It is hard to believe that The Official Formula 1 Season Review is only in its ninth year of publication, especially since it has already become well established in the psyche of motorsport fans and is comparable to Autocourse – a title with heritage firmly on its side – in the demand stakes come Christmas time.
Reading through this year’s edition gives indication as to why it is now considered alongside its esteemed season review rival: it provides a thorough account of the year without being too stuffy and, to the delight of many a wallet and purse, it is a darn sight cheaper as well.
Beginning as always with a foreword by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, it then delves into a season overview before advancing to the round table feature in which a panel of paddock insiders – Martin Brundle, Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Mark Hughes – discuss the topics that made the headlines during the year.
And then it is on to the three main elements: the drivers, the teams and the races.
Each of the 25 drivers – and yes, that includes Jerome d’Ambrosio – give an appraisal of their own season and describe the challenges they faced along with the highs and lows of their campaigns.
A similar no holds barred approach is evident with the technical chiefs from each of the 12 teams who give the inside story as to how they strived to make gains and worked their way to the front, or not, throughout the course of the season.
[pullquote]Every race is chronicled with the aid of some stunning photography and the text is concise and in-depth without ever becoming boring…[/pullquote]But, as good as the aforementioned features are – and they are – what you are dying to know is how good are the reports for each of the 20 grands prix, that being the pièce de résistance after all.
Well, every race is chronicled with the aid of some stunning photography and the text – penned by Adam Cooper and Tony Dodgins – is concise and in-depth without ever becoming boring.
Each of these race reports is also augmented with added insight from the drivers and team personnel on what really went on and it throws new light on many of the season’s headlines and incidents, with contributions from Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, as well as Christian Horner, Martin Whitmarsh and Ross Brawn, to name but a few.
What this amounts to is a thorough understanding of the on-track action and it tells the full story of the 2012 F1 World Championship and how Vettel and Red Bull Racing came to claim their third successive titles.
Weighing in at 288 pages, The Official Formula 1 Season Review 2012 is a comprehensive and compellingly readable account of what was a classic year of racing, and it is also something that I can find absolutely no fault with.
So if you haven’t already, put a request in to Santa before it is too late and ask him to bring you some F1 fever this festive season in the form of this motorsport annual. Or just buy it yourself, of course. Either way, this belongs on your bookshelf.
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd (13 Dec 2012)