Book Review: Grand Prix Yesterday & Today by Bruce Jones
Bruce Jones is the author of several excellent F1 history books like “Treasures of Formula One”. In Grand Prix Yesterday & Today, he takes a slightly different twist from his other books by contrasting aspects of grand prix racing from the earlier eras against modern day F1. Jones has structured the book into 6 chapters: […]
Bruce Jones is the author of several excellent F1 history books like “Treasures of Formula One”. In Grand Prix Yesterday & Today, he takes a slightly different twist from his other books by contrasting aspects of grand prix racing from the earlier eras against modern day F1.
Jones has structured the book into 6 chapters: Kings of Speed, Magnificent Machines, Trackside, PetrolHeads & PitBabes, The Rest of the Crew and Life in the Fast Lane. Within each of the chapters, the left hand side page shows a year chosen from the early era on a certain topic with a photo (e.g. 1969 – The first high front & rear wings on the Brabham BT26) and on the right hand side is a photo of the modern day equivalent (e.g. weird high nose wing on the Arrows A22 in 2001 at Monaco). The book clearly shows how far grand prix racing has advanced in all areas of the sport from car and engine design, tyres, driver aids, track design, public fame, safety, team principals and also the fans themselves.
The main attraction is the photography from LAT Photographic, particularly the photos from the pre-50’s grand prix eras. In fact, I think that Bruce Jones could easily have published just the old black & white photos only, done away with the color photos and just called the book Grand Prix Yesterday! He has chosen some very compelling action shots from the LAT archive to portray the early days of F1. Somehow I find the color photos selected for the modern grand prix era don’t quite convey the same rawness or emotion. Perhaps this might be because many of the color photos have been published elsewhere.
Physically the book is in landscape format binding and very similar to the unusual landscape size of Mark Webber – Two Steps Forward. So make sure you have a deep shelf.
With the ubiquitous Stirling Moss also writing yet another short foreword for an F1 book, Grand Prix Yesterday & Today is a very easy and light read for most F1 fans.
Wow Factor or Money shot: The best photos are the LAT archival black & white shots – Ian Burgess reaching out from the cockpit of his Scuderia Centro Sud to grab his drink fluids on track during the 1959 French GP; Guilo Foresti doubling up as driver/mechanic re-fueling his own Ballot in the 1922 French GP; and Martin Brundle in his wrecked Tyrrell in the 1984 Monaco GP practice.
Suitable for: Casual F1 fans