Former ITV-F1 presenter Beverley Turner’s book The Pits provides her behind-the-scenes account during a season-long adventure following the Formula 1 circus in 2003.
Aimed at both the seasoned fan and the F1 novice, The Pits offers up a different insight into what goes on in the F1 paddock, and very much in direct contrast with the ‘happy family’ image the sport might want you to perceive.
This book is a polemic on the world of F1, examining some of the sport’s more sinister and unattractive aspects: how venues are chosen and dropped; the power wielded by sponsors; how tightly controlled the entire operation has become.
And while F1 delivers plenty of glamour and celebrities – and she offers no less an account of this as well – it also has plenty of hard-working dedicated people who work tirelessly to make it happen.
Broken neatly into chapters for each race on the calendar, Turner examines a quite specific aspect of Formula 1 away from the race track, such as the race protestors at the Australian Grand Prix, or how F1 team staff juggle a work/life balance during the Austrian Grand Prix.
One interesting theme – and one largely disputed by several female F1 figures we have been in touch with – is an apparent air of sexism within the sport that Turner strongly objected to. The absence of female drivers and the roles of women in F1 are topics that are extensively covered in this tome, and little of it is pretty. And while being critical of this, there seems a certain element of bitterness of Turner’s writing when she discusses these topics…
Long-term F1 fans might find the book frustrating – we all know Bernie runs the show, and the point doesn’t need repeating umpteen times – but there are still some interesting little nuggets offered up over its pages.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award As You Do…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE 5.
The Pits is available via some booksellers and Amazon.