A new, limited-edition book details the complete story of seven decades of Formula 1 racing.
Available exclusively from Veloce Publishing, the book includes a number of charts and graphs.
Our Book Garage series showcases what every gearhead and enthusiast should add to their library.
A great, thick tome of a book was weighing down my mailbox one day. Formula 1 All The Races – The First 1000 describes itself as a one-stop shop for F1 lovers. Veloce Publishing, who is putting out the limited-edition book, says it’s a reading book; a history book; and a reference book capturing the very essence of Grand Prix racing. And while it could be that, what it really is for racing fans is a detailed Formula 1 stats book.
Honestly, I can’t see anyone sitting down with this thing, cracking it open to page one, and reading straight through to page 720. It’s as engaging as a phone book since there’s actually precious little to read here. Tons of stats and facts and figures, but little prose is included within those 720 pages. Each race gets its own thumbnail sketch (e.g. “For a third time it was Hakkinen’s pole, Schumacher’s victory” and so on) with a list of highlights for the end of each season.
However, Formula 1 All The Races is not a “reading book” like the ones we traditionally cover in this Book Garage series. Rather, it’s page after page of statistics and outcomes. Imagine a bound copy of baseball box scores from the Sunday paper and you’ll get the idea.
Loaded With Facts & Dates (And Photos Too)
There are indeed lots of pictures salted and peppered throughout. Most of them are brightly-colored, but really, saying all this is just gilding the lily. This is a reference book straight up. If you have it handy and need to know who won the Dutch GP in 1974, heft it up onto your desk.
It was Lauda, Regazzoni, Fittipaldi, Hailwood, Schekter, and Depailler filling out the top six.
Fastest lap for the 1985 South African race? Rosberg (Keke, Nico’s dad) set it with a time of 1:08.149. See, it’s that kind of book. Got some sort of racing trivia question to answer? This will get you the facts but I do question why another book like this one is necessary.
Cut From A Similar Cloth
A few weeks ago, I received another F1 stats book from Veloce Publishing very much like this one. That book, Formula 1 – The Knowledge 2nd Edition: Records and Trivia Since 1950, covers all the Grand Prix records since the formal codification of the sport in 1950. I thought it was nice, handy even, but that I could still just find all this stuff online.
And now there’s a second book in my library that does the same function as the first. Again, I am asking the same thing: can’t I just get all this stuff on the internet?
Something For Collectors
Perhaps the allure here is how there will only be 1,000 copies of Formula 1 All The Races. Looking at the layout, it seems it’s aimed at collectors anyway. The book’s price, a whopping 65 Pounds Sterling (about $80.00 in ‘Murican Bucks), would also back that up. Is there a collector’s market for racing stats books? If they were going for that market, they could have done a better job with the printing and binding. The pages are small (about the size of an iPad Mini), so the font is to the point where it’s hard to read. The pages are gloss stock but the binding is already making creaking and snapping noises, and the spine is starting to separate.
It does have one of those nifty, old-time red ribbons to use as a book mark, so that’s nice.
Otherwise, I sum it up as simply another Formula 1 stats book. It’s there just in case you need it.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.