Features - Book Review
DECEMBER 12, 2005
BY JOE SAWARD
Highdown Books, 306pp, Hardback, £18.99
Tim Collings used to be a fulltime Formula 1 reporter but in recent years has drifted away from the sport and concentrates more on soccer although the agency he runs continues in the sport. This distance is a both a blessing and a failing because while he can look at things with a different perspective, he's not on top of every little detail. Team Schumacher is an interesting book which offers some insights into the way Michael Schumacher is and who helped to shape his career. It is not a book which is critical of anyone but at the same time it does address most of the questions that people ask about Schumacher's career and there are some amusing anecdotes, notably when Jean Todt first met Ross Brawn to discuss him joining Ferrari and conducted the interview in his underwear. The one area where this book fails is that it alludes to incidents which need to be discussed a little more, notably the allegations that surrounded Michael's World Championship in 1994, the take-out of Damon Hill in Adelaide the same year and the assault on Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997. There is no doubt that there are two very different and sometimes conflicting sides to Michael Schumacher and I am not sure that this is investigated enough. The thing that I wanted to read most of all was about one of the biggest influences on his life, his wife Corinna. She does not give interviews.
It is odd that Luca di Montezemolo does not get a little more credit for making Ferrari's success happen by funding and protecting Jean Todt and there is almost no mention at all of Paolo Martinelli, who surely deserves a little more credit for building successful engines year after year after year. The other point which I found irritating is that Kees Van der Grint, Michael's tyre guru, had his name spelled wrong, a mistake which does not belong in a book like this.
That aside it is a book that will take Schumi fans a little deeper into the psyche of the man and as such is a useful addition to any motor racing collection.