Sports books for Christmas: Nuts and bolts of life on the circuit

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The Independent Online

The 2005 season was not the most apposite for Timothy Colling's Team Schumacher (Highdown, £18.99), in which the prolific writer investigates the support group at Ferrari who helped the German to so many of his seven world championships. But it nevertheless offers revealing insights, not least from his wife, Corinna. "Sometimes when I look at him, I get a tremendously deep feeling of happiness," she discloses. "I look at him and think, 'That's my husband.' It's a marvellous feeling."

Jo Ramirez, Memoirs of a Racing Man (Haynes Publishing, £18.99), rattles through the Mexican mechanic-manager's career with greats such as the Rodriguez brothers, Dan Gurney, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen at a rate worthy of the men themselves.

At times, speaking of his former employer Ron Dennis of McLaren, the tone is unbecomingly bitter, though those who know the immensely likeable Ramirez well will appreciate that he is just telling his side of a fascinating story the way he saw it, warts and all.

Memorable Moments in Motor Racing by Mike Jiggle, (Cyan Books, £20) is a charming diversion that induces the great and the not so great to recall their most special moments.

This labour of love by Jiggle ranges from Stirling Moss's somewhat brief: "Winning the Mille Miglia in 1955," to Alex Zanardi's more revealing: "It was in Cleveland in 1997 where, after being penalised and forced to last place 51 seconds behind the leader, I managed to repass everybody, setting the top 18 fastest laps of the race and getting Gil de Ferran with two laps to go. It gave me the most incredible win of my career!"

Perhaps the most poignant is the late Richard Burns' "Finishing the Hong Kong to Beijing Rally in 1996, the last ever running of the rally, to a crowd of literally hundreds of thousands of people in Tiananmen Square and on the steps of the Great Hall."