone. I surfaced spluttering to find a very amused Moss pointing to my skis which lay neatly side by side on the jetty where I had jumped clean out of them!
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by sennafan24 »

Toby. wrote:James Hunt: The Biography (Gerald Donaldson)


Amazingly, I finished this during two extra long bus journeys yesterday.

A cracking read. It made me a huge James Hunt fan whilst admitting his faults and demons.

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Balibari »

sennafan24 wrote:
Toby. wrote:James Hunt: The Biography (Gerald Donaldson)


Amazingly, I finished this during two extra long bus journeys yesterday.

A cracking read. It made me a huge James Hunt fan whilst admitting his faults and demons.

His faults and demons are key to why I'm a huge James Hunt fan. Roll on Rush!
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by sennafan24 »

Balibari wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
Toby. wrote:James Hunt: The Biography (Gerald Donaldson)


Amazingly, I finished this during two extra long bus journeys yesterday.

A cracking read. It made me a huge James Hunt fan whilst admitting his faults and demons.

His faults and demons are key to why I'm a huge James Hunt fan. Roll on Rush!


Indeed, it has the potential to be cracking, with the story behind it. If you told people what happened that year few would think it was not a movie and something that happened in real life.

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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Race2win »

Unfortunately I cant post Pics from my phone but once get my laptop working i definitely will... Also this is a brilliant thread.
So Books...
1. Complete Encyclopedia of Formula 1 by Tim Hill and Gareth Thomas
It chronicles all the history about F1, drivers, championships, constructors, the circuits and some statistics right from 1950 to 2007. Very good book if you want to learn the roots. This is the book was one of the reasons that kickstarted the love affair.
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Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Race2win »

Another book Id recommend would be Bernie's Game - Inside the Formula 1 world of Bernie Ecclestone by Terry Lovell. Very well written. Gives you a complete inside story of how Bernie has turned F1 into what it is today. Interviews with Max Mosley and all the prominent people who were involved with Bernie, including some team principals etc. The author has taken and objective view of Bernies personality. So its got the good the bad and the ugly too.
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F1 books to consider

Post by ajax »

I've just read Chequered Conflict by Maurice Hamilton, which I really enjoyed. I've just started reading In the name of Glory - 1976 by Tom Rubython. Has anybody got any books they could recommend for future reading?

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by Wingers66 »

Steve Matchett has written a couple of good reads. The Mechanics tale and Life in the fast lane, Also Life at the limit and Beyond the limit, both by Prof Sid Watkins.
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by POBRatings »

The Pits by Beverley Turner, paperback published 2004; good insight into the world of modern F1(ghastly big business and even bigger egos).

I bought and enjoyed small paperback biogs on Senna, Prost, Mansell; excellent writers and good inside, background info. I could look up the publishers if you want; am sure they could be bought cheaply on Abe Books or Amazon.

Still one of my favourites, altho a very old, hardcover book published in sixties: Motor Racing Mechanic, by Alf Francis, who was Moss's mechanic. Really good insights into racing, cars and drivers.

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by sic98 »

Allen, J. 'The Edge of Greatness' (London: Headline Book Publishing, 2009).

Its maybe the best on Schumi, if your interested. It also helped me gain respect for the author by helping to dispel the hamilton brown nosing nature he was told to promote when working for itv.
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by scouse »

This thread has been up before. We've had a lot of books reviewed but I can't find them any more. Perhaps a sticky..?

One of the best reads for a while of when F1 and motor sports was a life and death thing. Seemed we were losing drivers at about one a month. Phil Hill's Partner Von Tripps took about 10 spectators with him when he went at Monza, bit of a damper for Hill when he won the WC that same day.
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Or the race of Americas the length of Mexico with people changing road signs. Left arrows for right or just rolling rocks down hill onto the course. The present day prima donna's have it made...?!
My avatar is Hill's WC car the shark nose Ferrari.

Good review here... http://www.sportscardigest.com/ferrari- ... ok-review/
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by SkylineGT-R »

Only have 1 F1 book and it's about Bernie Ecclestone "No Angel" by Tom Bower. Just a typical biography, gained quite a big respect for Mr. Ecclestone even though I don't like him at all.
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by Jezick »

POBRatings wrote:The Pits by Beverley Turner, paperback published 2004; good insight into the world of modern F1(ghastly big business and even bigger egos).

I bought and enjoyed small paperback biogs on Senna, Prost, Mansell; excellent writers and good inside, background info. I could look up the publishers if you want; am sure they could be bought cheaply on Abe Books or Amazon.

Still one of my favourites, altho a very old, hardcover book published in sixties: Motor Racing Mechanic, by Alf Francis, who was Moss's mechanic. Really good insights into racing, cars and drivers.


That's the 1st recommendation in 10 years :lol:

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by Race2win »

MODS please merge both these threads
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by ajax »

scouse wrote:This thread has been up before. We've had a lot of books reviewed but I can't find them any more. Perhaps a sticky..?

One of the best reads for a while of when F1 and motor sports was a life and death thing. Seemed we were losing drivers at about one a month. Phil Hill's Partner Von Tripps took about 10 spectators with him when he went at Monza, bit of a damper for Hill when he won the WC that same day.
Image
Or the race of Americas the length of Mexico with people changing road signs. Left arrows for right or just rolling rocks down hill onto the course. The present day prima donna's have it made...?!
My avatar is Hill's WC car the shark nose Ferrari.

Good review here... http://www.sportscardigest.com/ferrari- ... ok-review/


I've read this one. Excellent insight to how both Hill and Von Tripps were with Ferrari.

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by rotbimmer »

I've read many, but for the money/political intrigue side of things, I would suggest "The Pirhanna Club:Power and Influence in Formula One"

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by GuyverF1 »

SkylineGT-R wrote:Only have 1 F1 book and it's about Bernie Ecclestone "No Angel" by Tom Bower. Just a typical biography, gained quite a big respect for Mr. Ecclestone even though I don't like him at all.


This was Awesome loved it all the way through and a good insight to the man

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by P-F1 Mod »

Race2win wrote:MODS please merge both these threads

Report the other thread for me please? I can only see this one.

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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by scouse »

ajax wrote:
scouse wrote:This thread has been up before. We've had a lot of books reviewed but I can't find them any more. Perhaps a sticky..?

One of the best reads for a while of when F1 and motor sports was a life and death thing. Seemed we were losing drivers at about one a month. Phil Hill's Partner Von Tripps took about 10 spectators with him when he went at Monza, bit of a damper for Hill when he won the WC that same day.
Image
Or the race of Americas the length of Mexico with people changing road signs. Left arrows for right or just rolling rocks down hill onto the course. The present day prima donna's have it made...?!
My avatar is Hill's WC car the shark nose Ferrari.

Good review here... http://www.sportscardigest.com/ferrari- ... ok-review/


I've read this one. Excellent insight to how both Hill and Von Tripps were with Ferrari.

I've prolly mentioned of how I got to sit in Hill's Shark Nose at Aintree....mentioned it more than once actually..:)
It was never said in the book but when Trips and Hill raced at the first Aintree meet, Trips missed the apex on the Canal Turn and almost went swimming with the car. I broke a front spring on my old MG on that corner in a sports car meet, pushed a little hard.
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by scouse »

P-F1 Mod wrote:
Race2win wrote:MODS please merge both these threads

Report the other thread for me please? I can only see this one.

I could have been mistaken on an older thread. We had a discussion on racing books in my football forum, It may have been there. :?
"You are who you pretend to be."
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scouse
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by scouse »

"With Moss in the Mille Miglia" Jenkinson.
Not F1 but Stirling Moss with Dennis Jenkinson when Moss became the first British winner of the Mille Miglia.
Image

[b]WHOOPS...! I've just found the whole book, scanned from a reprint here. Well worth the read.
http://www.foodman123.com/moss.htm
Last edited by scouse on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"You are who you pretend to be."
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Race2win
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by Race2win »

P-F1 Mod wrote:
Race2win wrote:MODS please merge both these threads

Report the other thread for me please? I can only see this one.

I think I reported it just now, but I didnt get any confirmation which I usually get. Anyways the other thread is called "The Official F1 and Motorsport Books Thread". Started by Toby
[b LOADING KILL LIST.......[/b]
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scouse
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Re: F1 books to consider

Post by scouse »

Race2win wrote:
P-F1 Mod wrote:
Race2win wrote:MODS please merge both these threads

Report the other thread for me please? I can only see this one.

I think I reported it just now, but I didnt get any confirmation which I usually get. Anyways the other thread is called "The Official F1 and Motorsport Books Thread". Started by Toby
Good find..!
"You are who you pretend to be."
Kurt Vonnegut Jnr

Mod Purple

Re: The Official F1 & Motorsport Books Thread

Post by Mod Purple »

Merge done.

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