One of the most memorable sporting events I have attended in my life was the 1990 Monaco Grand Prix in which Aryton Senna and Alain Prost had an exciting rivalry and were the best drivers at that race won by Senna. When I saw there was an upcoming book on F1 rivals that included these two, I had to check it out. Any F1 fan will enjoy this - here is my review of "Formula One: The Rivals"
“Formula One: The Rivals: F1’s Greatest Duels” by Tony Didgins
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Review: While all forms of auto racing will have rivalries between certain drivers, the driver rivalries in Formula 1 racing usually produce the sport’s fiercest. From the sport’s inception during the 1950’s to today, these rivals have produced some of the most exciting racing that the sport has seen. They are captured in this book by racing journalist Tony Didgins.
It should be noted that this book is one that should not only be read by race fans, but also praised for its illustrations. The photos of the cars and drivers, from Juan Manuel Fangio (winner of five F1 championships in seven years) to the current champion Lewis Hamilton, are even better than the writing of Didgins, which is brief in volume but rich in history.
Didgins covers the best rivalries in the sport in chronological order and some drivers are portrayed multiple times, such as Nikki Lauda, who was a rival of James Hunt and later Alain Prost. Prost himself later was part of the most exciting rivalry in the sport’s history as he and Ayrton Senna had some of the best races, especially in the early 1990’s before Senna’s death. Micheal Schumacher and Hamilton are also mentioned in two different rivalries which is appropriate considering that these two are often mentioned in discussions on who is the greatest F1 driver of all time.
The actual chapters on each rivalry doesn’t give capsules of each driver’s life – instead it talks about their accomplishments and what they did at the time of the rivalry. For example, Lauda’s two chapters just describe first his rise to success then his races against Hunt in that chapter, then picks up when he returns to racing after a three-year absence and develops a strong rivalry with Prost. Same type of description for Prost and his duels with Lauda and Senna.
If nothing else, this book deserves high praise for the great photography throughout. No matter one’s interest in F1 racing, from casual to fanatical, there is something for everyone in this book.
I wish to thank Ivy Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are strictly mine.