Books to Read
I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to turn this site to a "product review" site, but one book pushed me to make recommendations to my visitors.
And when you think about it, what can go wrong if I recommend some good books for Formula 1 fans and professionals.
Few days ago I got my hands on the David Hayhoe book "Formula 1 The Knowledge". And what a mine of information, what an amazing work! I thought I had a “‘reasonable understanding” of the history of Formula 1 since 1950, but it has managed to surprise me with quite a few facts I was not aware of. The author is well known to have a passion for both history and the current day (not easy) and it shows. David Hayhoe has been the statistician for "Autocourse", “The World’s Leading Grand Prix Annual” since 1991, has been author of four editions of the "Grand Prix Data Book", and contributed to many other Formula 1 books and magazines, and displays sheer mastery of the subject in this substantial work.
As you might guess, this is not a book you’re likely to read cover to cover in one sitting. But nor is it a dull listing of the race results. 434 pages hardcover book contain 1,035 sections, 32 pages of F1 photos since 1950 and 4 appendices on drivers, the cars, the engines, circuits and every other thinkable aspect of Formula 1, a summary of regulation changes since 1950 and a detailed history of the many qualifying formats which I believe has
not been done before. It covers the basic information like "Most wins in the season" but also a lot of unusual information. For example: "Countries staging other country's race", "All race starting drivers", drivers who "Drove for two constructors in a (one) race" (unbelievable but true), The only statistic that isn't in here is how many F1 stats are in the book.
Foreword by Ben Edwards, British motor racing commentator for television coverage of Formula One, Superleague Formula and the British Touring Car Championship.
You might find a book filled with pages of F1 data a bit dry in places. On the other hand, you’re reading a website called "Formula 1 Dictionary", so probably you will be good. If you are an F1 fan, you will not be able to put this book down. And you can use it for years to come. It's reasonably priced, especially for a motorsport book of this quality, and will solve any quiz about formula 1! David Hayhoe never disappoints!
Available from www.f1knowledge.com
From the writer of Life in the Fast Lane, former Formula One chief mechanic – Steve Matchett’s second book of his autobiographical trilogy – The Mechanic’s Tale is a quite extraordinary work, in essence the memoires of a Grand Prix mechanic throughout his career with the Benetton Formula One team.
Covers his entire career with a strong emphasis on the 1994 season until his retirement in 1998, from his beginnings as a young apprentice, through his time at Ferrari and BMW to his later success with Benetton.
Matchett has seen it all, and took the time to write three books sharing some of his wisdom with us. The Mechanic's Tale is the second work in the F1 trilogy.
Machett’s prose on the pressures and efforts of assembling a winning Formula One car makes a compelling read. Matchett was chief mechanic with the Benetton Formula One team and witnessed the arrivals of impeccable talents such as Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher. He gives an eye-witness views of all that great drivers.
He also explains how the team was transformed into a strong, competitive organisation, winning three World Championships.
This book is also very informative and is not your average racing book. I have also read his first book, which is also a classic, but I feel that this is the better of the two. I found myself not being able to put it down and anyone who loves racing will be in the same situation.
But if you are looking for a blow-by-blow account of a F1 season, you would be better served by Matchett's "Life in the Fast Lane", an inside account of Benneton's crazy 1994 season. If you want to learn more about F1 technology, then try "The Chariot Makers." However, if you want a very human and personal account of one man's journey from being a road car mechanic to mechanic for a Formula 1 world champion in a half decade, this is the book for you.
I was a huge fan of the BBC show Top Gear. Maybe it’s for middle aged guys who fantasize about driving like Mario Andretti, but it is one of the few shows that makes me laugh.
I will not explain who Stig is, if you dont know then ....
Anyway, The Man in the White Suit is the Stig, the famous, anonymous, tame race car driver. When the Black Stig disappeared off the end of an aircraft carrier in 2003 season, we were introduced to The White Stig. Faster. Stranger. Harder to keep clean. And ever since, millions have wondered – who is The Man in the White Suit? His identity has always been a mystery, and now Ben Collins has written an autobiography claiming to be the Stig. The BBC was not happy. Collins was outed after years of anonymity behind the white helmet, and then he wrote "The Man in the White Suit: The Stig, Le Mans, The Fast Lane and Me" about his experiences, a quick memoir that includes everything from his stint as an army reservist to his trials on the world's various race circuits. BBC tried to suppress it and not let the “secret” out. There's even a good bit on the man's time on Top Gear as the silent wheelman we all know and love. The Stig reveals how he came to be Top Gear's iconic racing driver and so much more - including what it's like to thrash an Aston Martin DBS.
As a fan of Top Gear and racing in general, I find the memoir very entertaining, it's an awesome story, told by an amazing man. Don't expect groundbreaking information...but as a TG fan, it was extremely enjoyable.