on 27 August 2006
This is a book which promises more than it delivers. Aside from a little wooliness in places, it is a well written and intelligently-advanced set of theories as what success in motorsport actually looks like. However, for a book that promises to lift the lid on the 'fastest men on earth,' there just simply aren't enough of them - whilst there is an interesting encounter with Michael Schumacher and numerous anecdotes about Ayrton Senna (there should be, Hilton has written enough books about him...), the other subjects are the likes of Mark Blundell, Julian Bailey, Eddie Irvine and Perry McCarthy (who actually never made it in F1) and so on, I mean, really.....competent drivers, but ultimately failures, a long way from the elite and most defineltly not the fastest men on earth. Hilton surely would have produced a much more credible account by having a detailed look at such as Alain Prost (who was as quick as anyone, but only when he NEEDED to be)and Nigel Mansell only really gets mentioned in passing, same with Mika Hakkinen. Hilton could also have pieced together the sadly short career of Stefan Bellof (a young driver whose amazing speed was to cost him everything) - it wouldn't have been too difficult, there are plenty of people around who knew him.
In terms of the focus, talent and sacrifice required to be amongst the absolute best of the best, there is a world of difference between between some of the also-rans who fill Hilton's pages and the real greats such as Senna, Scumacher, Prost, Hakkinen, etc. It just doesn't go far enough.
I certainly wouldn't deny this book is a good read, but for me at least, it is fundamentally flawed.