The first Malaysian to have raced in Formula 1, Alex competed two part-seasons with Minardi before F1 left him behind.
To many, he was assumed to be part of that coterie of pay drivers who brought more money than talent into Formula 1.
And while Alex’s rise to F1 came with Malaysian backing without outstanding results in the junior formulae, you would be very wrong to dismiss his journey as easy, or to dismiss Alex as without talent.
This biography by Steve Dawson plots Alex’s path into F1 and back out again: from his first experiences watching the sport as a toddler, to having to beg and borrow millions to keep his motorsport dreams alive.
How did he cope in the top flight with none other than Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber as team-mates? What was it like battling the bigger outfits in an underfunded and underdeveloped car that had little hope of success? How did he try and win over a nation’s media unfamiliar with motorsport and with the unrealistic expectation that he would win from the get-go?
Written as a series of anecdotes from Alex and those who worked alongside him, this is a great read that will give F1 fans a huge appreciation for the sacrifices Yoong and his family made for this pursuit to the top flight.
There’s an excellent section with an interview between Dawson and Yoong that covers his thoughts on F1 and his role with Team Lotus in its driver development team.
There’s a minor let-down with some glaring typos and spelling mistakes that should have been picked up in the editing stages, but don’t let this detract from this being a high-quality, thoroughly enjoyable read for a Formula 1 fan looking for a different take on the sport.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award A Championship Year…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
Alex Yoong: The Driver’s Line is available from most specialty book resellers or Amazon.
[Image via The Cahier Archive]