Book Review: Speed Addicts by Mark Hughes
If there was a prize for a F1 book cover that didn’t quite do justice to the superb photography and content hidden inside, the award just might go to Mark Hughes’ book, “Speed Addicts”. No disrespect to Mark – he is a respected F1 journalist and has written some great F1 books like “Lewis Hamilton: […]
If there was a prize for a F1 book cover that didn’t quite do justice to the superb photography and content hidden inside, the award just might go to Mark Hughes’ book, “Speed Addicts”. No disrespect to Mark – he is a respected F1 journalist and has written some great F1 books like “Lewis Hamilton: The Full Story” and “Crashed and Byrned“. The book’s front cover has a silhouette image of what looks like a Ferrari F300 out on track in the early morning. This innocuous photo belies the fact that Speed Addicts contains some very unique race action photography. So it’s no surprise this book won the Best Illustrated Title at the 2006 British Sports Book Awards.
If you’re a fan of 60’s and 70’s F1, you’ll like the first 200 pages. I think the first third section of the book is probably the best – there are some terrific photos of Gonzales, Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Bruce McLaren, Graham Hill, Lauda and Hunt in action, many of which are rarer images. The rest of the book discusses Bernie Ecclestone, the turbo era, Senna, Schumacher and Adrian Newey.
Speed Addicts is basically a photo album rather than a detailed narrative. The text focuses on the track exploits of big name drivers, team bosses and also includes plenty of quotes too.
Photography is from Sutton Images and most of the pages mix up the layout nicely. Mark Hughes’ knowledge and research is obvious as he provides a detailed paragraph caption for each photo to tell the background story. A lot of the color images have been published elsewhere so its the black & white photos that have the most appeal.
One interesting feature of the book is for each decade, Hughes includes a brief 1 page timeline snapshot of the major technical changes along with some thumbnail photos.
Money Shot or Wow Factor: Maybe Mark Hughes was trying to outdo Sid Watkins’ photos in Life at the Limit, there are some insane accident photos in this book – Bandini crashing at Monaco and his 312 ablaze, Hans Herman flipping his BRM P25, Moss’ mangled Lotus 18, Moss unconscious and bloodied in the cockpit, a blood stained Jochen Rindt on a stretcher in ’69 Spanish GP and Eddie Irvine on fire inside his Jordan Peugeot in Spa ’95. My money shot though is a superb shot of Jim Clark drifting his Lotus 49 in the ’67 British GP.
Suitable for: F1 history fans