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The Chariot Makers: Assembling the Perfect Formula 1 Car Hardcover – Sep 1 2004

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (Sept. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752856499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752856490
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,329,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Fluent, often entertaining" SUNDAY TIMES SPORT "Formula One's just kicked off and here's about the best mood-setter for it there's been for a good many years. This highly original piece of work does exactly what it says it will. And very well too." LADSMAG "A good idea, well done." MOTORSPORT "A loving, detailed account of F1's greatest achievements." ZOO WEEKLY "Steve Matchett is one of the best writers on the sport. Matchett's latest book is well worth a look ... informative and fact-filled." DAILY EXPRESS MOTORING "Formula One fans should read Matchett, who does a good job of reducing science to a comprehensible level." THE TIMES BUSINESS

About the Author

Steve Matchett has spent over twenty years in the pit-lane. Now living in western France he writes on F1 for a variety of publications and works as a broadcaster for a US motor sports channel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6aea9d8) out of 5 stars 46 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b295dc) out of 5 stars Fascinating intro to F1 technology Sept. 28 2004
By M. Rosen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big F1 fan and enjoy listening to Matchett's commentary on the Speed F1 broadcasts. He's intelligent, well-spoken and has a deep base of knowledge of the F1 universe. This book literally picks Matchett's brain for every scrap of knowledge about the mechanics and science (and art) of Formula 1 racecar design. It's built around a somewhat affected premise of a long airplane flight conversation with some fictional F1 fans. This is the only part of the book that feels a little weak. He doesn't write fiction as well as facts, and his new-found friends come off sounding like a group of wealthy British twits. One even asks Steve "What say you, old man?". Please tell me no one still says things like that.

I still strongly recommend this book. I learned a lot about F1 car design and the science of racing in general, as well as some interesting background on the people involved in the sport.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b29630) out of 5 stars Okay but not indepth regarding F1 technology Jan. 29 2008
By FerrariF1Fan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I actually read this book about 3 months ago but forgot to publish a review of it. I bought this book hoping that I'd get some detailed info regarding current F1 cars. Although the book covered many topics relating to the cars, it just didn't have the info I was looking for. I've been looking for something that will provide detailed info regarding the design and function of the various components on a modern F1 car. It's possible that the book I'm looking for hasn't been published yet. At any rate, this wasn't a bad read for an F1 fan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b29a68) out of 5 stars Interesting Insider's View of Formula One March 1 2011
By A Florida Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Matchett is a former Formula One mechanic who has become a successful writer and currently is a commentator for Speed TV and ESPN. In this book, Matchett weaves a tale set in an airport bar, where he and a few others wait for hours and hours for a delayed trans-Atlantic flight. To past the time they discuss what would make up an idea F1 car and team. However, the book is actually much better than this rather tissue-thin back story would suggest, although Matchett swears that the events he uses in the back story did happen, although he did alter the time sequencing and people.

Once you get past the setup, most of the rest of the book is an enjoyable discussion of Formula One technology, construction techniques and race craft. Matchett does touch upon the historic background of many of the subjects, but mostly he deals with the modern era. His style is informative without being too wrapped up in techno-speak. And, just as if he was conversing with a group of people, there are questions asked by his fellow would-be passengers that allow Matchett to explain and illustrate points so that the layman could comprehend them.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes racing, has an interest in F1 and would like to find out more about it without having to delve into much more technical books. As is always true in F1, as soon as a book is published the information in is becomes out of date, but enough of the currently technology of F1 has been around since before Matchett wrote this book that it does have relevance to the current racing season. And Matchett is a good writer, dubious back story or not.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b29a50) out of 5 stars The Nuts and Bolts of Formula One Sept. 16 2005
By Leo Lim - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matchett's latest offering opens the readers' eyes to the pinnacle of motorsport engineering that is Formula One and he does not disappoint.

Discussions on this book center around a car's "stressed members" namely the monocoque, engine and gearbox. Also mentioned is the design of the fuel tank which I find particularly interesting in light of BAR's "disqualification" from the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix for essentially using the same design as described here.
The reader also gets to differentiate between a pull rod vs a push rod suspension, twin keel vs single keel, oversteer vs understeer. Quite interesting also are Matchett's insights into the tire war.

My only beef with this book is that for a technical introduction to Formula One, it should contain more schematic drawings so that a reader who is not a mechanical engineer can readily grasp it without going through secondary sources. The context in which this book unfolds i.e. in an airport lounge among a group of stranded passengers seems out of place and sometimes gets in the way of the technical detail.

Little shortcomings notwithstanding, this has proven to be quite a good technical introduction to Formula One and inevitably makes the reader look beyond the drivers and pay closer attention to their steeds which are the real works of art.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b29e10) out of 5 stars A great romp through the arcane world of F1 Aug. 19 2004
By Joe C. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Covering all aspects of the modern F1 car from nose cone to diffusers, Matchett serves up a masterful analysis of what's in an F1 car and why. Couched in the form of a chance encounter with F1 enthusiasts, his artful descriptions of the hyper technology and old fashioned elbow grease needed to extrude the final magnificent result are a pleasure to read.

To the enthusiast, this book will be a page turner. To the newbie, an approachable, non-condescending, very informative read.

However, the travelogue introduction and conclusion are a bit of an indulgence. They do, however, help the reader get to know Steve the person, reminding us that he is in some ways a regular guy who eats at diners in Manhattan and sips coffee in Paris, in addition to being at the pinnacle of the motorsport-journalist world, and enshrined in F1 hall-of-fame-of-the-mind for his role in the 1994 World Championship.

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