By Bruce Jones
Carlton, £29.95. ISBN 1 85868 515 X
The accompanying promotional literature that comes with review copies of Bruce Jones’ Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One describes my former colleague’s book as “the world’s most comprehensive, single-volume illustrated work F1 reference” and it is hard to argue with the publicist’s spiel.
Divided into five parts, the encyclopedia delves into The World Championships, The Drivers, The Constructors, The Circuits and Statistics. Part one is a potted history of every F1 championship from 1950, which, while serving as a useful reminder of the most salient points from each season, is no more than that. The constraints of book size – it is already a healthy 648 pages – prevents Jones from covering each season in anything more than scant detail.
Part two, the Drivers, looks into the career of every man and woman to have started a Grand Prix. Well-researched and factually packed, the only misgiving you might have is that you have to flick on several hundred pages to part five, the Statistics, before you can see their race histories in tabular form.
As well as a detailed examination of F1 constructors past and present, the book’s most interesting section is that on the circuits that have hosted a championship event. If you wanted to know why the great circuits of the past no longer form part of the Grand Prix circus, then look no further. Backed up with full race results from every World Championship and raw data on every driver, constructor, points table and more, this book is as authoritative a work on F1 as you will ever find in any bookshop or need on any bookshelf.