I recently finished reading Adrian Newey’s autobiography, How to Build a Car, it’s quite good, you should read it.
I’ve never really reviewed a book before, so this is probably going to be a bit rubbish, but here it goes anyway (also at the time of writing this it’s past midnight so another excuse I’m lining up ready).
For full transparency, I received the copy of this book for free from the publisher, they emailed me asking if I’d like one, I obviously said yes. They have not asked anything from me, just sent me the book and that was it, I’m writing this purely because I enjoyed it, it’s the off season and I fancy writing something a bit different to the norm. Now we have that out of the way, the book.
As a geeky person who loves the technical side of F1, this was the perfect book for me and something I was after as soon as I’d heard about it, there are a few technical drawings inside as well (not as much as I’d like there to be personally, but I understand why). While I already knew a lot about the cars and success of Newey, I knew next to nothing about him as a man, turns out he’s a pretty interesting guy!
The start of the book is Newey’s early life, and well, it’s pretty tough in places, in the very first chapter of the book there’s a paragraph on an attempted suicide attempt by his mother, not quite what I was expecting. You can see from very early on how Newey got to be the designer he is and it’s often hilarious, a few fun stories from messing around in school.
From there you get a full story of his life, anecdotes and the cars he’s created and some of the background to the design and politics of the sport. While at times it feels a bit rambly and at times the subject can change part way through a subject then go back to it, this works most of the time. It feels more natural if a bit annoying at times, like it’s direct from his mind.
It’s a good book, lots of everything you’d expect from his personal and work life and a good deal of unexpected (for me anyway) stories too. I respected Newey a lot as a designer before, having read it I now have a lot of respect for him as a person as well.
If somehow this has convinced you to buy the book, there’s an Amazon Affiliate link below and a small amount of what you pay will go to the running of the site.