- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Virgin Pub (June 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852278412
- ISBN-13: 978-1852278410
- Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 1 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Driving Ambition: The Official Inside Story of the McLaren F1 Hardcover – June 15, 2000
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Much of the text is made up of quotes from the main players involved with the F1 project, but Doug Nye adds much from his knowledge of racing and cars in general. Near the end the author wisely lets Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, give his impressions of the project. The hundreds of captioned pictures, sketches, and notes make for a revealing peek into the car's gestation. Many times I felt as if I were seeing privileged information, to be kept within the company, although it's obviously not as sensitive as it once was.
If anything, this book outlines what a torturous and exhaustive process creating a road car from the ground up really is. So much has to come together to make the finished product, and none of the problems had obvious solutions. One bit of irony concerns how McLaren were searching for a specialized facility to construct prototypes. By coincidence, such a building was owned by Ferrari, who were looking to sell. McLaren boss Ron Dennis pounced on the deal, avoiding a delay of months (or maybe years!) to the project. Ferrari were perhaps less than pleased by the acquisition... Other than that, there was no luck involved in the McLaren F1 process, just slavish testing, sleepless nights, and an obsessive refusal to compromise anything. The total budget is never given, but it's hard to believe the McLaren F1 ever made any money.
The book also includes a large poster/chart with the F1 GTR's full racing record, as well as the number and paint color of each chassis. Not to be missed.