Part of the charm of "list" books such as this is their utter pointlessness, because it is plainly impossible to come up with a definitive ranking for drivers from many different eras. Yet the device does give the vastly knowledgeable Alan Henry an excuse to revisit past deeds of derring-do and rehabilitate reputations, and he has produced an entertaining, if contentious, grid order.
Some have faded into obscurity; who apart from diehard F1 fans recalls Achille Varzi and Bernd Rosemeyer, both in Henry's top 20? The podium is rather more familiar: in third place comes the brilliant Brazilian Ayrton Senna, just pipped for second by the superlative Scot Jim Clark. And the winner? Stirling Moss, who was never world champion, won only 16 grands prix and retired at 32. Still, he fulfils Henry's criteria of tenacity, versatility and charisma to add to supreme driving ability. Plus fame; after all, few traffic cops ever asked a speeding motorist: "Who do you think you are, then? Achille Varzi?"
Published by Icon Books in hardback, £14.99