Book Review: Fascination Formula 1 by Rainer Schlegelmilch
I bought this book in London back in 1999 and even now in 2013, this still remains one of my favorites. Billed as a celebration of 25 years of F1 photography, Rainer Schlegelmilch’s Fascination Formula 1 is a fantastic compilation of 7o’s, 80’s and early 90’s track photos arranged in various categories which captures the many aspects of F1.
Fascination Formula 1 is about the same size as Rainer’s Ferrari Formula 1 and is a genuine heavy bound coffee table type book. Text is in four languages – German, English, French and Spanish.
The main chapters cover:
- Grand prix 1969-1993
- Drivers 1993-1969
Some of these chapters are unique from other books – the design and team pages really manage to capture the evolution and diversity of car design across the different eras.
Rainer Schlegelmilch has published a number of other general F1 photobooks over the years but because I’m a fan of the 70’s and 80’s era cars, I hold this book out as my preferred choice out of his other titles. The other Schlegelmilch books that are similar with some overlap are “Formula 1” and the more recent “50 Years of Formula 1 Photography” which use slightly different chapter structures and layouts. I’m hoping to post reviews on these too before the year is out.
The photography selection and the photo arrangement is awesome and definitely the biggest appeal of this book. If you are a fan of 70’s and 80’s Formula 1 you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of great double page photos but its actually the arrangement of the smaller thumbnail photos which I believe make it so enjoyable. Schlegelmilch’s photo layout is like the book version of John Frankenheimer’s directorial style in the classic movie Grand Prix – lots of busy panels that create a detailed montage effect.
I don’t think words can adequately describe how good this photobook is. The only major shortcoming is that it only covers up to season 1993; so if you’re specifically looking for modern day Schlegelmilch photography book, Formula 1 or 50 Years of Formula 1 Photography will be a better bet. Either way, you will find yourself coming back to this book repeatedly. The 100th re-read is just as good the first – I rank this inside my all time favorite F1 books.
Note: My copy has the photo of the Lamborghini V12 engine exhaust pipes on the cover; I believe the other version with Jean Alesi’s Ferrari F93A on the cover has exactly the same content.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: The Schlegelmilch multipanel layouts – pages 68-69; the “centrefold”; pages 222-223
Suitable for: All F1 history fans but especially fans of the 70s and 80s era.