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The Inside Track: Paddocks, Pit Stops and Tales of My Life in the Fast Lane Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Bizarrely the majority of the book is spent explaining F1 as though to a child, or recounting the already familiar events of the F1 seasons he covered. I can't be the only reader to be intensely frustrated to find many of the pages filled with descriptions of races and incidents I'm already well aware of because I was watching the coverage when they happened! Rather than telling us what goes on behind the closed doors of the paddock, or regaling us with anecdotes about the larger than life characters of the sport, Jake seems to focus on explaining the sport as though we know nothing at all. Major events of the past few championships are related as though they are somehow news.
The writing style seems particularly patronising at times, for example offering this gem of information: "Those a little more F1 obsessed may tune into the qualifying coverage a day before the race" wow, fancy that! Now I'm really learning something new Jake, thanks!!Read more ›
The book is presented in a subject by subject format, rather than a straight chronological narrative; and this gives Jake the scope to illustrate his topics with examples from Formula 1 history. This, then, forms the basis of a good introduction to the sport, or a book that provides fill-in information for the casual observer who hasn't quite 'got' F1 yet.
I've referred to the author as Jake throughout this review, because he's a very likable bloke, and he feels like a friend on screen. This comes across in the book. He writes as he speaks, in a very accessible style that I enjoyed reading, and I'm going to miss him when he leaves the program at the end of this season.
The first chapter is actually quite interesting (I bought it after reading the sample thinking the rest would be like it) and talks about his fears and nerves while at a race the year before he started presenting.
I got half way through and couldn't finish it, it's a very basic general knowledge and history of F1, in idiot terms. It would be great if you're just getting into F1, but for someone whose followed the sport for years, it's disappointing.
I was fortunate, in a sense that this was given to me as a Christmas prezzy simply because the giver knows I'm a bit of an F1 nerd so I didn't fork out nearly twenty quid. I'm rather longer in the tooth these days so Murray Walker is the man I usually associate with motor sport but Jake fitted into the vacancy on the Beeb's showground and, frankly, did a remarkable job - just why he's gone to the depths of sport now is quite beyond me - but then, football does mesmerize some people.
However, this book is no lasting legacy of his time in the hot seat. This is a shame to put it mildly and one gets the impression that he's covering his back for who knows what in the future. He's young enough to make a comeback and I don't suppose he'll lose his interest in F1 just because he's watching softies kicking a round object about.
The book has been reviewed from both good and bad aspects and I suppose I'm sitting on the fence - mainly, I guess because he did such a good job at the BBC. I have watched, occasionally and usually when I'm abroad, the Sky version of F1 and I thank my lucky stars that I can come back to the BBC. Nobody's indispensable in any job so it would have been great to have more punch in this book. There must be loads going on, back-biting, unfriendly rivalries a la Senna and Prost (surely our favourite Spanish driver, Alonso, has a mad moment or two??), what Bernie said to Jake on occasions and so forth but, regrettably, this is just a picture story about someone's filtered view of F1.
Come on, Jake, now the season's over, give us the low down. You know you can and you know it'll sell like hot exhausts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As others have commented, there's nothing "inside" about this book! I was expecting details about what really goes on behind the cameras, what the drivers get up to, how a... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jason
Good book I wish it had been longer and gone into more detail. Nice update at the end of the bookPublished 10 months ago by Steve E