I’m going out on a limb here to say Grand Prix Battlegrounds is the most comprehensive, insightful and factual Formula 1 book out there!! And yes, people, I have read a few.
Every Grand Prix circuit from 1950 to the present is not so much analysed as brought to life by Christopher Hilton. I admire his research skills.
Each country and their various circuits are listed alphabetically, each with an introduction, map, cockpit view, eyewitness accounts (by non professionals), memories and milestones and last but not least a section called Facts of the Matter. Many of the circuits also have quirky pictures of promotional posters, officials’ passes, tickets and programmes. The sheer bravery or stupidity seen in some of the photographs is astounding… for example only a tire wall separates the track and fans in Buenos Aires in 1975.
Throughout the book Hilton has used the personal track layouts of Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet showing their gear changes and thoughts on the upcoming race, each signed and dated. My personal favourites are the eyewitness accounts provided by, a PR expert in Adelaide (Ann Bradshaw states ‘We’d been to Long Beach but you didn’t feel that everybody wanted you there and the Americans didn’t understand us. By contrast Adelaide was open-armed’), a spectator at Zeltweg in Austria, a principal ballerina watching the Montreal race. These all give a realistic insight into the feeling of a race and how that city/country welcomes and looks after their circuit and the people who attend the race.
Flick through the book every now and then and you are bound to find something new every time. Even if you aren’t a big reader you will find yourself lost in the facts, figures and amazing photographs that accompany each circuit layout. At the end of this marvellous book is an index with circuit addresses, dates of races and records made such as Longest Circuit (Pescara, 1957), Most Races (Monza, 59), even Circuits Which Have Moved Their Start Line!
With fathers’ day not too far away Grand Prix Battlegrounds would make a great gift for any F1 enthusiast. I have thoroughly enjoyed the numerous times I sat and flick through this book it was funny, interesting and a little shocking at times to read all the crazy and brilliant things that have happened at each circuit.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Grand Prix Battlegrounds: A Comprehensive Guide to all Formula 1 Circuits since 1950…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
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Today’s review was written by Adelaide-based reader Prue Scott, who has joined the RichardsF1.com team as a guest product reviewer. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a product reviewer, click here.