Formula 1: Car by Car 1990–99
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By Peter Higham
This instalment in Evro’s decade-by-decade series covering all Formula 1 cars and teams is devoted to a period when some normality seemed to return after the ground-effect and turbo excesses of the 1980s, except for one terrible weekend in the spring of 1994. The tragic deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna led to immense change with new emphasis on safety, including measures to slow down the cars and improve their structural strength, and numerous changes to circuits. In many ways Formula 1 became more as we recognise it today, especially as the decade’s dominant teams, McLaren and Williams, remain familiar. Besides the winning cars, there is always much fascination for fans in unsuccessful and obscure efforts, such as Andrea Moda and Venturi, and this authoritative and comprehensively illustrated book covers them all.
- Year-by-year treatment explores each season in fascinating depth, running through the teams — and their various cars — in order of importance.
- McLaren: success for this team bookended the decade, delivering back-to-back titles for both Ayrton Senna (1990–91 with Honda engines) and Mika Häkkinen (1998–99 with Mercedes engines).
- Williams: as with McLaren, Renault-powered Williams cars brought four World Championship driver titles, for Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997).
- Benetton: mid-decade, this British-based team won two titles for a sensational new talent, Michael Schumacher, powered by Ford in 1994 and by Renault in 1995.
- Ferrari: the longest-established marque, a participant in the World Championship ever since its inception in 1950, concluded a lean decade on an upbeat — and prescient — note by becoming 1999 Constructors’ Champions, with six Grand Prix wins that year.
- Other winning marques were few and far between, just Ligier (1996), Jordan (1998–99) and Stewart (1999).
- Over 550 colour photos from the incredible archives of Motorsport Images show every type of car that raced or attempted to qualify for a race, presenting a comprehensive survey.
Publication date: March 2021
Page extent: 304
Illustration: over 550 colour photos
Peter Higham works in motor racing as a freelance writer and project manager. For nearly 30 years he was employed by Haymarket Consumer Media, publisher of motor racing magazines and websites, and for half of that period he was director of LAT Photographic (now Motorsport Images), the world’s largest motor racing photo archive. A motor racing enthusiast since watching his first race in 1973, he has written seven previous books, including the acclaimed International Motor Racing Guide and World Encyclopaedia of Racing Drivers. He has been a columnist for Autosport and Motor Sport and was instrumental in running the prestigious Autosport Awards for over 25 years. He lives in Twickenham, Middlesex.
“It’s a credit to the thoroughness of the research Higham has undertaken that even cars which seldom made it any further than pre-qualifying get half-a-dozen paragraphs – and tightly-written, detail-rich ones at that… This is the book to arm yourself with to settle once and for all the debate over which was the lousiest car ever entered for a grand prix – the Life L190 or Andrea Moda S192.”
“Well researched and immensely satisfying to read… The wide range of varied and nicely produced colour pictures trigger the memory… I found the concluding index not only helpful, but also very comprehensive.”
“There’s a startling amount of detail… Higham leaves no stone unturned in giving a broad but thorough analysis of each team and every car that took to the track during this 10-year period… for its quality, in-depth information and photography it’s worth every penny.”
“Peter Higham once again goes into great depths to bring us the details of the cars, drivers and teams that won and stood a chance, but also those who ‘had a go’, the latter attitude dwindling out greatly during this decade.”
Best of British
“Peter Higham is back with the latest in his series of beautifully detailed summaries of a decade in Formula 1… As with the other books in this series, the story of each season unfolds through a detailed description of each team’s entry each year.”
“Fact-packed… a solidly reliable reference source.”
“Are you a true F1 fan if you don’t own at least one volume of this series by Peter Higham?”
“A forensic approach that covers everything from driver and personnel changes to technical developments, team politics and sponsorship deals, as well as charting on-track performance… Exhaustive, in the best possible way.”
Classic & Sports Car
“Following the now well-trodden format of previous entries in this series, this might just be the best yet… essential reading for fans of the era of Senna, Prost, Mansell and Schumacher.”
Classic Car Weekly
“Higham looks at every car from the nadir of Andrea Moda and Venturi, to devoting more paragraphs to the most successful cars of the era, such as the zenith of Williams, the ever-victorious McLaren and the rise of Benetton.”
“Are you a true F1 fan if you don’t own at least one volume of this series by Peter Higham? Each season is treated individually and with the cars that populated it, and there are 550 images to pore over covering every car that even attempted to qualify for a GP during the decade.”