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Summary

Over the past two decades, Life in the Fast Lane has grown to become a true staple of Formula 1 literature. In essence a monthly diary of a Benetton grand prix mechanic, this essential book gives a behind-the-scenes account of daily life in the trenches of F1 during the tragic and turbulent 1994 season.

The author's unique point-of-view makes this book indispensable listening for any serious motor racing enthusiast. But Life in the Fast Lane is much more than an intelligently written, informative diary of this highly exclusive multimillion-dollar world. Its remarkable insider setting, its exceptional subject matter, its unfolding tension, its ease of narration - all of these thrilling ingredients - have been wonderfully blended, mixed together to be truly captivating. From January through to December, the enthralled listener is simply compelled to follow the author's stunning racing year from start to finish.

Written and narrated by popular author and Formula 1 television personality, Steve Matchett, Life in the Fast Lane is Matchett's first book (three more soon followed), and its immediate success proved the catalyst to take him from a life in the pit lanes of F1 to a new life in America. For the past 20 years, he has been a broadcaster with FOX and NBC television, and now is an eloquent narrator of his own audiobooks. However, he was unknown outside of his highly clandestine industry. He was a Formula 1 race mechanic, a member of the Benetton grand prix team working alongside celebrities like Flavio Briatore, Michael Schumacher, and Ross Brawn. His fast-paced story of the frantic, unending backstage activity to become the fastest and best in the world gives a fascinating, unparalleled insight into Formula 1 during some of its darkest and most difficult days.

©1995 Steve Matchett (P)2018 Steve Matchett

What listeners say about Life in the Fast Lane

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Brilliant!

Extremely well written and read. A really good story from a unique perspective! A must for any f1 or automotive fan!

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I now want to watch all of 1994's races again.

I now want to watch all of 1994's races again. It was my first year out of school and I was so excited about life. It was also such a gut-wrenching season.

I really enjoyed this POV as, as a fan, one tends to think of the team as a whole and not individuals within a group.

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Interesting but overdone

Nice book but the writing is for me over descriptive that started to annoy me after a while

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Must for F1 Junkies.

Really good read 1994 was truly a bad year for F1 Steve puts all in to perspective .What I remember that year was Schumacher was Dick Dasterdly and Hill was the Hero . Interesting to listen to Benetton's point of view from the author.

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Wonderfully entertaining and a must for f1 fans

Speaking as a die hard Michael Schumacher fan and having so many mixed feelings about the 1994 season, this book was a wonderful trip back to those days when formula one was truly great. The author / narrator giving some unique insights from those early testing sessions to a race by race view from the pit lane. Explaining in easy terms the issues with Michaels disqualifications from Silverstone and Spa as well as insight to the famous refuelling fire in Hockenheim. All beautifully performed with some good humour especially the phrasing of the Benetton crash machine (you’ll have to listen to know what I mean). Thoroughly recommended. I will listen to these a few times I am sure

Thank you so much Steve Matchett - I loved it.

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EPIC!!

A real insight into the ongoing Saga of the F1 Circus, I have followed F1 for the best part of 30 years and reading this book gave me a new insight into what happened throughout the year with Benetton Formula 1 team.

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Not great but not bad either.

Not a bad record of one of F1's most tumultuous years although no great revelations to someone (like me) who was following F1 at this time and remembers vividly the event leading up to and including May 1st 1994.

The narration is pretty good, but can get a little over bearing after a time. The authors style is at times very wordy and I don't think I would have enjoyed reading it too much. The chapters too are very long so at times it was a bit of a struggle.

Worth a credit though for a bit of a walk down F1's memory lane.

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  • scotch
  • 13-06-18

an f1 fan must read

what an amazing look into the life of a f1 mechanic. I was glued to the book from start to finish. I could actually picture myself beside Steve as he recalled the 1994 season.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nelena A. Dale
  • 03-12-21

Step inside 1994 and immerse in the story

I always wondered where or if there was a first hand account of the tragic 1994 F1 season. Well there is at least 1 and that is this book. excellent account of it.

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  • Christopher Anders
  • 15-11-21

Excellent F1 audiobook

Excellent F1 book with great insight to the F1 most do not get see or hear about, thank you Steve, looking forward to your other works.

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  • Jahn
  • 12-07-21

Enthralling

Steve is not only a talented mechanic, clearly evident from his rise to Formula 1 mechanic, but a talented story teller. Life in the Fast Lane is a first hand account of the 1994 Formula 1 season, a particularly newsworthy season, filled with death, scandal, punishment and perseverance. Steve has a way of eloquently and so charmingly describing the events from his perspective - witty and comedic where appropriate. His sense of humor is a great asset to his story telling without being overwhelming or detracting from the details.

A thoroughly entertaining listen, will definitely buy more of his books.

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  • Miacara
  • 18-03-21

engaging read

I loved this book and the writer is a great narrator. highly recommend to all.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-12-20

I thoroughly enjoyed this book

A great look into a season of F1 from the perspective of a very knowledgeable person.

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  • Richard Van Voris
  • 23-06-20

Much better than I thought it would be

A good story and well told, I am usually not a huge fan of sports stories but I would put this up on the shelf next to " The Boy's in the Boat" The both brought me to care intensely about a competition I would not have thought I cared about. In one the 1994
Formula 1 auto racing and the other the boat races of 1936.
Both in writing and narration Mr. Matchett represents, to this American ear, the very best of Britain

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  • Brad
  • 04-05-20

Sublime

During the unfortunate delay of the 2020 F1 season due to the completely rude Corona virus this book is a welcome recollection from Mr Matchett. I have admired him for years as I have been a F1 fan since the year he wrote this diary. If you are a F1 fan of any kind give it a listen. Thank you Steve.

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  • K. Ouellette
  • 29-09-19

Woah!!

Fantastic book!! Well spoken and thoroughly enjoyed... Steve Matchett truly unleashes the world of Formula 1 mechanics

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  • jc 550m
  • 12-06-19

Live like an F1 mechanic

Great story with an insider's view of the amazing world of Formula One. Steve does a great job of explaining the nuances of F1 life as a mechanic. If you are an F1 fan, listen to this book, you will live it. BTW I met Steve at the Monterey historic races a while ago and he is very nice and accommodating with respect to questions about his F1 career.