Top positive review
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on 17 December 2003
I eagerly awaited arrival of this tome as this period is one of the most fascinating in F1. Tubes with engines stuck on the back disappeared as aerodynamics were discovered, if not completely understood until the end of the decade. Everyone had their own approach and the cars looked different - so unlike today.
This book includes some of the most brilliant and insightful photographs of the Grand Prix world that I have ever seen. A large number of such books are 99% cars during a race and while this book has its fair share of these shots, it also contains more interesting ones of the people that make the F1 world happen. These are interesting because they show more of the personality of the competitors than simply a driver in a helmet.
It is also of particular interest to see the share of time given to "lesser" teams of the times - if any can be called that. Certainly my fear was that the book would focus each year on the main participants but this was not the case. The inclusion of such minnows was gratifying and rounded out each year.
There are some years when entire teams seem to be missing. As a Williams fan of nearly 30 years I had hoped for more photographs of the team in the period between 1971 and 1977 but, as explained in the introduction, not all races were attended and there are other teams as well. Still looking for decent photos of the Politoys FX-3 and other early Williams cars, but this book has at least provided me with several excellent representations of some of the cars.
Against this very personal (and biased) aspect is the fact that the book contains excellent shots of new drivers each year. As an example, very few books of this stature would include shots of Alan Jones in the Harry Stiller Hesketh or Embassy Hill from 75 and 76. Where else would one find a shot of Larry Perkins? (Don't ask who?)If they did the shots would be minor. Not so in this collection. The attempt for completeness in this book is outstanding. If not 100% successful, then surely the best effort short of an annual.
The captioning of each photograph is simply outstanding, providing not only a concise description but also providing additional details covering the future. One is not left wondering 'whatever happened to.....'.
Overall, this is the best book of the period I have ever seen. Brilliant photography, excellent words and superb detail. A must have for everyone's motor racing bookshelf. My problem will be actually putting it away, this book draws me back time and time again for both interest and reference.