Book Review: Nigel Mansell – A photographic portrait by Mike Doodson
First up in the next series of book reviews on British drivers is “Nigel Mansell: A photographic portrait” by Mike Doodson. Mansell is without doubt, one of the best British F1 drivers ever produced with dual F1 world championships and Indycar titles to his name along with top tier career statistics. Due to his popularity, […]
First up in the next series of book reviews on British drivers is “Nigel Mansell: A photographic portrait” by Mike Doodson. Mansell is without doubt, one of the best British F1 drivers ever produced with dual F1 world championships and Indycar titles to his name along with top tier career statistics. Due to his popularity, there were many books on Nigel published during his heyday in the early 90’s (when printed hardcover F1 books were actually popular! I’m going to dust off more later in the year). This Haynes’ book is probably one of the more recently published titles (in 2007, no less) on Mansell and is definitely one of the better photo books on Nigel. Familiar readers will know that this is one book in Haynes’ series of driver photographic portrait books released (others include Gilles Villeneuve, Jim Clark and Ronnie Peterson).
Most of the text is within the opening section as Mike Doodson pens about 6 pages of narrative on Mansell’s career with choice driver quotes. After that, it all photos! A few of the early career race shots are in black & white, otherwise its all color.
The page and photo layout style has a typical Haynes feel – similar to the Formula 1 in Camera series, Christopher Hilton’s 1982 and Michael Hewett’s Monaco Grand Prix. Photo panel sizes are mixed and Doodson provides a few sentences to caption each photo.
The book starts from Nigel’s early career in Formula Ford, March F3 then into F1 with Lotus, Williams, Ferrari, back to Williams, Indycar, Williams cameo in ’94 to retirement with McLaren. Doodson has included a reasonably good photo coverage in his book of each of Mansell’s stints at these teams. There are also post ’95 photos with Mansell in the Jordan and racing in the GP Masters.
Nigel’s on track jousting with Ayrton Senna features a lot in the photos, more so than with Piquet which tends to give a better perspective on their rivalry.
To complete the book, the back section provides a few pages summarising Nigel’s race results from 1976 to 2007.
If you’re looking for deep emotional insight or a proper biography, Nigel’s official 1995 autobiography with James Allen “Nigel Mansell: My Autobiography” is a better bet. The other comparable photobook would be Keith Sutton’s “Nigel Mansell: The Complete Pictorial Record” which probably has more photo content but physically is a slightly smaller size.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Nigel in the Lotus 88; Senna pipping Mansell in Jerez ’86; Senna vs Mansell in Catalunya ’91; Senna vs Mansell in Monaco ’92.
Suitable for: More for Nigel fans but there’s a little on offer for Chapman era and Senna fans too.