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Life At The Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One by [Watkins, Sid]
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Life At The Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4435 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BQF6RBO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Viewing Grand Prix motor racing through the wonderfully perceptive eyes of Professor Watkins means that anyone interested in the sport should read this excellent account. Obviously respected, often revered by those with whom he works, he gives vivid and sometimes moving recollections spanning the many years of his involvement. Humour and pathos make regular appearances; his dry wit, an essential tool of his trade perhaps, serves to punctuate what is essentially a serious book. His incisive précis of drivers from the last three decades makes for compulsive reading, the character analyses are intriguing and revealing. Undoubtedly a pivotal character in the world of Formula One, the professor has been instrumental in saving many lives. However, he's also witnessed intimately the consequences of appalling accidents in which lives were lost. He is perhaps uniquely qualified to commentate on the sport, his dedication and professionalism making him a hero in this modern amphitheatre which now embraces the globe. Superbly readable. Once is not enough.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like your F1 and have a favourite driver then you'll probably be able to carry on supporting the driver for longer because of the work of this man. Not only has he been able to make F1 safer but he can write too. An interesting story well recounted. I can recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My family are steeped in motor racing - my parents were both amateur rally drivers back in 'the day' (i.e. the 60s - lots of silverware in the attic!) and I virtually grew up at Silverstone at club meetings over Bank Holiday weekends (we only lived an hour away when I was growing up) and my first visit, apparently, was when I was two weeks old! We are all keen drivers, learning as children thrashing cars round fields on private land, and even now in my 40s I drive for relaxation or just for fun (although since moving to Jersey 23 years ago my opportunities to go very far are limited!). I grew up hearing my father eulogise Jim Clark - in an age, in the early 70s, when many people's first though to do with British F1 drivers were either Stirling Moss (who my father never rated) or Jackie Stewart (definitely rated!) this 'Jim Clark' seemed to lead to a lot of blank faces among my friends! I first got into F1 seriously in 1980 when I was 12/13, and my favourite driver (I cut out all the pictures from 'Motoring News' and stuck them on my bedroom wall!) was Keke Rosberg. Oh, how old do I feel watching Nico now!!

But, to put a serious angle on it, the early days, up to the mid-70s especially, were dangerous times for F1. Anyone whose seen the awful footage of Tom Pryce's death, or Roger Williamson's, won't need convincing of that. But F1 was un-regulated in terms of safety and anyone who spoke out or tried to change things (step forward again, Sir Jackie) was branded a coward by many other drivers, team owners and circuit managers (and the latter of course, would have to spend money to implement any safety changes).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm afraid I found this a rather boring read. The only parts that interested me were where the author gives an insight into the Grand Prix drivers of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but this accounted for only a small percentage of the book as a whole. Another negative is that 30% of the book is taken up with appendices. Disappointing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was half way through this book, when I bought the follow up. That'll give you an idea of what I thought of this one.

Sid Watkins was at the forefront of changing, not only the physical specifications, but also of the culture within F! as regards safety. This book looks at the safety of the sport before, and after he came to the sport at the behest of Bernie Ecclestone. As well as looking at the safety, the accidents, some fatal, some not, there's pen portraits of some of the big hitters during his time in the sport.

As well as the sporting side, there are several appendices showing the documentation required by the FIA to ensure that any circuit meets the requirements laid down under the safety regulations, along with a fairly exhaustive look at the research carried out on the stresses a race driver is under during a race.

This contains something for everyone, regardless if it is little vignettes like the medical car overtaking the cars during the first lap, to historical facts such as the infighting that went on to allow the medical car to follow the cars on the first lap. Regardless whether you are a long term fan, or a new fan, there's something in this book for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book and to read the Profs views on his time in F1 and some of the personalities. He did seem to hold back on some of this views about drivers, but I guess when your life is based on confidentiality that goes with the territory. Having said that an interesting and enjoyable read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like F1 from 70's to 90's then you must read this book. I read it on my kindle and was surprised it finished at ~80%, the last 20 % had facts & figures and copies of forms to look at if you like that sort of thing (I do not).
It was funny, sad & interesting as well as well written, it was an easy read, but it is roughly 20 years old now.
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