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Summary

The world's foremost designer in Formula One, Adrian Newey OBE is arguably one of Britain's greatest engineers and this is his fascinating, powerful memoir.

How to Build a Car explores the story of Adrian's unrivalled 35-year career in Formula One through the prism of the cars he has designed, the drivers he has worked alongside and the races in which he's been involved.

A true engineering genius, even in adolescence Adrian's thoughts naturally emerged in shape and form - he began sketching his own car designs at the age of 12 and took a welding course in his school summer holidays. From his early career in IndyCar racing and on to his unparalleled success in Formula One, we learn in comprehensive, engaging and highly entertaining detail how a car actually works. Adrian has designed for the likes of Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, always with a shark-like purity of purpose: to make the car go faster. And while his career has been marked by unbelievable triumphs, there have also been deep tragedies: most notably Ayrton Senna's death during his time at Williams in 1994.

How to Build a Car encapsulates, through Adrian's remarkable life story, precisely what makes Formula One so thrilling - its potential for the total synchronicity of man and machine, the perfect combination of style, efficiency and speed.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Adrian Newey (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"The greatest Formula One designer of his - or any other - age." ( The Sunday Times)
"Newey has a legitimate claim on the title of 'Britain's greatest living engineer'." ( The Daily Telegraph)
"Adrian Newey has created more winners than all the super-brain computers in Formula One put together." ( The Times)

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So much better than you think it will be!

Don't worry it's not too technical.
Funny, entertaining, fascinating, historical, nostalgic. A must listen for any F1 fan.

If you listen to Damon Hill's and Mark Webber's books aswel there's some nice overlap with some of the stories - so you get at least two perspecitves on some events.

For me I expected it to be a dry, tiring listen full of technical babble I didn't understand - given the subject and what I have seen of Adrian Newey interviews. Couldn't be more wrong. He is extremely funny, explains everything in a way that you can relate to and understand (think of that teacher at school who just had a way of explaining things that made everything make sense to you).

I was unsure about this book... I bought it and now have listend to it twice, and enjoyed every minute both times.
Trust me, just buy it, you WILL enjoy it!

7 people found this helpful

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Great story, marred by the narrator

I found the book highly enjoyable, but the narrator clearly isn't a Formula 1 fan as they were frequently mispronouncing names.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding - educational, fun & inspiring

One of the most enjoyable, educational and inspiring books I've read - a masterclass in lateral thought and innovation interspersed with hilarious and personable anecdotes.

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Surprised

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I thought this book was phenomenal. one of the best for any f1 fan

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"How can I do this better?"

Fascinating view of the FI business from the other side of the car: the designer of the car rather than the driver. There is a lot of technical stuff about aerodynamics which went completely over my head and yet even that held a fascination and, as well as giving me a far better insight into how the cars work, I was also privy into the personalities of and tittle tattle about the drivers and other major figures in the business.
Fascinating stuff for FI addicts.
Narrated skilfully by Richard Trinder.
Only one disappointment: it would have been nice to have had a few words spoken by Newry himself just to hear what he sounds like: unlike the drivers, he is not someone frequently interviewed

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Surprisingly great

Was afraid this would be a bit too technical and dry, but Adrian is surprisingly humorous. He brings an interesting take on his experience in f1 as well as giving the listener a view of his thought process behind the technical challenges he faced. Would highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest for engineering or motorsport.

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More interesting than I expected

This book has a good combination of Neweys history and Indy car/F1 history, it’s also written in a way that’s easy to listen and entertaining. Overall it’s definitely worth a listen if you have an interest in F1. The reader is also good and easy to listen to.

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A surprisingly candid insight.

Newey goes into surprising detail about his work and personal relationships, as well as not shying away from the controversy of the 1994 Williams in which Ayrton Senna died. An excellent read for some insight to how the world of motorsport has evolved over the decades as well as a first hand account of someone in the thick of it for a long time.

Only downside is that the narrator is noticeably not a fan of motorsport himself, which is fine, but there could have been more guidance on pronunciations of names and places for his benefit.

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Great listen

A very well written and I thought performed reading. Yes some of the names and places were mispronounced but I cannot see how that took much, if anything away, from the story itself. Is witty, informative and easy to listen to.

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Excellent Enginering

A first class tale by Adrian Newey tracing his journey through a number of builders of race cars culminating in his development of Red Bulls race winning formula 1 cars. Gives a real insight into the many ups and downs along the way. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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  • moo
  • 09-02-20

Snooze fest

As an F1 fan and car enthusiast I found this book a massive let down. Somehow Adrian has managed to skip most of the interesting parts of his career. He tells the stories in such a way it’s like listening to a weather forecast. For example; he goes to the trouble of spelling out every car license plate he’s ever owned. He drones on about the career of his daughters, I’m not interested in the lives of your children. I wanted to know the tech behind F1 and interesting highlights from a long career. Instead this book is a weird mix of ego and unnecessary details. The author talks down to the listener and dumbs down most technical details. If you’re into F1 Ross Browns book is far more interesting.

12 people found this helpful

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  • TohirT
  • 21-09-18

A Must for any F1 or racing fan

Adrian’s name is synonymous with championships across Indy and primarily F1. What I didn’t know is the entire story behind this extraordinary man. Well he is not. He is just a guy with a passion and a vision. I loved every chapter of this book. Especially all the F1 anecdotes from his career. Those have me a new perspective on a lot of events I’ve observed as an ignorant fan :)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Malachi Drew
  • 12-06-20

Great combination of engineering and stories

I found the engineering, especially the aerodynamics, absolutely fascinating. Additionally, the story aspect added interest, while not distracting from the engineering.

2 people found this helpful

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  • avaca
  • 09-04-20

Awesome

The story is great and talks about f1 a lot mostly about Aerodynamic’s but is a really great story



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  • Joselo
  • 14-03-20

Fasten your seat belts!

This book is a must for anyone who's even remotely interested in F1. Newey is a legendary race engineer and aerodynamicist whose designs have won an outstanding 10 Constructor's Championships. The book is very well written and has a great pace. It's tone is casual, as if a friend were passionately telling you all the ins and outs of his job. He shares plenty of anecdotes and inside stories involving other great legends of the sport, all of which is bound to make any fan even more excited about watching the next race! I learned a lot from this audiobook and it gave me a new understanding of F1. One can get a sense of the pressure that these hyper-competitive people go through, the challenges that they face, the toll that their work takes on their family lives, their obsession with finding loopholes in the rules and being one step ahead of their rivals... Obviously, in a sport that combines the ability of extremely talented drivers with technological innovation, the engineer plays a key role. There are moments of well-deserved gratification and also tragic episodes (like the death of triple-world champion, Ayrton Senna). Newey also speaks of his involvement in other projects outside of F1. His memoir is mostly a celebration of racing... and of Adrian Newey himself, of course. Narrator Richard Trinder delivers the material somewhat flatly, but efficiently.

2 people found this helpful

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  • crispy
  • 07-07-20

one of the best books I've read

it was an incredible book, one of the best books I've read in a long time

1 person found this helpful

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  • rodrigo camus
  • 15-05-20

must for any F1 fan. Newey is a genius

It's great to understand what happened behind the scenes in formula 1. Also to see who is the real champion or the last few years

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-01-20

biography of a F1 engineer and the cars he created

I recommend to any motorsports lover. this is an autobiography of Adrian Newey, a top F1 engineer. I loved hearing him explain the thought process he used when designing each racecar he helped craft. the story follows Neweys life from college till recent. filled with anecdotes and funny moments, sad moments and ever in between. along the way I also learned the evolution of the F1 car from the 1970s to present
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I knew hardly anything about F1 when I started the book. very enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Curtis
  • 15-01-20

Required reading for F1 fans!

Great story of an F1 legend.

I listened to it intently and could barely stop. Lots of detail on design, his life and some great insights into the politics behind F1.

Good performance in general with an excellent Nigel Mansell impression.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Anderson
  • 05-01-20

Any Formula One nerds dream.

Truly enjoyable on the nerdiest level. Super detailed explanations about all things aerodynamics and auto racing.

1 person found this helpful