As F1 enjoys one of its fiercest and most hotly contested rivalries in decades, this book delves into some of the blistering contests and feuds which have lit up the sport over the years.
The rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is one of the fiercest we have seen in Formula One in decades. Incendiary both on and off the track, the battles between the seven-time world champion and the hard-driving Dutchman have invigorated the sport.
From multiple crashes involving the two drivers vying for the top spot, to a bitter war of words waged across media interviews, to the controversial decision which led to Verstappen snatching the championship from Hamilton on the last lap of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this contest has captivated viewers and delivered some truly thrilling racing.
We have not seen this intensity of emotion in F1 since the Prost vs Senna days in the late 1980s, but there have been plenty of rivalries and controversies throughout the World Championship. So what better time to look back at some of the battles in past years, plus analyse the explosive nature of Verstappen, the only driver in the current field with a caution for punching another driver (Ocon in 2020).
Mikka Hakkinen vs Michael Schumacher - this kicked off in a junior F3 race in Macau when Schumacher steered into the side of Hakkinen to prevent him from winning a race. It continued in the late 1990s when Michael was at Ferrari and Mika was at Mclaren.
Pironi vs Villeneuve - two Ferrari team-mates fell out in spectacular style at Imola where the two cars were cruising to an easy 1-2 victory and the team told them both to slow down. Pironi took advantage and nipped into the lead and there was then a frantic, paint-swapping battle for the lead in the closing laps. Villeneuve never spoke to Pironi again and was killed two weeks later at Zolder in Belgium
Mansell vs Piquet - two Williams team-mates fell out when Piquet began to get regularly beaten by Mansell. He called Mansell stupid and his wife Roseanne ugly.
Prost vs Senna - this was a two-year slowburn of intense dislike, starting at the Japanese GP of 1989 when Prost turned in on Senna, eliminating him from the race and making the Frenchman World Champion. The following year, with Prost now at Ferrari, Senna returned the favour and simply drove into him at the first corner to become World Champion himself.
Plus: Other prominent rivalries that can be featured: Senna vs Mansell (fisticuffs in the garage), Prost vs Lauda (narrowest margin of championship victory - half a point), Hamilton vs Rosberg (cheating by Rosberg in Monaco to grab pole), Hunt vs Lauda (as in the film of their 1976 season), Hamilton vs Massa (the only championship that changed hands in the final corner of the final race), Hill vs Schumacher (deliberate crashing), Alonso vs Schumacher (a hysterical Alonso accused his team of not wanting him to win), Vettel vs Webber (Multi-21 Seb - multi-21...)
The book also looks back to the 1950s and 1960s when rivalries were friendly - because any dangerous move on track, could result in either one or both drivers being killed.
Written with sparkling insight from veteran Formula 1 journalist Tony Dodgins, this books is a must-read for all fans of the sport, from veterans who have followed for decades to new fans drawn by the intensity of recent seasons.
When the realities of funding a racing career in Lotus Cortinas and Van Diemens became apparent Tony Dodgins opted for the typewriter. He won the Sir William Lyons award for young motoring journalists in 1979 after interviewing Frank Williams at Silverstone the day before Williams won its first grand prix. Tony joined Autosport in 1985 and became their grand prix editor. He has also been the grand prix editor for Motoring News, F1 Racing magazine (now GP Racing), On Track, and has been a regular columnist for Autosport Japan for more than 20 years. He is the editor of the renowned Autocourse yearbook, which has been published since the World Championship began in 1950. After BBC radio work, Tony became the Channel 4 race analyst working on F1 coverage alongside commentator Ben Edwards and now Alex Jacques.