Book Review: Michael Schumacher – Driving Force by Sabine Kehm

 
schumacher driving force book cover
schumacher driving force book cover
schumacher driving force book cover

 
Overview
 

Title: Michael Schumacher – Driving Force
 
Author: Sabine Kehm
 
Photography: Michel Comte
 
Publisher: Ebury Press
 
ISBN: 0-091894-352
 
Year/Edition: 2003
 
# of pages: 191
 
Photos: b&w and colour
 
Cover: hardcover
 
Size: 20cm (W) x 26.5cm (L) x 2cm (thick)
 
Author:
 
Photographer:
 
Publisher:
 
Narration
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visuals
 
 
 
 
 


 
Appeal
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

Positives


Candid thoughts and insights

Negatives


Now outdated


0
Posted August 23, 2012 by

 
Full Article
 
 

The cover of Michael Schumacher: Driving Force describes it as “…the official inside story of the Formula One icon…”. As we all know, ‘official’ books come with the benefit of direct access to the source but with the risk of being sanitized or spin doctored.

So does Driving Force direct the hard questions to Michael Schumacher about his various famous or infamous ‘racing incidents’? Is it a good read or a just another superficial feel-good biography?

Even if you aren’t a serious Schumacher fan, this 2003 book is actually an enjoyable read.

Driving Force basically has 2 sections. The first 73 pages is Sabine Kehm’s narration which covers some key moments in Michael’s career, some commentary about the Schumacher-Ferrari team personnel combination, an insight into Michael’s typical race day (which I think is the best chapter), testing and training, his views on fame and his family life. Reading about Michael’s own views of his pessimistic nature and various race day rituals, you have to wonder whether he has mellowed with age or is still as razor focused as he was in his peak.

Funnily enough, I think Sabine Kehm’s first half of the book is good enough to be a standalone book.

The second section of the book are Michel Comte’s photos. I have to assume Michael himself picked the collection of photos (particularly the family shots) in the book. I haven’t seen too much of Michel Comte’s work, he was more famous as a celebrity fashion photographer rather than a motorsport photographer. There is a mixture of black & white and color double page spreads in the second half of the book. Most of the photos tend to be portraits rather than driver/car photos, so if you are more keen on seeing more personal and ‘artistic’ Schumacher family album photos rather than trackside action photos, then you might like this book. I have mixed feelings about the photography – especially the b&w ones. Some of these are good composition and mood shots, while there are others I don’t quite know how to appreciate (my apologies to Michel Comte followers). Although if you are a die-hard Schumacher fan, you will probably find something to admire in these photos.

Driving Force is intended to be Michael’s official biography (at least up to 2003 anyway) so it does have a lot of authenticity to it. Funnily enough, I think Sabine Kehm’s first half of the book is good enough to be a standalone book. Her section alone is worth reading and her flowing narration makes it easy to finish the book in a day.

After re-reading this book again so many years since the last time, it actually helps provide a better understanding of the personal psychology of Michael’s recent comeback with Mercedes. The book’s message is that Michael is largely misunderstood by his actions, incredibly loyal and competitive.

In the next and last review of my Schumacher books (posting hopefully later this week), I’ll be covering a book that covered his career up to his previous retirement at Ferrari – Christopher Hilton’s ‘Michael Schumacher – The Definitive Race by Race Record of his Grand Prix Career‘.

 

Wow Factor or the Money Shot: Sabine Kehm’s writing provides interesting insight into Michael’s views of some the more controversial incidents in his career prior to 2003. A cynic might think that the book was sponsored by Philip Morris – why is Michael posing topless trying to impersonate the Marlboro Man (with cigarette in mouth) in Michel Comte’s b&w shots in Texas??

 

Suitable for: Schumacher fans or general F1 fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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