Book Review: Echoes of Imola by David Tremayne
As we get closer to 1st May and the 20th anniversary of the passing of Ayrton Senna, I picked out an old 1996 David Tremayne book “Echoes of Imola” to re-read over the Easter break. Despite its age, I re-discovered what a good read this book is. In its pre-1979 layout, Imola was seen by […]
As we get closer to 1st May and the 20th anniversary of the passing of Ayrton Senna, I picked out an old 1996 David Tremayne book “Echoes of Imola” to re-read over the Easter break. Despite its age, I re-discovered what a good read this book is.
In its pre-1979 layout, Imola was seen by Enzo Ferrari as a mini Nurburgring and equally dangerous. If you compare the flowing circuit layout with Tamburello, Bassa, Aqua Minerali and the Variante Alta prior to 1979 you can see it would take a driver with big cahunas. By the time the track held its last F1 race in 1995, the flow of the circuit had been completely disjointed due to makeshift chicanes.
The book starts with a foreword by Professor Sid Watkins and then opens with the recount of the Imola GP weekend in 1994 with the Barrichello, Ratzenberger and Senna accidents. While of lot of the detail has been mentioned in various other Senna books, reading this chapter again with various quotes from drivers, engineers and journalists puts that weekend again into a surreal tragedy.
Tremayne then delves into the history of the circuit itself from its origins via the political push by Enzo Ferrari backed up by Mr B Ecclestone.
Even though this book is about the history of the circuit, its also very much an insight into the turbo era of F1 with the Imola exploits of Piquet-Brabham in ’81, Gilles shunt, Gilles v Pironi in ’82 GP, Tambay-Ferrari tribute victory in ’83, rise of Prost and Senna, Berger’s shunt and the early 90’s with Patrese’s redemption win in ’90 and Damon Hill v Schumi in ’95. The book’s final chapter finishes with some introspection about Senna’s Imola chassis.
Photos are limited to 29 B&W and colour photo inserts in the middle of the book.
There are some good tidbits of F1 information and trivia – I didn’t know the yellow stripe on the Tyrrell P34 was in case the team secured Renault engines.
Lastly, David Tremayne has a very flowing and easy to read style of narrative (just like his newspaper columns) which makes this a very enjoyable even though some of the content is slightly tragic.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: The photos aren’t particularly spectacular but there is a B&W photo of the ’81 GP with the raised front wing version of John Watson’s McLaren MP4 and Gilles’ destroyed rear Ferrari during the ’80 GP.
Suitable for: 80’s F1 fans.