What F1 biography should I read?

What F1 biography should I read?

Author
Discussion

F20CN16

10,052 posts

178 months

Saturday 6th August
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Total Competition is great, but probably not one I’d recommend for holiday reading. It’s a bit like a lesson in people management.

Smollet

8,108 posts

170 months

Saturday 6th August
quotequote all
Mon ami, mate. If you can find a copy for under a grillion pounds.

Smollet

8,108 posts

170 months

Saturday 6th August
quotequote all
Smollet said:
Mon ami, mate. If you can find a copy for under a grillion pounds.
We’ll I’ve always promised myself that I would read this again all the way through and have just acquired a copy for £55. Expensive thread this wink

cgt2

3,817 posts

168 months

Saturday 6th August
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If you want an expensive book try tracking down a copy of 'Bulgin' the collection of writing after Russell died of cancer in 2003. I've seen copies sell for over £500.

But it is worth every penny. Amazing book and great tribute to an incredible journalist.

The Ayrton Senna rallying story alone is worth the price of entry.

Simes205

4,223 posts

208 months

Saturday 6th August
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fizzwheel said:
Agreed with the others Damon's book is really good, to go alongside it if you can find a copy of it then his dads is also a cracking read to.

Graham Hill "A life at the Limit"
Yes the latter is good and fun.

Stan the Bat

7,615 posts

192 months

Saturday 6th August
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All but my life.

Stirling Moss.

Fonzey

1,698 posts

107 months

Sunday 7th August
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Another vote for Sid Watkins.

I really didn't enjoy the Newey one, actually think he came across quite unlikeable. Shame he lets bitterness get in the way of his amazing achievements.

coppice

7,439 posts

124 months

Sunday 7th August
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The Newey book is very easy to read and entertaining , and I enjoyed how he was able to explain tech stuff so adeptly to this non tech reader. But bitter? God knows why that creeps in as a criticism. He's had a long life in the sport and it is no surprise the road has sometimes been a tad bumpy . It's a fascinating insight into race care design from an era defining talent .

As is The Perfect Car, John Barnard's fascinating autobiography. There is a lot to savour in this big book , and it is worth buying for two reasons alone - the comic opera of Ferrari politics and the account of his returning to McLaren to meet Ron Dennis. - two old warhorses still vying for top dog status in the conversation .

Gad-Westy

Original Poster:

12,627 posts

193 months

Sunday 7th August
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A lot of suggestions! I'm only on holiday for 2 weeks and have the reading age of a 18 month old. This lot is going to keep me busy for the next 5 years! Some great suggestions though and I really appreciate it. I shall keep referring back to this thread to pick the next one each time I finish a book. Once again, thanks all.

paulguitar

16,686 posts

93 months

Sunday 7th August
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speedfr0g said:
Hi

I am surprised it has been mentioned yet but the best book for me is Jackie Stewart's bio

So interesting regarding his racing career but everything he did during and after in business

Very inspiring

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2331618
I enjoyed this one at first but the name-dropping, forelock-tugging to royalty, etc became wearing later on in the book.






DickyC

42,873 posts

178 months

Sunday 7th August
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Touch Wood - Duncan Hamilton.

A bit of Grand Prix and a lot of sports car and endurance racing. Funny.

paulguitar

16,686 posts

93 months

Sunday 7th August
quotequote all
Stan the Bat said:
All but my life.

Stirling Moss.
And if you can hold of it, 'Racing Mechanic' by Alf Francis.



coppice

7,439 posts

124 months

Sunday 7th August
quotequote all
paulguitar said:
speedfr0g said:
Hi

I am surprised it has been mentioned yet but the best book for me is Jackie Stewart's bio

So interesting regarding his racing career but everything he did during and after in business

Very inspiring

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2331618
I enjoyed this one at first but the name-dropping, forelock-tugging to royalty, etc became wearing later on in the book.
]

JYS ' contribution to the sport is immense . He was not only a sublimely gifted driver (and is still criminally under-rated in GOAT lists) he also took on the establishment's indifference to safety in the sport . I have interviewed him - a dream interviewee ,the only hard thing is getting him on to one's next question - but the book, sorry, is bloody awful . The driving stuff is fine but the rest is turgid advertorial . He needed a strong editor .

moffspeed

1,886 posts

187 months

Sunday 7th August
quotequote all
Another vote for “Mon Ami Mate” which is a wonderful piece of work. “The Lost Generation” is equally impressive but will tear you apart emotionally.

If you value your Kindle (and don’t want to beat it to death with a piece of bois from a handy French tree) best to avoid Ronnie Mutch’s “Niki Lauda and the Grand Prix Gladiators “….

Halmyre

9,933 posts

119 months

Sunday 7th August
quotequote all
coppice said:
paulguitar said:
speedfr0g said:
Hi

I am surprised it has been mentioned yet but the best book for me is Jackie Stewart's bio

So interesting regarding his racing career but everything he did during and after in business

Very inspiring

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2331618
I enjoyed this one at first but the name-dropping, forelock-tugging to royalty, etc became wearing later on in the book.
]

JYS ' contribution to the sport is immense . He was not only a sublimely gifted driver (and is still criminally under-rated in GOAT lists) he also took on the establishment's indifference to safety in the sport . I have interviewed him - a dream interviewee ,the only hard thing is getting him on to one's next question - but the book, sorry, is bloody awful . The driving stuff is fine but the rest is turgid advertorial . He needed a strong editor .
I think when he was promoting the book he pointed out that he'd been a racing driver for a relatively short period, and been a businessman ever since. True, but who's interested in tales of big business?

blackmme

172 posts

63 months

Monday 8th August
quotequote all
I've read most of what has been suggested here and there are some great recommendations.

To 'Hell and Back' is absolutely superb as is 'The Perfect Car'. In particular those two books make a good combination as Lauda and Barnard were/are fascinating, non-compromising characters who of course worked together closely.

Another couple of recommendations:

'The Piranha Club' by Tim Collins. It is now rather out of date (it was last updated in 2009) but provides a good overview of a number of the characters that have been mentioned thus far, including Ferrari, Chapman, Williams, Dennis, Ecclestone and Mosley.

A recent holiday read for me was Brock Yates biography of Enzo Ferrari. It was a real page turner and I think it is fair to say that Yates had his enthusiasm for Ferrari and the Ferrari legend quite well under control!



Edited by blackmme on Monday 8th August 12:05


Edited by blackmme on Monday 8th August 18:27

cjm

494 posts

248 months

Monday 8th August
quotequote all
Joey Deacon said:
Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 The Hard Way by Perry McCarthy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17318185-flat-...
I remember that being a a good read.

entropy

4,789 posts

183 months

Monday 8th August
quotequote all
Button's book is atrociously written and as bad as Ben Collins. Webber's is marginally better if I recall. Brawn/Parr book was an interesting idea but badly executed.

As has been said Damon Hill's autobiography is highly recommended probably one the best of books to have come out in the past decade and is must read for his honesty and openess dealing mentally with life and racing and is an encouragement for seeking psychotherapy regardless of how trivial let alone traumatic the matter is.

My only criticism with To Hell And Back is that its way too short!

James Allens' Michael Schumacher - Edge of Greatness is a great examination of Schumi's F1 career.

Senna Versus Prost by Malcolm Folley - also celebrates the life of Roland Ratzenberger. Christopher Hilton's biography of Senna is a good accompaniment for a balanced view.

Gerald Donaldson's biography of Gilles Villeneuve is well written. Prose reads a lot like fiction than non-fiction. Aptly so for a mercurial talent.




john_1983

1,301 posts

128 months

Monday 8th August
quotequote all
Slightly O/T but having seen his name mentioned above - I'd love to read a Ron Dennis autobiography

carl_w

7,759 posts

238 months

Monday 8th August
quotequote all
john_1983 said:
Slightly O/T but having seen his name mentioned above - I'd love to read a Ron Dennis autobiography
Or even a documentary like the Williams film.