Australian and New Zealand history is must read for F1 fans

At the harbor chicane, Hawkins’ Lotus 33 Climax turned left, out to sea. As Smailes recounts, the car “sank 10 meters with Hawkins, 28, still on board. It wasn’t until he landed on the bottom and rescue divers arrived that Hawkins disengaged himself, took a huge gulp of air from a offered mouthpiece, and rose to the surface. . He had had the extraordinary presence of mind to press the engine stop switch just as the car entered the water, saving the very expensive engine belonging to the very poor team from instant destruction. It was dried and used again in the next grand prix.

Chris Amon in the remaining Ferrari passes the horrific accident of his teammate, Lorenzo Bandini. Getty

It was the 79th lap out of 100 and, at the time, the show was still going on. Indeed, one of the many excellent photos in the book, dating from two years later, is that of Chris Amon walking past the burning – and ultimately fatal – wreckage of his Ferrari crew chief Lorenzo Bandini. The caption reads: “Amon and the rest of the peloton were forced to pass the crash site for the remaining 18 laps of the race. Amon, deeply affected, finished third.

Hawkeye died driving a sports car in 1969, Amon retired to farming life in New Zealand.

Despite the inevitable tragedies, Formula 1: the history of Australia and New Zealand is not a dark book. There’s Ricciardo’s smile to light up a few pages and a lot of uplifting stories, including his racing origin story, told by his father, Joe.

Daniel Ricciardo celebrates his podium victory in the Italian F1 Grand Prix at Autodromo di Monza on September 12. Getty

As with previous Smailes books, the tone is chatty and the number of interviews conducted is impressive. He tracks down New Zealander Howden Ganley, for example, in a gated golfing community near San Francisco and draws a fascinating story out of it. Over the course of his career, Smailes has interviewed 20 of the 24 full members of the F1 club.

A large selection of photographs includes many photographs never before published in book form. An obvious exclusion from the content is a table of the start and finish positions of the race for each of the drivers.

Formula 1: the history of Australia and New Zealand, by John Smailes, is published by Allen & To win. RRP $ 39.99, available at all bookstores.

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