Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Back on the Pace, by Christopher Hilton
Paperback, © 1997 Haynes, ISBN 9781859604090
There’s been something about Heinz-Harald Frentzen that has always appealed to the RichardsF1.com team.
While nearly 14 years old, Christopher Hilton’s biography of the German ace is an insightful work that explores the rise and development of this three-time Grand Prix winner, tracing his childhood, his rivalry with Michael Schumacher in the lower formulae, and his seemingly disastrous decision to go racing in Japan rather than plump for Mercedes’ crack sports car team.
Hilton certainly had an amazing ability to recognise talent before it blossoms, and he certainly has done so here.
There’s a great selection of previously unpublished photos and it’s enjoyable not to see the same old pictures that everyone else uses!
Hilton interviews a lot of people that have worked closely with Frentzen, including former mechanics, fellow drivers, and team managers.
Perhaps there’s too much focus on Schumacher as a reference point to illustrate his portrayal of Frentzen, although it’s true that – despite being quicker than the seven-time World Champion in his early career – HHF never enjoyed anywhere near the same level of success as Schumacher. Certainly some of this is attributed to a sequence of poor career decisions Frentzen made, as Hilton ably argues.
The book would have benefited from a more ‘in-depth’ involvement with the racer himself, and one suspects that the title didn’t enjoy Frentzen’s full support when it was being published.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Back on the Pace…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Back on the Pace is available at specialist bookstores and Amazon.
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