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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and amusing insight into a little-discussed aspect of motor sport
'I Just Made the Tea' charts the three decades Di Spires and her husband, Stuart, have spent providing catering and hospitality within the hustle-bustle of top flight motor sport and spans the period from when hospitality was in its infancy and fairly rudimentary to the slick corporate industry it has become today. This in itself would be a fascinating insight into an...
Published on 24 Jun 2012 by Alan Dalton

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3.0 out of 5 stars Super reading
One of the most amusing and interesting books I have read in a long time
Published 2 months ago by Klat Samir R


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and amusing insight into a little-discussed aspect of motor sport, 24 Jun 2012
By 
Alan Dalton (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
'I Just Made the Tea' charts the three decades Di Spires and her husband, Stuart, have spent providing catering and hospitality within the hustle-bustle of top flight motor sport and spans the period from when hospitality was in its infancy and fairly rudimentary to the slick corporate industry it has become today. This in itself would be a fascinating insight into an area of the sport that is rarely discussed, but Di and co-writer, Bernard Ferguson, have done so in a highly entertaining, informal and affectionate manner.

The book follows a broadly chronological framework with occasional chapters devoted to a particular theme, for example, some of the racetracks Di and Stuart visited, or particularly important individuals who have touched their lives as and when they enter the story, such as Elio de Angelis, Flavio Briatore and Micheal Schumacher. Di and Stuart spent several years with Benetton, including the period during which Schumacher won his two World Championships for the team, and, in this context, 'I Just Made the Tea' provides an interesting counterpoint and companion piece to the books by Steve Matchett ('Life in the Fast Lane' and 'The Mechanic's Tale'), who was a race mechanic for Benetton during the same period.

Aside from conveying the genuine respect and affection the motor sport fraternity clearly has for Di and Stuart, or 'Mum and Dad', as they are called by everybody, the joy of this book is the number of anecdotes and character studies - made possible due to the informality of many contexts. The stories cover a range of emotions, from delight (such as when discussing Nelson Piquet, with whom Di and Stuart forged a particularly strong bond), to frustration over logistical headaches and the depths of despair whenever tragedy arose.

The text is accompanied by several wonderfully candid photographs - the 'holiday snapshot' quality of some of the images lends to the air of informality and is perfectly suited to the subject matter. There is a particularly poignant photo of Elio de Angelis, taken just before his fatal accident.

Di Spires and Bernard Ferguson have written a truly wonderful and highly entertaining book, and have clearly revelled in reminiscing over a lifetime in motor sport and a bygone age. One is left thinking that there is surely enough subject matter for a sequel if the authors feel so inclined. Di Spires did much more than make the tea as she and her husband were at the heart of several top teams and earned the respect and admiration of everybody in the pit lane. This book is a treasure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good news, 25 Jun 2012
This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
Most of time that Di's book relates to covers most of the time I have spent in F1. Her tale totally reflects how chaotic it was for the Motorhomers in the early years. They were expected to do everything whilst receiving very little reward. Many of the anecdotes in the book I had forgotten about and they are clearly and humourously reflected very accurately.

Every F1 fan should get a copy and read a real tale about how F1 worked in the alst 30 years.

Congratulations
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 17 July 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
I love this book. Its for anyone with an interest in F1, giving some fascinating behind the scenes info. You feel you get to know the drivers a little and shows that it is not always a glamorous life! Di is a warm and motherly soul, that comes across very well and her tales are entertaining, funny and sometimes tragic. It also shows the changing face of F1, not always for the better I felt. Took it on hols with me, a thoroughly good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 28 Jun 2012
This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
As a formula 1 fan I have learnt a huge amount, how things have changed!!
As a person I have learnt one very important thing "follow your dream".
Di Spires obviously did this with her husband and the book really does convey how a positive approach gave them a wonderful career (albeit with some very sad times).
I would recommend it to anyone who loves motor racing or just wants a pointer on how to approach life,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and interesting book, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
If you are interested in F1 and motorsport you will find it a fascinating read. Lots of inside information. Lots of laughs and some very sad moments. Also insight into the daunting task facing the early catering and hospitality providers. As an avid motorsport fan I found this book an excellent read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great read, 21 Sep 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
I loved the book and couldn't put it down, it spans a time that doesn't seem real in todays' F1 paddock and I just wonder how much fun they have these days. So funny and so poignant, Di and Stu certainly were Mum and Dad, and still are. Even if you are not a motor sport enthusiast the book is interesting and a must read.
I am xwaiting for the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brown Betty, 14 Sep 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
I loved reading this book as it sums up how much fun was had in the Paddock 10 years ago before everything became so corporate. Stu and Di were loved by everyone as can be seen from the number of drivers who are part of their story. Its a must read for genuine motor racing fans and a wonderful insight into behind the scenes fun in former years of our sport. Do buy the book and help support my dear friends the Spires into their rest years!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant it is here!!!!, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
Just made the tea is an excellent book written by a lady I can only describe as a diamond. One so many people in the pit lane ranging from team principles and technical directors right down to the mechanics and in my case tyre engineers call Mum. Di has been saying for as long as I have known her (and longer my colleagues tell me) she would write this book, and she has finally achieved this much to the credit of her and Bernard (who I have to admit I have not meet but have heard much of).
I tend to read in transit to the Grand Prix's (on planes) and have had many odd looks due to bursting in to fits of laughter and holding back the tears and sometimes shedding one or two. I only worked for a short 3 years with Mum and Dad when they were the Bridgestone teams test catering and I can honestly say there is a lot of love for these two characters not just in Bridgestone but in the paddock. Even my own parents know them as mum and dad after a trip testing to Silverstone.
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg from Mum so sit back, relax and enjoy ride because it has been one hell of career!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last the book has been published !, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
Having known Di and Stu Spires for a good many years, and also working with them at Benetton Formula, I have been looking forward to this book being published - and it does not dissapoint. It covers many years of joy, tears and much laughter in motorsport paddocks all over the world. Di tells it as it is and the book will be of interest to those who are in her memories and also to any motorsport fan. A good holiday read !
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and fun, 12 Jun 2012
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This review is from: I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 (Hardcover)
I was busy mucking out the stables when the book arrived, 'racing' down to the kitchen I opened the parcel and that was the last anyone saw of me for the rest of the day. Nothing could make me put it down. One of the best reads ever.
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I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1
I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1 by Bernard Ferguson (Hardcover - 7 Jun 2012)
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