Wheel to Wheel: The Great Duels of Formula One Racing, by Alan Henry
Paperback, © 1998 Phoenix, ISBN 9780753805220
Alan Henry’s Wheel to Wheel: The Great Duels of Formula One Racing deals with some of the greatest confrontations between some of the most gifted drivers the sport has seen. It tracks the manner in which racing has evolved over the four and a half decades since the inception of the official World Championship in 1950.
The first rivalry the book covers is the intensely professional relationship between Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Fangio had already two World Championships to his name at the age of 44 when a young Stirling Moss entered his first full season of a Formula One Championship with a works team. Both drivers had the ultimate aim of winning but to also play by the book.
The author then goes into the rivalry between Jim Clark and Graham Hill, with Hill taking the first of his two Championships in 1962. Clark then followed by winning the 1963 and 1965 World Championship in his Lotus. There is a bit of depth in this chapter, going into the background of the drivers prior to their Formula One careers. The rivalry ended tragically when Clark was killed in a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim. Alan Henry writes, “If he could be killed, then nobody was safe.”
The Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt chapter was probably one of the most well written chapters in the book. There’s background of the drivers as well as quotes from Stewart describing his relationship with Rindt. Arriving in Formula One, Jackie recalls himself and Rindt as being the new kids on the block, looking up to drivers like Clark, Hill and Surtees.
These are just the first three rivalries that the book contains. There are a total of ten rivalries ranging from professional relationships like Hunt and Lauda, who managed to stay friends throughout one of the closest Formula One Championships, to the not so friendly rivalry of Senna and Prost, and more recently, Schumacher and Damon Hill.
I would say that this book is perfect for a beginner to the world of F1, and for real fans, this is a book to add to the collection. With great pictures of the evolving cars ranging from the early 50’s to the mid 90’s, it’s a simple and entertaining read.
I felt like it skimmed over the rivalry without going into too much detail so they could fit it into some sort of page limit, which is a bit disappointing as it was probably the fiercest rivalry the sport has seen.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Wheel to Wheel: The Great Duels in Formula One Racing…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
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