Book Review: Ayrton Senna by Paolo d’Alessio
Some of you may be familiar with the photography of Paolo d’Alessio. His book ‘Ayrton Senna’ is part of a series of his books under the Italian publisher Gribaudo that also includes titles on Gilles Villeneuve, MIchael Schumacher and Ferrari. These Gribaudo books are recognizable by their padded vinyl hardcovers and small landscape photo album format.
In addition to F1 subjects, they have also included books on MotoGP champions Rossi and Stoner. I bought this Senna title back in 2009 after stumbling across it in a bookshop for US$20. Once I flicked through its pages, I felt it was a bargain and it takes pride of place on my bookshelf next to other much more expensive Senna books in my collection.
This book will obviously invite comparison with Paolo d’Alessio’s much earlier 1995 tribute book “Obrigado Ayrton” (I’ll post a review sometime) which is published in a larger hardcover format with more text but less photos.
The chapters are divided into each year of Senna’s career from 1984 to 1994. The layout is simple and uses mixed frame sizes – one thing that is instantly obvious is that blank white space (which appears a lot in the more expensive Senna photo books) is kept to a minimum. In fact the Gribaudo format is almost like a slimmed down version of Rainer Schlegelmilch’s book F1errari – it is packed full of color photos on every page and the majority of them are Ayrton in his cockpit or car.
Narration is in both Italian and English and is also minimal. At the back of the book is a short summary of his GP wins.
Not much more to say, the pictures speak for themselves. I’ve looked up this book many times when checking diecast model liveries and conversions – so its also a handy reference for modelers too.
Alongside Keith Sutton’s “Ayrton Senna – A Personal Tribute” I rate this book as one of the better “value for money” Senna titles.
Wow Factor or the Money Shot: This is a great Senna photo album, its very light on words. Lots of familiar photos – the best? Mansell and Senna collision and snapped suspension at the Portugese GP in 1989.
Suitable for: Any Senna fan