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Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One Hardcover – 3 Nov 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471162354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471162350
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 2.9 x 16.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A fascinating insight’  (Giles Richards Observer)

About the Author

Ross Brawn is the most successful technical director in Formula One history, having led Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes to world championship glory, and worked with some of the greatest names in the sport, including Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. After retiring at the end of 2013, he returned in January 2017 as F1's managing director, motor sports. 


Adam Parr is a businessman, investor and lawyer whose career has taken him all over the world. Between 2006 and 2012 he was CEO and then chairman of the Williams Formula One team, where he was responsible for bringing hybrid technology to the team as well as turning round its fortunes. 


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable read for anyone (like me) who is deeply into Formula One.
The book is billed as being a look at strategy useful to those with little or no knowledge of F1, but in reality, unless you have a good knowledge of F1 I suspect that at least half the book will make little or no sense.

If the book were judged as a wider work on strategy, applicable to a wider audience, it would fail.
The pieces on strategy itself, including digressions into the Sun Zu, were for me very weak, and detracted from the book. They seemed to not really fit with the narrative; an example of a book trying to do too much.

The parts with Ross Brawn discussing his working practices were truly excellent, and the parts where he discusses his working practices with Michael Schumacher were particularly strong. His focus on discipline, rhythms, routines, and processes, are particularly worthwhile.

I found the book overly long. A bolder editor could have taken between 50 and 100 pages out of this book without doing any significant damage. Certainly the portions on military strategy could be removed (an odd digression that is not effective, and quite boring), but also tidying up some repetition.

The book is written in a Q&A format, which I found to be a refreshing and interesting way to present a book, giving it almost the feel of a magazine article.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disappointing as we seemingly have Adam Parr (ex Williams senior management and a F1 desk jockey, known to few fans) hijacking this book with an annoying question and response format that is tedious in the extreme. I appreciate Mr Brawn is busy sorting out his future with Liberty Media but at worst he could have employed a ghost writer, anything is better than extreme interrogation by Mr Parr.
Parr has an ego and it is concealed in his 101 question for self satisfaction reasons.
And as for AP's ancient strategizing based around historic military scenarios, a BIG YAWN. However persevere and just read the responses and you great an insight into the life of F1 legend Mr Brawn. Forget the last Chapter - Observations as Parr gets into high strategy mode and paraphrases Ross's responses according to his strategy nonsense. I suggest you buy the books by Damon, Johnny Herbert or Mark Webber if you want a good read. Really the 6 hour Kindle read time is about half as you will soon avoid the Parr strategy. So I guess this is value for about £6.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ross Brawn is as succinct and informative as I expected him to be.
Adam Parr on the other hand (who?) is just annoying. He's already published a comic book about F1 called The Art of War, and here he keeps going on about the same theme, comparing F1 to Sun Tzu's two-and-a-half-millenia-old book. If you skip everything he says and asks and stick to Ross Brawn, this is great book. I strongly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Poorly written and organised. It reads like a technical manual in some places, a scripted conversation in others, and what was more flowing text was almost an afterthought. Mr Brawn probably should have just let Adam Parr speak into a recorder and published that, I have not doubt it would have been more interesting and probably just as applicable to the initial idea behind this pile of pages.
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Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this book but have been left disappointed.

There's the echo of Ross Brawn's story weaved throughout the book but it's framed in Adam Parr's 'Art of War' review of strategy.

I wish Adam had kept it simple and just interviewed Ross about his career and sent the transcript off to print without faffing around with his desire to fulfil his own academic cravings. It would have been a hell of a lot more interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
Not as good as I hoped. But then read the Title. Lessons in strategy. It reads like a text book and and is lazily just the transcript of a conversation between 2 people one of whom has been massively successful in F1 and one who hasn't.
Shame would have been fun to read the Benetton story from the inside of this controversial time. Also the Jaguar XJR14
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Format: Hardcover
An informative and interesting read that could have been much improved with only one author. Having always had high regard for Ross Brawn and his abilities, I found the intrusion of the Chinese strategists much overworked; for this book, they could have been summed up in a paragraph.
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Format: Hardcover
Four things about this book:
Firstly, how is it that a book purporting to be about strategy and all that entails about organisation and planning ends up being so badly structured itself? It seems lazy; what might have been done is to highlight, say, ten instances of Brawn's management and performance and analyse those, including how they could be improved, with reference to military strategy and tactics if you must. Secondly, if you're going to write a book about parallels between F1 and military strategy at least do your research. The references to the Art of War (and that's been analysed by far better historians and business thinkers than Parr), would be better replaced by references to Boyd. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War John Boyd distilled all of military thinking in his work and added in some ideas of his own to come up with the (extended version) of the OODA loop which has a far deeper coupling with the way Brawn operated. One difference being the way Brawn actually had a plan for what he was going to do if for instance it rained at a particular point in the race or if a safety car came out; yes; literally for every single lap he had a strategy for what to do that was appropriate for that stage of the race. When employed in practice this looked like a shrewd tactical response, rather than advanced strategic planning it was. It wasn't really therefore as complex as reacting to uncontrolled changing circumstances in battle which Boyd attempted to address.
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