I bought this book expecting to learn about the intricacies of modern F1 technology (suspension designs, aerodynamics, engine designs, etc). Whilst it does serve as an introduction to these topics it is (in my opinion) more to do with the politics of F1. For example, in the chapter on aerodynamics the book deals mainly with the regulations surrounding aero devices rather than explaining downforce, drag etc. This book is excellent if you simply want to find out more about F1 and the history surrounding the technology, but if you want to learn more about the engineering and science of the sport then I suggest you look elsewhere.
I wanted to read a book on the F1 car because I have a keen interest and also because I had an interview for the University of Cambridge. Seeing that this book is on Cambridge's recommended reading list for engineering and reading a bit about the book made it the ideal choice. I was amazed at how much work goes into these cars and how many people work behind the scenes. I thought I know quite a bit about Formula 1 but this book explores everything to do with the Formula 1 car and the sport in general. The simplistic way in which things were explained combined with the lack of jargon made it enjoyable, informative but not a task like reading a textbook. It could be read just for pleasure. However I was slightly disappointed that more detail wasn't given on certain areas for example in the aerodynamics section. I feel there was more that could have been expanded on like the diffuser section. Although thats possibly why Giorgio Piola has released another book, Formula 1: 2009/2010 Technical Analysis (Formula 1 Technical Analysis). However for what I needed it for it was perfect and I would recommend it to anyone from a F1 fan to an F1 fanatic.