Grands Prix, by Peter Murray
Hardcover, © 2008 Murray Books, ISBN 0980313139

Grands PrixPeter Murray’s self-published book Grands Prix immediately stands out with its unusual wheel shape.

The practicalities of storing this on a bookshelf notwithstanding, Grands Prix mirrors many of your heftier Formula 1 encyclopaedias (but without the comparable price and weight)  with its structure and content.

Divided into chapters covering topics such as (a rather breathless) history of Formula 1, the technical basics, the major constructors and the major drivers, it’s written in a manner easy enough to understand for the casual F1 fan without it being at all overcomplicated.

Murray’s fascination – as he admits in his introduction – clearly stems from his starting to watch the sport in the 1980s, and it would be fair to suggest that more of his focus is from the F1 era around (and following) that time than before it.

Visually, the book works well with its round shape and its readable with a good collection of photos from the Getty Images library. The information within is, most crucially, accurate.

Self-publishing a book is a brave endeavour and I admire Murray for taking the plunge and largely making it work.

What lets him down is that it’s just not a completely finished article. A particular bugbear of mine was the presentation of the driver stats and race results, which were lifted (with the exact formatting) straight from Wikipedia. Visually, it doesn’t work with the formatting of the rest of the book, and trying to read – for example – Michael Schumacher’s race results summary when its presented in minute font is difficult.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.