Book Review: F1errari by Rainer Schlegelmilch and Hartmut Lehbrink
If you could describe Rainier Schlegelmilch’s “F1errari” in one sentence it might be “good things come in small packages…”
The first reaction to this book is its unusually small but thick size – the hardcover “F1errari” is about 13 cm2 and a chunky 5.5cm thick. Size-wise, its a departure from Rainer’s other big bound hardcover books and chances are it will be one of the shortest but thickest books on your shelf. (In the photo, I’ve put it next to a €1 coin so you can see its size). When you open up the pages though, you can instantly recognize the signature photography techniques, layout, chapter structuring and Hartmut Lehbrink’s concise text (in German and English).
The book starts with 1950 and includes Rainer’s choice photography of Ferrari’s Formula One cars, drivers and team personnel for every year up to the 2002 season. Harmut provides a little narration for each year to give a little context. The book can be divided into 3 basic sections and each section spans photos from 1950 to 2002: photos of the cars for each season, photo portraits of the drivers and photo shots of Ferrari team personnel trackside.
The photo layouts are varied from small thumbnails to 2 double splash pages. Fans of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s Ferraris will be happy with the photo coverage along with fans of the successful Schumacher years.
Aside from the difference in size, an obvious question is what differences there are between F1errari and Schlegelmilch’s other Ferrari title, Ferrari Formula 1? This book contains a lot more photos of the Schumacher-Ferrari era than Ferrari Formula 1 and the book’s arrangement follows more closely the format used in his other epic book Fascination Formula 1.
Make no mistake, F1errari doesn’t pretend to be a storytelling novel – its more a photo album close to an amazing 800 pages. This is a book you will enjoy looking through the 500th time as much as the first. If photography is your thing, you wouldn’t be disappointed with this book.
Wow Factor or the Money Shot: There are too many photos here to single out. I’ve always admired Rainer’s excellent montage layouts (and there are plenty in this book) which is the same photo angle shot over different seasons placed side by side or in a grid layout – you can really appreciate the evolution of the technology and design in these montages.
Suitable for: Any F1 fan (and tifosi, of course)