Book Review: Four Seasons at Ferrari – The Lauda Years by Alan Henry
Another book on Lauda and Ferrari is Alan Henry’s 2002 title “Four Seasons at Ferrari – The Lauda Years”. You would think based on the book’s title that it would solely be about Niki’s stint at Ferrari from 1973-1977, but it does include a chapter on Niki’s post Ferrari career with McLaren, Lauda airlines and […]
Another book on Lauda and Ferrari is Alan Henry’s 2002 title “Four Seasons at Ferrari – The Lauda Years”. You would think based on the book’s title that it would solely be about Niki’s stint at Ferrari from 1973-1977, but it does include a chapter on Niki’s post Ferrari career with McLaren, Lauda airlines and Jaguar. Alan Henry has been a prolific writer of F1 books – I actually think this is one of his better titles – its well researched (with input from Niki) and concentrates on a short period of Ferrari/Lauda history.
The book is setup over 6 chapters opening with a brief history to the Ferrari team, Niki’s early roots racing with BRM and the start of their partnership in the 1974 season with Clay Regazzoni as #2. The next chapter provides a backdrop into the technical developments leading into 1974 season with the 312B3 and Niki’s first pole at Kyalami, maiden win at Jarama and the key races during the season. It makes funny reading now about Niki’s demand for $100k to drive the 1975 season. The third chapter deals with world championship success in 1975. This builds up to chapter 4 with the Hunt/McLaren versus Lauda/Ferrari in 1976 and the various controversies, epic races and Niki’s accident. The next chapter covers 1977, the lukewarm pairing with Carlos Reutemann, the seeds of moving to Brabham and growing tensions between Lauda and Ferrari. Chapter 6 quickly runs through Niki’s post Ferrari career including his Brabham stint, building Lauda Air, joining McLaren, relations with Ron Dennis and helping Ford with Jaguar in early 2000s. Obviously another few chapters could now be written to update the last 10 years given Niki commentary career and now being Mercedes AMG GP Chairman.
In his writing Henry provides a lot of background detail of the politics and developments in F1 at the time and adds in occasional quotes from Niki himself, Enzo Ferrari, Jackie Stewart and others to give context. His style is an easy and enjoyable read for casual F1 fans.
Photography is mainly B&W images from the LAT Photographic archive. A lot of the photos can be seen in other books however the color snaps are still good photos to study.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Closeup photos of the 312B3
Suitable for: Tifosi, Niki and 312T2 fans