With the strength of the Merc works team in testing so far, Lewis is certainly shaping up as one of the frontrunners for the 2014 title. Bernie Ecclestone has tipped his stablemate Nico Rosberg for the title, so I dug up Mark Hughes’ excellent 2008 book on Lewis to try to refresh myself on details of his junior karting years with Nico.
Actually there isn’t too much to read about the two seasons with Nico in Team MBM, although Hughes dedicates the first 110 pages to Lewis’ early career through the junior ranks from karting through to GP2 champion including his on track heroics on the street circuits of Monaco and Macau.
Although written in 2008, its ironic now to read some of the comments that Mark Hughes has captured, like Lewis on Adrian Sutil in 2006: “He’s the strongest team-mate I’ve had alongside me..”
The rest of the book traces Lewis’ promotion to the 2007 seat alongside Fernando, testing, maiden podium, maiden win in Canada, rising tensions, tempers flaring at the Hungarian GP, spygate and then almost clinching the title.
Mark Hughes’ research is apparent and along with his easy to read to style its not hard to get absorbed into the book. Even if you’re not a Lewis fan, there’s plenty of background characters including team bosses, engineers, other junior F1 drivers and F1 politics to pique your interest.
There are 16 pages of color photos tracking various stages of Lewis’ career. The photos aren’t particularly dramatic but help complement the text.
The obvious question is how it compares with Lewis’ own autobiography My Story. My Story contains better photos and even though written with Lewis’ perspective of racing, family life and preparation is still perhaps the sanitised version. Hughes’ The Full Story dives much deeper into the course of Lewis’ career, evidence of his raw talent, industry personalities and Anthony Hamilton’s struggles to manage his son’s career to reach the ultimate goal of the coveted McLaren seat.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: No showstopping photo but maybe the Alonso-Hamilton handshake at the British GP 2007 looks worse than it really was.
Suitable for: Lewis and McLaren fans
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