The Brawn Story, by Christopher Hilton

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The Independent Culture

When Honda pulled out of Formula One at the end of 2008, few could have foreseen that less than a year later, reborn as Brawn GP with Mercedes engines, they would be celebrating both the driver's and constructors' championships.

This history of that momentous season is in part a biography of Ross Brawn, the team principal and technical genius behind that success, but the bulk is taken up by an account of each race and the technical tweaks and practice sessions which preceded it. At first glance this smacks of too much information for the general reader but Christopher Hilton builds the tension skilfully with the interplay between Brawn, his drivers – the smooth-running Jenson Button and his emotional team-mate Rubens Barrichello – and the other teams.

It's a real insiders' account published with commendable swiftness. But it was too late to include the sale of the team to Mercedes, Button's move to McLaren and the return of Michael Schumacher next season; as the author writes prophetically, F1 is "a jigsaw puzzle of endlessly moving pieces".

Published in hardback by Haynes, £18.99