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Book Review - Working the Wheel

This is one of the first motorsport related books that I ever read, and it's a really good one. At first glance, it looks like an autobiography, but there is none of the early family stories. For an F1 fan, it's a gem, as it focuses solely on racing.

The format of the book is a chapter per circuit, with Brundle talking us through his favourite memories from each track. There are some classic stories from his racing days, some real insight into what it's like to be inside the car and approaching those famous corners at speed, and some real humour about his own mistakes, and his fellow drivers.

Brundle had help from the well-respected journalist Maurice Hamilton to translate his thoughts onto paper, and it becomes a fantastic journey through the well loved circuits. There are also some that you may not have seen, especially if you're a new fan. I've been obsessed with F1 for only a few years, and therefore there are a lot of circuits I haven't seen in action. Martin's writing makes the circuits come to life, and just glancing at a few pictures makes them as real as if they were on the calendar today.

The book is a couple of years old now, but as it's simply a memoir of sorts, it doesn't feel aged as you read it. One of the best things about the book is that Brundle talks as though you know what he's referring to. Although some particularly technical references need explanation, the descriptions aren't patronising, which is a really important factor for racing. There are some complex technologies at work in motorsport, especially when it comes to cornering and the driver techniques put into practice. Thankfully, Brundle assumes you are intelligent and describes them in plain English, but without making you feel stupid. It's a good skill to have, and one he and Maurice carry off expertly.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about Formula 1 from someone inside the car. A great insight and useful companion when building up to the start of a season.

Check out the book on Amazon.

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