FIA World Championship Yearbook 1988 edited by Bob Constanduros. 240pp. 121/4″ x 91/4″. (Grid Publishing, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QQ. £18.95)
Large-format annuals of the Autocourse genre become more numerous every winter, and the competition between them can only force standards upwards while giving the consumer greater choice. This second edition of a venture which carries an FIA stamp of approval is one for the devotee, for it is turned over entirely to the worship of Formula One racing, even (horror of horrors) to the exclusion of the great god advertising!
Editor Bob Constanduros has recruited Derrick Allsop and Mike Doodson to precede reflective race-by-race reports with features on the 1987 season, and Jackie Stewart to appraise the dethroned champion Alain Prost. Bernie Ecclestone even puts in an appearance to contribute a foreword. But the aforementioned devotee should not expect to be told much which he does not already know. True, a double-page spread of tabulated results follows the story of each Grand Prix; and Constanduros’ end of term reports for all the participating teams fill in much nitty-gritty detail omitted elsewhere. But of the twelve pages allotted to each race, only three carry any text of note.
But herein lies the strength of this well-planned publication. For what the reader is not told he is shown in no uncertain terms, in a selection of colour photographs which is unlikely to be bettered by any competing tome.
It seems the work of all of the world’s most respected F1 lensmen (including Motor Sport’s) has been attracted into these pages, with exhilarating effect. Whether taken on the track, off the track(!) or in the pits, the pictures exude action and atmosphere. Not only are they technically sound and artistically conceived, but also skilfully employed to document the necessary evidence. The print quality is such that a large proportion of them have no qualms about commandeering a whole page each to themselves. If you have read it all before but want to see some life breathed back into it, then this is the book you need . The hard information is there, but it takes a back seat. GT