Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The official ITV Sport guide to Formula 1 is an annual book written by Bruce Jones. It has been going for many years and follows the same format each year.
The book charts the main happenings of the previous season, and then goes on to look at the year ahead. It features all the teams, and their two race drivers, with history, backgrounds and contact information for all. It also goes through all of the circuits in the calendar with an overview of the track, the tricky spots, and corners to look out for. The book finishes off with some features, such as photos of accidents, and then some statistics.
They always pack a lot into these books and I find them absolutely invaluable. All the information can be found online at various different websites, and probably most die-hard fans know half of it anyway. But I really like it because for each race of the season, I can sit down and recap on what happened last year, what bits to look out for and who seems to have been really good over previous races.
I am not lucky enough to have one of those memories where I can picture the exact race and year where a certain event happened. I remember accidents or important things, but I canít tell when or where it happened, unless I happen to have this book next to me.
The contact information is also very useful, with telephone numbers and website addresses, if you want to get in contact with a particular team or driver.
The writing is simple but not patronising, which I think is a really important balance to get right. You need to embrace those that are new to the sport and may not know all the backgrounds or technical jargon, but you also donít want to alienate those that have followed the sport for a few years.
Itís packed with information but is enhanced with the addition of some exclusive photographs from ITV, and some really handy diagrams of the circuits. The photos capture the drivers at their best and at their worst, and some of the more unknown moments from behind the scenes.
I recommend this book highly to almost everyone. Anyone new to the sport should check it out straight away, because itís priceless for checking facts and figures and making sure youíve got your head at the right circuit. For those who are more regular fans, it can still be a handy resource for remembering previous seasons and for comparisons for year to year.