A review site for Formula 1 book and model car collectors (and other F1 bits and pieces too…)

Random Article

Best Formula 1 Books

Looking for some good Formula 1 books to read? I often get emails from readers asking about F1 books or for some recommendations.

Here’s my current list of the best  F1 racing books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I will tweak the list from time to time – at the moment the Top 10 includes many Rainer Schlegelmilch books because they are so good. The first 5 books make the list just based on the detail and the amount of work that would have been spent into making them.

My basic criteria for this list is the quality of the photography, degree of research, number of pages, book layout and presentation. Most of these are large heavy hardcover books.

I have to admit I have a personal preference for hardcover color photo-albums rather than paperbacks but that isn’t to say that there aren’t great B&W grand prix books around (e.g. Chris Nixon’s excellent Auto Union Album 1934-1939) and good text paperbacks (typically these tend to be driver autobiographies).

To balance this list, check my other book lists (best Senna books, best Ferrari books and best team books). I will slowly get around to posting reviews of all the books and will update them with working links.

F1-nut.com Recommended Formula 1 books (click links to read book review)

1.  50 Years of Formula 1 Photography by Rainer Schlegelmilch; Könemann 2012

schlegelmilch 50 years F1 book cover






2. Grand Prix: Fascination Formula 1 by Rainer Schlegelmilch, Hartmut Lehbrink; Könemann 1993

Fascination Formula 1 book cover






3. McLaren – The Cars 1964-2008 by William Taylor; Coterie Press 2009

McLaren - The Cars 1964-2008 Book Cover






4. Monaco Grand Prix by Michael Hewett; Haynes Publishing 2007

monaco grand prix book cover






5. Memories of Ayrton by Christopher Hilton; Haynes Publishing 2003

Memories of Ayrton book cover







6. The Jack Brabham Story by Sir Jack Brabham, Doug Nye; Minidi 2004

The Jack Brabham Story book cover






7. First Among Champions: The Alfa Romeo Grand Prix Cars by David Venables; Haynes Publishing 2000

First Among Champions Book Cover Alfa Romeo Grand Prix Cars






8. Racing the Silver Arrows by Chris Nixon; Osprey Publishing 1986

Racing the silver arrows book cover






9. The Complete Book of Formula One by Simon Arron, Mark Hughes; Motorbooks International 2008

complete book of formula one book cover







10. Colin Chapman Inside the Innovator by Doug Nye; Haynes Publishing 2010.

colin chapman inside the innovator book cover






Honorable Mentions:

There are quite a few other books that deserve mentioning (click link to read full reviews):

William Taylor’s “Lotus the Cars” is a superb collectors book which documents most of the iconic Lotus grand prix and sports cars.

lotus the cars book cover






Stuart Codling’s “The Art of the Formula 1 Race Car” is also a great close up photo book of some classic F1 cars.

Art of the Formula 1 Racing Car book cover






Chris Nixon’s “Auto Union Album 1934-1939” has a compilation of amazingly detailed B&W archival photos. A great companion book to “Racing the Silver Arrows”.

Auto Union Album book cover





If you’re simply looking for good F1 books that’s light and easy to read on the daily commute to work, paperbacks are best but most paperbacks these days are driver biographies. I’ve posted my list of best F1 driver books on the site (mainly heavy hardcovers) but some good general F1 paperback books include:

Charles Jennings’ “Burning Rubber“:

burning rubber book cover





If you’re looking for good driver paperbacks, these 2 are good:

Sir Jackie Stewart “Winning is not Enough” which gives some good insight into the 60’s & 70’s era of F1:

Jackie Stewart Winning is not enough book cover




For 90’s F1 fans, Steve Matchett’s “The Mechanic’s Tale” is a good all-round general read.

For F1 fans for the modern era, Mark Webber’s “Aussie Grit” is a very entertaining non-PC read:

Mark Webber Aussie Grit book cover





Note: I will occasionally review and update the lists on this page, so make sure to bookmark it and check for updates.