Renault Formula One Motor Racing Book, by Xavier Chimits and Francis Granet. Dorling Kindersley, £9.99.
This is a refreshing breath of fresh air on the F1 scene. It covers every conceivable aspect of F1 racing from the beginning of the Drivers’ World Championship in 1950, in a series of colour diagrams and statistical tables which one finds in children’s lesson books. But do not be misled: the result is not only fascinating but practically essential study for those who want to brush up on their F1 knowledge and those who wish to learn about it. The colour studies of all the F1 drivers, their helmets and the cars are tiny, but the depiction and colours are very clear. And as I said, you get everything about F1 racing, colour diagrams of good, bad and “criminal” cornering methods, comparisons of F1 power compared to that of other cars, electronics, practice, rules, building F1 cars, GP starts, the media, pit-stops, winning, drivers in retirement, etc — you see, the lot. All in 63 large, simple-to-understand pages and an Index. It is also a quick reference to the current teams, drivers and past Champions.
Do not dismiss this as just another F1 book — it is fun but serious. I can understand why Frank Williams says that everyone will learn something of a complex sport from this book, and Flavio Briatori that if he could keep only one of masses of F1 books, it would be this one. Compiled in conjunction with Renault Sport and the Williams and Benetton racing teams, you have to have it. If you want your wife or girlfriend to go with you, or watch TV with you, she needs to learn what F1 is all about, so buy two copies, of this clever coverage . . W B