Au­thor Nick Skeens Price £40 evrop­ub­lish­

F1 Racing (UK) - - ESSENTIALS -

Told with an at­ten­tion to de­tail that will please its sub­ject greatly, The Per­fect Car is a metic­u­lous bi­og­ra­phy of le­gendary F1 de­signer John Barnard, one of the sport’s most re­lent­lessly in­no­va­tive tech­ni­cians.

His ca­reer took him from Lola to Mclaren to the USA, where he made his name with the Indy 500-winning Cha­parral 2K. Upon his re­turn he pi­o­neered the use of car­bon fi­bre in F1 at Mclaren, where his sin­gle­mind­ed­ness earned him the nick­name ‘The Prince of Dark­ness’.

That un­will­ing­ness to brook com­pro­mise served him well at Fer­rari, where he pushed through in­no­va­tions such as the semi-auto gear­box. It’s in these chap­ters, and those con­cern­ing his brush with Benet­ton, a fur­ther Fer­rari stint and an abortive re­turn to Mclaren, that the book comes into its own.

Barnard’s F1 in­volve­ment fiz­zled out, but the au­thor wraps up with an amus­ing tale about his at­tempts to se­cure an in­ter­view with Ron Den­nis.

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