BOOK REVIEW ‘Driven: The Men Who Made Formula One’ by Hitchin’s Kevin Eason

Kevin Eason's book Driven: The Men Who Made Formula One

Kevin Eason's book Driven: The Men Who Made Formula One - Credit: Archant

Formula One is about speed, glamour, danger, power and money – and with the start of the 2019 season interest has never been higher, writes Layth Yousif.

Lewis Hamilton laps up the atmosphere at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Paul Ripke for Mer

Lewis Hamilton laps up the atmosphere at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Paul Ripke for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. - Credit: Daimler AG

‘Driven: The Men Who Made Formula One’ by Hitchin’s very own Kevin Eason is the perfect accompaniment to the compelling global circus that is F1.

Eason spent two decades as motor racing correspondent for The Times, during which time he clocked up more than 300 grands prix as well as interviewing top politicians.

Valtteri Bottas overtakes Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Wo

Valtteri Bottas overtakes Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG. - Credit: Daimler AG

His experience from a trackside seat offers depth and illumination to the sport he reported on so forensically for Fleet Steet’s finest – which shines through in his book.

The highly-respected journalist, who now writes for the Sunday Times, chronicles how ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone transformed F1 from the amateurism of its early years to the jamboree which Liberty Media forked out eight billion dollars for three years ago.

Lewis Hamilton out on track ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for D

Lewis Hamilton out on track ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG. - Credit: Daimler AG


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Eason adds colour and insight to story after in-depth interviews with the main protagonists – from Ecclestone and Max Mosley to Flavio Briatore and Ron Dennis and everyone in between.

For more than two decades he studied these characters – men in fast cars who safeguarded each other while wrangling over the untold riches flooding into the sport – that operated in the murky world of F1 where cash, fame and influence rules in the multi-billion pound circus.

Lewis Hamilton celebates securing pole position for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix on Saturday - Ste

Lewis Hamilton celebates securing pole position for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix on Saturday - Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. - Credit: Daimler AG

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With Stevenage’s Lewis Hamilton aiming to defend his title there is more than enough coverage of the Tewin racer for North Herts F1 fans – yet Eason has produced a magnificent tome worthy of being a best-seller and should be on every F1 fan’s wish list.

This vibrant and absorbing study of the bizarre, curious and remarkable motor sport is one that captures the imagination while delving into the eccentricities, idiosyncrasies and excesses of the people who moulded F1 – contrasting characters with a shared characteristic: racers who utterly driven.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Paul Ripke for

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Paul Ripke for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. - Credit: Daimler AG

‘Driven: The Men Who Made Formula One by Kevin Eason is now available in all good bookshops in hardback, audiobook and ebook. Published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Mercedes' Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton in practice ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand P

Mercedes' Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton in practice ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Paul Ripke for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. - Credit: Daimler AG

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 20

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. - Credit: Daimler AG

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes car ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Pri

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes car ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG. - Credit: Daimler AG

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