Book Review: Monaco Grand Prix by Michael Hewett
Monaco is on again this weekend and given Lewis Hamilton’s form, he looks unbeatable. An excellent photo book on this historic glamour circuit is photographer Michael Hewett’s “Monaco Grand Prix“. I commented in a post last year that its cover has got to be one of the top 3 covers of any F1 book – it has a beautiful photo of Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/6 overtaking Aguri Suzuki’s Lola Lamborghini L91 on the inside around Leows hairpin.
The book opens with a touch of royalty with Prince Albert penning the book’s foreword and a nice double page pictorial circuit map with a brief chapter on the circuit’s history.
The look and feel of this book follows the same layout format as other popular Haynes books like “1982”, “Formula 1 in Camera” series and the Photographic Portrait series on Mansell, Clark, Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve. Each year’s race has a dedicated chapter (approx 4 pages) which includes results, a race summary and of course, plenty of photos.
Archival B&W photographs (including from the Daimler archive) are included to document the early races from 1929 to the early 60’s. The resolution and reproduction of these old photos are excellent. If you’re a Fangio, Nuvolari or Silver Arrows fan there are some fantastic photos to study.
The rest of the photos are simply a great selection from Michael Hewett’s Monaco GP portfolio. Many have been taken from all sorts of different vantage points along the circuit – the close up photos are particularly spectacular.
It would be obvious to compare this to another excellent Monaco GP book – Rainer Schlegelmilch’s “Monaco de Grand Prix“. Although Schlegelmilch’s book is larger and thicker – a lot of that is due to the extra French and German text. Rainer’s book only covers up to 1998 while Michael’s book runs up to Fernando Alonso’s Renault victory in 2006. To be honest, both books are good (I have both in my own collection) and they are hard to separate. Michael Hewett’s book contains purely race photos (with more variety of cars, teams, photo angles and archival pictures) while Rainer’s includes many of his famous Monaco photos along with non-car photos like candid personal, trackside and portrait shots. If you are only interested in action photos of cars in race trim at Monaco – this is the one.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Cliff Allison being flung out of his Ferrari 246 Dino during practice in the 1960 race (pg 97); Jack Brabham’s BT26A scraping the ground on 3 wheels out the tunnel exit in the 1969 race (pg 143); Guardrail shot of Senna’s MP4/5B chasing Mansell’s Ferrari out of the exit of Casino Square (pg 249); Fernando’s Renault passing Schumi’s parked Ferrari at the exit of Rascasse (pg 334)
Suitable for: All F1 fans