on February 20, 2005
Alain Prost has published this book in co-authorship with Pierre-Francois Rousselot, a highly experienced and active driver, as well as an accomplished journalist. This book may be interesting for a motor sports beginner or just for a fan of competition driving. It is a quick glance throughout the Formula 1 world, yet a valuable source of information for a beginning racer or for someone interested in improving the driving skills. I've found the quality of print of this book is perfect, it has lots of very high-quality colour photographs.
Of course the book traditionally begins with the correct driving position and the handling of the steering wheel, both in Formula 1 car and in a rally car; then the authors proceed to braking and the correct use of the engine.
When it comes to choosing the perfect line, the authors reiterates the three-graded scale to categorize the corners by importance, originally published in 1971 in "Driving in Competition" by Alan Johnson, the 4-time SSCA National champion. But Alain Prost and Pierre-Francois Rousselot do not mention that it was Alan Johnson who has created this categorization, and they give no references or bibliography section in their book. According to this scale, the most important corners are leading to the straight, less important are followed by the straight, and the least important are corners that come between the other corners.
Unlike the other books on competition driving, this one pays attention to all three types of transmission when it comes to controlling car at the limit: the rear-wheel drive, the front-wheel drive and the four-wheel drive. I've found this chapter with the comparison of three transmission types very interesting. The authors explain the behaviors of different transmission for both slow corners (below 60-75 mph, or 95-120 km/h) and fast corners.
If you need a book about competition driving, a book with liveliness and variety, a book that you won't find boring, choose this one.
Competition Driving (English First Edition)
I first learned about this book from reading Ben Collins' "The Man in the White Suit" where he referenced this book. I found this book to present the reader with a high level overview of race car driving, or performance driving. There are many good tips by Pierre-Francois with many ideas and concepts highlighted by Alain Prost.
I enjoyed how Alain and Pierre-Francois noted many aspects of driving to be "felt" by the driver. I came to this conclusion after reading modern books like Skip Barber's Going Faster and MotoGP Performance Riding Techniques, and learning how to ride a motorcycle. Most of it is indeed felt by the rider/driver and perception and intuition are standard tools of the trade. I found that Skip Barber's Going Faster was much more technical, while Competition Driving draws many of the same ideas but packs it into a short and concise chapter.
Competition Driving is quite comprehensive and even touches on 4WD/AWD vehicles and FWD vehicles, taking time to explain the intricacies of each and in comparison with RWD on a road course. It's just that Competition Driving does it in a way that is very high-level and in a concise manner, it's really up to the reader to hit the track with a vehicle and feel out many of the topics mentioned in the book.
Overall: 4/5 stars, not as technical as some of the other books, but it is surprisingly effective and concise.
on April 19, 2014
This is sort of interesting because Prost isn't the primary author of the book.
Obviously having a world champion's name on the cover sells more books.
I guess he did contribute to each chapter though so it's not a scam or anything!
It is very very good though although not as good as Senna's book.
I think I paid about 5 dollars for Prost's book and 80 dollars for Senna's lol.
Well, Senna's book is about 30% better IMHO. They're both very good.
Prost was my F1 idol before Senna came on the scene so I love both books.
Very old school. Love it! Fairly concise and to the point.
Covers most of the fundamentals of racing.
on June 11, 2013
Really nice book and insights from two drivers, it really gives you an idea of the racer's mindset. The book is full of illustrations on ideal way of using the steering wheel, racing line etc. It is a small book but full of knowledge for beginners and intermediate drivers.
on February 16, 2002
Just when I though that there was no more room for improvement in my aggressive driving, after a championship title in karting in my youth and 20 years driving an assorted lot of racing and so called super cars, here cames Prost with this little jewel filled with practical hints and advise. Folks I guarantee that you will not waste your money with this one. After all no one is proficient in every discipline ( want did I really know about rallye driving ?)