Book Review: Ayrton Senna – A Personal Tribute by Keith Sutton
Although Keith Sutton’s “Ayrton Senna: A Personal Tribute” is a relatively small book compared to the larger and more expensive Senna photo books available, I still regard it as one of the best and affordable Senna book that has been published. If you are looking for a comprehensive photobook covering most phases of Ayrton Senna’s […]
Although Keith Sutton’s “Ayrton Senna: A Personal Tribute” is a relatively small book compared to the larger and more expensive Senna photo books available, I still regard it as one of the best and affordable Senna book that has been published.
If you are looking for a comprehensive photobook covering most phases of Ayrton Senna’s career then this is probably the one. There are plenty of books with photos of Senna in the Toleman, JPS Lotus, McLaren and Williams but this book contains probably the most extensive b&w photos of Senna’s early career in Formula Ford and Formula 3 in the early 1980’s. Keith Sutton obviously followed his early racing in Britain closely as there are lots of great images of the young Senna dicing with Mansilla and Brundle. In addition, Sutton also includes photos of Ayrton’s F1 test sessions with Williams.
Any collector of Minichamps’ Ayrton Senna collection will also appreciate this book because it is one of the few that features photos of all the real cars – including the “New Man” liveried Group C Sports Car at the Nurburgring, Williams FW08C testing and winter testing in the Penske Indycar.
Chapter-wise, the book is divided into 1981-84, 1985-87, 1988-1993 and 1994. Sutton recounts his dealings with Senna in each of those periods and engages in some storytelling of Senna’s career highlights and biography. It’s obvious that he was much closer to Senna during his early years by including plenty of candid track photos in this book.
The huge selection of photos are the obvious drawcard, with lots of small multi-panel photos, one page and double page photo spreads all with captions to give some context. There are also plenty of famous Senna photos included but for me, its Sutton’s early black & white photos of Senna in the junior formula that captures his raw intensity even when he was just another up & coming young driver.
Ex-F1 driver and now Sky commentator Martin Brundle gets the honors to pen the book’s foreword. Overall, being a photo book there isn’t a lot of text to read for background, its mainly a few pages of basic story telling. Its hard not to like this book though, especially if you’re also a McLaren Honda fan. Sutton’s book includes so many of great photos of the Senna in the Marlboro liveried red and white McLaren.
A similar photo book in this series was also published for Nigel Mansell by Mike Doodson so if you are looking for pure F1 photo album books, these are worth considering to any collection.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Senna wrestling Mansilla at Mallory Park; photos racing in Formula Ford 1600; various shots racing the McLaren in Monaco
Suitable for: Senna fans