We need a lot more books like this one. I had occasion to get to know the late photojournalist Pete Biro when he and I collaborated on several stories about racing history for Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car magazine. Pete was conversational, urbane and superbly grounded in his field of study, international motor racing. Pete passed away last year after a half-century of shooting races, both here and abroad. He counted as personal friends some of the greatest drivers and most influential figures the sport has ever known. Now, Motorbooks has combined Pete’s photography and the words of motoring journalist George Levy into a major new volume on Formula 1’s transformative years, entitled F1 Mavericks.
The book, with 240 hardcover pages, parallels the era in Formula 1 that began with the rear-engine revolution led by Britons such as John Cooper and Colin Chapman (even though Chapman had designed the Vanwall, one of the last successful front-engine cars) and ended with the FISA-FOCA split of 1980. In between were years that completely transformed F1 in terms of speed, harrowing danger and onrushing technology. Biro’s photography, both action and portrait, is simply brilliant. Levy gives it enough literary heft to turn it into something truly memorable. Mario Andretti contributed the book’s foreword and the late Niki Lauda authored the afterword. This will easily take its place among the great photo histories of Formula 1. The retail price is $50.00.