Top critical review
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So it's all down to the mechanics, then?
on 23 July 1999
Having a husband who works for a Formula One team, I know a little bit about what goes on during the season, and for the most part, Matchett's book really captures the excitement, and the technical challenges of the racing season. He has a clear, fluent writing style, with flashes of dry humour, and on the whole, the book is very interesting and well observed. The mechanics in any Formula One team are always close to the action, observing the main players, and the cars, at close quarters. One can't take away from the importance, and the undoubted danger of the job, so aptly demonstrated by the horrific pit fire at Hockenheim. But Matchett's narrative style is self-conscious at times, and what disappointed me about this book was the over-emphasis placed on the role of the mechanics, at the expense of the other members of the team. Where were the engineers, the deisgners, the R&D boffins? In the end, the message of this book seemed to be "Forget the other guys, in the end it's us and the drivers who make the team a success." At best, the self-importance of the writer is just amusing, at worst it's insulting to those in the know. Having said that, 1994 was a uniquely eventful year for F1, and this book provides a raft of detailed observation which makes it well worth a read.