on 1 January 2012
If statistics are your thing then, apart from page 204, you need to look elsewhere. This book is about something much more important than statistics and gives a glimpse into the complex character of a sporting icon; for my money, the greatest F1 racer and, perhaps, sportsperson ever. I read Hilton's very first book on Senna, 'The Hard Edge of Genius', when it was first published (just after his first title in 1988 I believe). I enjoyed that book at the time and remember that Hilton wrote once that he had the original draft/proof of that book with Senna's own handwritten comments on. So, the great man himself had 'some' input there. That book however, was a work in progress as the Senna legend continued to grow very rapidly on an annual basis. Since his tragic death at Imola 94, there have been many books published on Senna, including several by Christopher Hilton himself. This book was first published in 2003 and its re-issue is timely, both to tap into the success of last year's movie 'Senna' and, on a sadder note, it stands as a great tribute to Hilton himself who also died suddenly within the past couple of years. I'm ashamed to say that I never bought the original book in 2003 (as I have done with Hilton's other books on Senna) however, this re-issue proves that I should have done. It's wonderful and is full of touching anecdotes, tributes and recollections from those that actually knew Senna and, in many cases, worked very closely with him during his career. In that respect it's a little strange as Hilton makes the point himself that the author(s) of the book are of course the contributors themselves rather than him. There are many highlights and I'm not going to spoil it for readers in giving anything away however, my personal favourites are the contributions from Richard West and Peter Stayner, who both worked closely with Senna at McLaren and, in West's case, during his tragically short time at Williams. In summary then, a definite 5 star rating for a simple, honest book that will give a great insight into Senna for those, like me, who were fortunate enough to have actually travelled to races to see him race at his absolute peak during the 1980's and 1990's and for those who are more recent F1 fans who want to know more about him. It's a great tribute to two gentlemen; Christopher Hilton and Ayrton Senna Da Silva. May they both rest in peace.
on 26 February 2012
I bought this for my brother's birthday. I wasn't sure whether to buy it at first as it only had one review. But after reading the review I knew my brother would love this book. No technical jargon or race statistics, just a view of what racers and friends a like thought of Senna. My brother informs me that it is a fantastic read and hasn't put it down! This is a must for true Senna fans.
on 19 December 2013
This book is terrific, some of the anecdotes about him rally driving are fascinating but the information from various engineers about how Senna worked with them and how clever he was with setting up his car with regards to tyres amd how the car would behave is quite simply remarkable.
Not just this but the book has time to speak to all the main people who worked with him, whether it be the press, other drivers, mechanics, team owners, Bernie Ecclestone and Ron Dennis among many to show a multi-faceted opinion on what made Senna such a fascinating person on and off the track.
As has been said, this is not a book for statistics (thought Tom Rubython's Life of Senna was ok for this reason), it is book that shows why Ayrton Senna Da Silva will be remembered as a driver of not only tremendous talent (he is the greatest ever F1 driver in my opinion then with Fangio second and Jim Clark third), but he will be remembered as a man who's support of charities transcended the sport he was in particularly the Ayrton Senna Foundation which helps underpriveleged Brazilian children with education every day.
Christopher Hilton has written a terrific book that makes you laugh, cry and think throughout reading it about just what Formula 1 is missing today with Senna not here, he is very sadly missed.
In short, great book.
on 15 May 2014
I've got many books on this sporting legend, all of Christopher Hiltons books and a few others by various authors. The only other author that comes close to Hilton on Senna, is Richard Williams book "The death of Ayrton Senna"
This book I wish I'd bought on first release, but buying it recently and having just finished reading it, has just rekindled memories of his exceptional, and supreme motor racing talent.
There will always be comparisons with drivers who was the greatest, and subjective as it might be, there is no doubt in my mind that he was on a level above all the other greats that ever raced in F1.
His ability, intelligence, work ethic, and the sheer genius of the man, just comes across in this book from all the patchwork of quotes. He touched many peoples lives including the lives of people that never met him, or knew him.
He's still the yardstick that the rest are measured by, and 20 years on and I still miss him greatly.