Book Review: ‘Speed Read F1’
The world of Formula One is extremely complex. When writing about Grand Prix results, driver lineup changes, or the latest juicy rumors, I always assume the reader is fairly well-versed in all things F1, but it would probably be more realistic to assume the opposite. Even the most ardent fans have large swaths of missing knowledge, which is why I’ve at times been motivated to put together up a guide or two about some areas of the sport, the writing of which also helped me learn new things about my beloved sport. Ideally, however, an entire guide book to F1 would be better.
Conveniently, a new and comprehensive book has just come along. It was written by Stuart Codling and titled Speed Read F1: The Technology, Rules, History and Concepts Key to the Sport, and if you’re at all interested in the vast and complex world of Formula One, you will definitely want to pick it up and give it a read.
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Speed Read F1
The Technology, Rules, History and Concepts Key to the Sport
Written by Stuart Codling
Product Details: Paperback, 160 pages, 6.8 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
Retail Price: $19.99 US | £12.99 UK | $25.99 CAN
Publication date: October 10, 2017
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Before I get into the content, it should be said that it is rather well presented in Speed Read F1. It is not a hard back book but the cover a step up from merely “soft,” and the content itself is easy to navigate, easy to read, and full of beautiful illustrations. It was evidently designed to be accessible but without compromising the depth and breadth of its content, though clearly if you are interested in furthering your understanding of air flow dynamics, you’ll probably want to pick up a technical book at your engineering college instead or have an extensive debrief with Adrian Newey.
Table of Contents
There are seven major sections in Speed Read F1:
- Technology – Covers the various technical aspects of the sport, such as engines, wheels, and even banned systems such as active suspension.
- Drivers – Oversees the path drivers take to arrive at F1 and what they do when they get there, as well as notable drivers who have come and gone along the way.
- Rivalries – Discusses all the most important rivalries of the sport, from that between Fangio and Farina in the 1950s to the most recent one between Hamilton and Rosberg.
- Racing Circuits – Differentiates between street circuits, modern circuits, classic circuits, and even the history of F1 in the United States.
- Flag to Finish – Sheds light on the anatomy of a racing weekend, from practice and qualifying to starting procedures and championship points.
- Staying Alive – Covers the key events and people that have shaped modern F1 safety as well as the enduring struggle to prevent the death of those involved in the sport.
- Taking Care of Business – Talks about the sport’s globalization, Bernie Ecclestone, and what F1 means for sponsors and manufacturers.
Should Speed Read F1 be limited to the above information, it would be a good read but perhaps a little bland. However, the book does more: every topic features a sidebar containing a fun fact, a historical tidbit, and a short blurb about a key person, adding flavor and interesting trivia to every turn of the page. Additionally, each section contains a glossary and a page devoted to a piece of informative commentary, such as why teammates make such good rivals.
If you are interested in learning more about Formula One or consider yourself a fan of the sport, I would strongly suggest picking up Stuart Codling’s Speed Read F1. Thanks to its interesting and original content, beautiful art, clean layout and presentation, and numerous tidbits both important and trivial, the book offers not a cold look at one of the world’s most expensive sports but rather a warm invitation to explore Formula One’s curious universe of strange yet magnetic personalities, high stakes drama, and mind-bogglingly fast cars.
Product provided for review by publisher.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.