Trevor Legate (Author), Richard Attwood (Introduction), & Sir Jackie Stewart (Foreword)
The first motor race to use the title “Grand Prix” took place in France in 1906 and was won by Ferenc Szisz driving a Renault. This profusely illustrated book celebrates the first 100 years of Grand Prix racing with a unique photographic record from that first race in France to the hi-tech computer designed cars of today. The early chain-driven cars from manufacturers such as Fiat, Benz, Renault, and Peugeot were later joined by entries from Italian, British, German, and French manufacturers. The famous Italian marques, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, helped advance automobile design and were joined by cars from the British companies, Bentley and Sunbeam, while the French responded with entries from Bugatti, Delahaye, and Talbot. By the mid-1930s, the German teams of Mercedes-Benz and Audi made huge advances in terms of power and reliability and came to dominate Grand Prix racing until 1939. A new generation of talented drivers such as Caracciola and Nuvolari became household names. From 1945, the arrival of Formula 1 cars saw Grand Prix racing become better organized and a new Italian team, Ferrari, saw the emergence of one of the most successful race teams of all time. The cars raced at closed circuits such as the Nurburgring, Silverstone, Monza, and Indianapolis in the US, although the unique annual race around the streets of Monaco retained its status as a one-off Grand Prix circuit. Eventually Mercedes-Benz returned to the sport with its famous “Silver Arrows” cars driven by such luminaries as Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Some great battles took place before the British teams such as Vanwall, BRM, and Cooper emerged to develop new rear-engined monocoque Grand Prix cars and innovative engineers like Colin Chapman of Lotus showed the way forward. By the 1980s, drivers such as Nikki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and Nigel Mansell fought for the coveted World Championship, often driving hugely powerful turbocharged cars, before the emergence of Michael Schumacher heralded a new era of racing and revived the fortunes of Ferrari. By now a number of large automobile manufacturing companies (Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Renault) had replaced several smaller “garagista” teams such as Tyrrell and Lotus as the sport became more professional, designed to appeal to television audiences worldwide. In the centenary year it was Renault that won the World Championship, a fitting testament to the team that won the very first race. This book illustrates this colourful and controversial sport having been allowed access to a large private collection of motoring images collected from the beginning of the 20th century. Whether your interest is centered around the early pioneers of motoring or the computer-aided cars of today, this book has something for every enthusiast who has followed Grand Prix racing.