Book Review: Burning Rubber by Charles Jennings

 
burning rubber book cover
burning rubber book cover
burning rubber book cover

 
Overview
 

Title: Burning Rubber
 
Author: Charles Jennings
 
Photography: Getty Images
 
Publisher: Quercus
 
ISBN: 978-0-85738-125-5
 
Year/Edition: 2011, 2nd edition
 
# of pages: 327
 
Photos: 21 b&w; 11 color
 
Cover: Paperback
 
Size: 19.5cm (W) x 13cm (L) x 2cm (thick)
 
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Posted September 12, 2012 by

 
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General F1 history books come in 2 types – the large photo ‘encyclopedias’ or the story-based paperbacks. Burning Rubber – The Extraordinary Story of Formula One by Charles Jennings falls squarely into the second category. This 300+ page book contains 30 chapters that covers F1 from the 1930s all the way to the recent 2010 season. Is it a good read though?

F1 paperbacks need to written well to keep your attention and surprisingly Jennings’ book is able to do that with very fast paced and entertaining storytelling. Each chapter is dedicated to champion drivers and their exploits on and off the track from Nuvolari, Hawthorn, Clark, Hill, Stewart, Rindt, Fittipaldi, Hunt, Jones, Piquet, Villeneuve, Senna, Mansell and Schumacher.

The other thing is that Jennings doesn’t sit on the fence, he makes his opinions on various F1 personalities, regulations and dramas very clear throughout the book.

The other thing is that Jennings doesn’t sit on the fence, he makes his opinions on various F1 personalities, regulations and dramas very clear throughout the book. He obviously isn’t a diehard Michael Schumacher fan.

There are 2 short sections inside the book with photo inserts – the first with b&w shots of the pre-1970s era and the second with post-1970s era with a few colour photos.  The colour photos are the usual Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Williams shots of from the ‘80-90s. I have to admit that many of the b&w photo selections are excellent – you will spend more time studying these photos than the color ones.

This book is the updated version which includes 2010. I have seen another version with Michael Schumacher on the cover and the chapter titles looked slightly different, so I’m not sure how much of the updated version is different. One thing for sure is that Jennings has obviously spent a lot of time researching the content – there are 2 appendices at the back, one listing the top 3 drivers and constructors for each season and the second, the number of race wins of each of the top 26 drivers at the time.

Some readers might think the book glosses over a lot of the finer detail of many events in F1 history but Jennings is trying to cram 60 years into 300 pages. This book is a good medium level read for casual F1 fans, more knowledgeable fans will probably find this book too general.

 

Wow Factor or the Money Shot: For a book with relatively few photos, the b&w shots from the Getty Images archive are fantastic including Nuvolari with Hitler in ‘39, Moss with exposed side chassis at ’61 Monaco GP and panoramic shot of the old Nürburgring in the 60s.

Suitable for: Casual sports fan or F1 fan

 


f1nut

 


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