Jon Saltinstall

Jon Saltinstall grew up not far from Donington Park, where he witnessed his first motor race at the recently reopened circuit when aged 12, after winning tickets in a local newspaper competition. Already fascinated by the sport, which he had followed since watching the 1973 British Grand Prix on TV, he was by then an acknowledged Ferrari fan and took particular interest in the rise of the Italian team’s young Austrian driver, Niki Lauda. Thanks to his uncle, whose job with a magazine wholesaler helpfully provided him with ‘unsaleable’ copies of Autosport, he obsessively pursued his interest. Deeply moved by Niki’s 1976 accident and inspired by his subsequent comeback, he became a lifelong fan.

While following a career in banking, Jon continued to expand his hobby as an amateur motorsport historian. His admiration for Lauda led him first to assemble a large library of archive material covering the Austrian’s career, then to construct over 150 scale models of cars raced by him, and subsequently to embark on this book, his first. His intention was to write the book he wanted to read: nine years of research and writing followed, during which he reckons he trawled through virtually every European motorsport magazine and newspaper issued between 1968 and 1985 and explored thousands of photographs to support the project. He completed the work in early 2019, a matter of weeks before his subject’s death.

Married with two grown-up children, he lives in Leicestershire.

Books by Jon Saltinstall