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Get your copy of the JA on F1 review of the 2009 season
Get your copy of the JA on F1 review of the 2009 season
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Oct 2009   |  10:12 pm GMT  |  99 comments

I’m delighted to announce that on November 27th we will be publishing a book looking back on the 2009 season. It is a review of the goings-on both on and off the circuit in what has certainly been the most action packed season I’ve ever covered.

The book is the story of the 2009 season told through the eyes of the James Allen on F1 blog, with updates and extra editorial from me.

It has the behind the scenes insights into all the big stories of the year from the F1 breakaway threat and the Renault crash scandal to Ferrari’s swoop for Fernando Alonso. There is plenty of my personal perspective here too; from the colour and drama of the race weekends themselves, to travelling Easyjet to a Grand Prix with Ross Brawn and sitting opposite Max Mosley as he calmly said that “F1 can survive without Ferrari”.

I’ve called it “F1’s revolutionary year” because it was the year when the established order was turned on its head as top teams lost their grip on success and backmarkers came through to beat them. Off track it was the year when the teams united in revolt against the governing body and established a new structure for the F1 of the future.

It’s been a breathtaking year and I think this book sums it up well.

It’s a large format paperback with 250 pages of stories and it features photography by my favourite F1 snapper Darren Heath.

I’m delighted that world champion team owner Ross Brawn has agreed to write the foreword.

I’ve loved blogging this season and building up a large and thriving community of people passionate about F1, who offer intelligent observation in their comments. We will be sending out a free copy to the ten readers who have left the most comments during the course of the season (we already know who those 10 people are, by the way)

It’s a limited print run so, for those of you who have been with me the whole way through the year, I hope you will find this a cool collectable. We will produce one every year and you can build the series.

For those who have only discovered the blog recently, I hope you will want to find out what you missed earlier in the year. It will be a good book to dip into over Christmas.

The book will be priced at £9-99 and should be available in many bookshops and through Amazon from 27 November. We have our own fulfilment here on the site and our distribution partner, CPI, are taking pre-orders. I will personally sign any book ordered through the JA on F1 website.

Just click through the advert on the right side of the homepage to pre-order your copy.

Hope you find it a good read and please be sure to give me your feedback!

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Sorry, I missed this announcement while on holiday.

It has been a great year and your blog has added enormously to the understanding and enjoyment of it, more so than the accepted brand leaders in my view.

So thanks a lot – and book ordered!


Congrats on your book James, I’m sure it’ll be a good read! I especially look forward to the photos from Darren, he is a quality photographer – love his look on F1.

Shall be getting this as a Christmas present for myself!


James, give us a weekly or bi-weekely podcast!!!! I’d be happy to pay for something worthwhile. Suffice to say i think you would easily become the No.1 F1 or motosports podcast out there.

It would be great for 2010

PS – book ordered


James this is a great idea. I was thinking the other day that F1 fans really don’t have a book from a well know F1 Journalist to review the year – My Murray Walker books have been read to death.

Can I also commend you on your Biography on Michael Schumacher – The Edge of Greatness. I was never a big Schumacher fan, but reading your book has made me realise his strengths and weaknesses in a balanced way.

You should be on to a winner – Great analysis with awesome pictures.

Just a thought, will you be including some of the best comments from the blog in these books. This could inspire your blog readers to put a lot of though in to their responses if they know they could well make a published book.


Not this time, but maybe next year as a development


I will be ordering a copy James. I have wrote a few bits but I don’t think I will be in the top 10. Will any of my comments or those of others feature in the book? Carl


Have just asked the missus to order one from this site for Christmas. Am regretting not hitting ‘Submit Comment’ on some of the more frivolous comments I made throughout the year.


First of all, big thanks to you James! You have made my followership of F1 much more enjoyable!

If you could tell me if your review is going to hit the stands in India anytime soon?


No you’ll have to order online either here or on Amazon


While I hope 2010 sees you back in the F1 commentary box with the BBC (and keeping the blog going) this blog has been an invaluable source of information and news this season for me, first F1 site I look at each day and certainly the book will be ordered by me


Cheers for that


“We will be sending out a free copy to the ten readers who have left the most comments during the course of the season (we already know who those 10 people are, by the way)”

That’s a very nice touch James, and a great way to say thanks to those folks. Congrats on the unexpected gift, whomever you are, guys! I am sure I’m not alone in coming here as much for the insightful comments as James’ own posts.


I’ll post the names soon.


James, I’ve just ordered a copy of you book.

Your blog this year has been excellent

and enhanced a great season of racing.

Many thanks, and keep up the good work!


Thank you


Thanks James, just ordered one.

To be true to the 2009 season, are you going to produce a handful of copies with a double inside cover, after which the rest will have to be re-printed 🙂




I’m going to order your book in a second so that, above all else, I can give a bit back for what you’ve given us throughout the year!

Please keep up the good work through the winter and 2010.


Cheers, appreciate that sentiment.


Excellent news.

Agree with this comment too:

“My first thought when itv lost the rights was that i wouldn’t get your friday form guides or sunday race verdicts, imagine my joy when your blog appeared with far more content!”


Thanks. I still do the form guide etc for ITV, but I’m delighted that the content on here has gone down well. I’m going to add some new content ideas over the winter and into 2010. I’m loving this and wish I’d started it years ago!


Hi James,

Great Blog! I perhaps arrived a little later than some, but reading your blog is now essential to my F1 consumption, and more reliable than many other F1 sites.

I think the BBC had a tough job to follow, as ITV raised the bar considerably over the years, and for the most part have excelled, but in truth I would have preferred they kept the main commentary team together, but then you probably wouldn’t have kept this blog so active!

This site now has a large following with great user comments, and moderated – which is a major plus for the casual reader!

As for the actual racing…. what a year!

How long before 2010 season starts….


As others have said, this has been an invaluable resource this season. I have come to your blog everyday James, even though i haven’t commented much. It’s simply fantastic. I have a few questions.

1)When we order through the above link do we have to do anything more to get our copy signed by your good self?

2)How has this year compared to your many previous years? Has it been more or less enjoyable working on your blog rather than other outlets? Is it something you had considered doing in previous years? How do you feel it has turned out? I think it’s safe to say you have created a blog that it just as important as Autosport, personally speaking.

Many thanks.

Roll on silly season and 2010



1. No I will go to the warehouse and sign them all in late November before the orders get sent out.

2. More eventful, lots of politics (boo) but some really high stakes stuff regarding the future of the sport so very interesting. I liked the inversion of the old order on track, even if the double diffuser thing was a bit messy at the start of the year. If DDs had been banned Red Bull would have been champions this year


James your blog is absolutely fantastic and is easily the best source of F1 info. Unlike many other sites you don’t just regurgitate what everyone else is saying.

Have ordered your book as a thank you for running this great site.


Hi James,

I’ve been following your blog throughout the year and although I never left any comment before (I’m just not such a big commenter) I really love it. I’m living in Costa Rica (haven’t you noticed me in your statistics?) and Formula1 coverage here is nihil. Live broadcasting is horrible with commentators from the studio that manage to talk through all the radio broadcasts. I’m so thankfull for internet and your blog so I can keep following Formula1 like how I used to do it when I was living in Europe.

I will definately order your book! Just to be sure it arrives I’ll have it delivered to friends in The Netherlands. The mailservice here is not so reliable :/.


Hi James,

Would love to order a book, but theres no provision for paying via paypal 🙁 Can anything be done?




We will look into that.


I’ll be ordering as soon as I get from iPhone to a proper computer. I was going to order the official review but this will have far more insight and unbiased opinion.

I’m fairly new to the blog so even the original blog content will be a fresh read for me, let alone extra insight and great photography.

Despite the Brawn dominance I think it’s been a fascinating season on and off the track and this book will be a great way to relive that, now and in years to come.

Well done James, hope it’s as succesful as it rightly deserves to be.


well, thanks to You, we can almost feel the gasoline and V8 noise 🙂

Great Idea !

Cockney James Hunt

That’s brilliant news. Congratulations. You have been my first stop for information and analysis for the entire year and it’s been fantastic to see someone with a traditional media background embrace the digital space with as much belief and passion as you have done. Now, if we can only get rid of Legard…


Hi James,

Congrats on the book, smashing cover by the way, really tells the story of the season, a Brawn effortlessly slipping through turbulent waves to get an almost unbelievable result. Though I’m sure it wasn’t effortless!

I have to disagree with some of the comments about this season being awful, what were they watching!! It’s been cracking season. Perhaps I’m a bit weird but I enjoyed everything (even the controversy) its been an amazing story that had a happy ending in the end .

There’s been some real heros. There’s the obvious Brawn/Button/Barrichelo story, but what about Raikonnen’s drives, even though he was being pushed out of Ferrari. Force India and Fisi at Spa. Hamilton fighting a poor car and restoring his image and coming out a different man. There’s also been victims (Massa, Raikonnen again, BMW team, Toyota drivers and Vatenen) and villains (Denis, Mosely and Flavio are almost panto quality).

I know I’m probably a bit weird in enjoying the politics but it’s been full of intrigue and fills the hours between races. And when the race starts it’s all about the race (everything else is just waiting I remember some bloke said once). And there’s been some crackers this season.

Besides, if you’re not interested in the politics then don’t read about it. Just watch the flippin race if it winds you up.

In fact my only question to you James, how did you fit it into just one volume!


PS ‘Will you have a pdf version that can be downloaded for those not handy to the shops?’, cheeky bugger! 😉


Hi James,

Have just ordered the book, it will be really nice to have a signed copy. As mentioned in a previous post I am extremely impressed by your website and also the informed opinion of the people who post on it, your website is the first place I visit to get my daily petrol fix. Other than wanting to thank you for such an excellent website I wanted to find out if there is any way of also buying a signed copy of your Schumacher book.

Best regards



Hey James – fantatsic idea – just bought mine – only problem is I have to way a whole month for it to arrive! ha ha cheers Don

Paige Michael-Shetley

Cheers, James. You’ve done a great job with the blog, and I’m sure the book will be a winner.

I agree that F1 has gone through a revolution this year. On the competition side, I think it’s something of a lasting revolution. Honda/Brawn and Red Bull had been laying all the necessary pieces of the foundation of a top team for years, and all they needed was exactly what they got: some heavily revised technical regulations to give their brilliant designers and engineers a clean slate with the top teams. I think those two are here to stay and that F1 now has four-teams at the top instead of just two.

It feels odd to say this, but it appears as though there’s a pretty good amount of parity in F1, something we probably never thought we’d see. Obviously, there isn’t parity in the sense that the teams spend the same amount of money or that F1 is a spec series. The teams were all so close in performance this year, but I can’t think of another season in which the competitive order was so sensitive to the levels by which each circuit suited the characteristics of individual cars. Force India and Williams are probably the best examples. The VJM-002 went like a bat out of hell on low drag circuits but was a midfielder to backmarker the whole season on maximum downforce circuits. Williams had a car capable of finishing on the podium on the maximum downforce circuits, yet it couldn’t get out of its own way on the low drag circuits. We could see this trend continue in an era of cost-cutting, an era in which McLaren and Ferrari can’t just spend $400 million to essentially develop different cars for each circuit type that remain competitive on the balance.


Hi James,

First time commenter, long time reader. Good luck with the book. You have built up a lot of Irish fans.


Hello From France!

Very good Idea, as I discover your blog lately this year, it will be a great way to sum up this season. And a good maner to improve my english.

Thanks for that



Ordered and looking forward to it already, James!


Great idea James and can’t wait to get my hands on the book!

If only the damn website worked! when i first seen the offer this morning, the site woudln’t let me register and now it won’t let me get past the 1st section of the ordering process!

I’ll keep trying though….

I bet you’re gonna have a sore wrist when you finish signing all the books, as i’d imagine 80% of the fans on this site will snap one up

Good on you James!


Thanks James.

Congratulations on the book, it’s a great idea, especially this season which has been so eventful! I’ve always enjoyed reading your books, so I’ll be ordering a copy of this


I’ve also really enjoyed reading this blog this year, it’s been really insightful, and often provided stories ahead other websites, so thank you!


I’ve never left a reply on here before, but just wanted to say a big thank you for all the blogs this year! It’s been such a good insight into the world of F1 and I’m constantly waiting for the next blog to arrive!

Just placed my pre-order now so will look forward to that arriving!

Its been such an interesting season, mainly off the track, so let’s hope next years on track excitement lives up to expectations!



I note the foreword is from Ross Brawn.

Any chance he will be signing any copies too?


Excellent blog James.

Wish you were back in the box with Martin instead of the numpty that’s there now.

Ho hum..

Anyway.. I’ve just pre-ordered!

Nice one and Good Luck.




Ordered my copy but it threw up an error after I clicked Submit. Someone from CPI books got back to me though and it’s gone through fine apparently. I expect today’s the busiest day on record!


This site is far better value than my online autosport subscription and this is usually my first stop for all my F1 news. The blog concept for this book is a good idea because it is like a voluntary subscription with the bonus of a hard copy.

I Really like the cover.


good idea. It’s a pitty it was not the best season i can remember. I hope next year is better. well i know it will be better.

Your blog make the season much more entertaining. Without it i don’t know how low my interest on the sport would have gone.

This past weekend i went to portimao to watch the superbikes final, and i got the same feeling, that i had when i watched f1 in the 80’s. I never thought f1 would fall behind wsb, in my list, but with all this political nonsense, it did. i wonder if there is people outhere who feel the same.


After reading and finishing your book on Michael Schumacher in a mere two days, it was a no-brainer to purchase this book. I’m really looking forward to receiving and reading it.

Thanks James, F1 has been great this year, not only because of the season itself, but also because of the BBC’s wonderful tv coverage, combined with your excellent insight and presence on the web. 🙂



This blog has inspired me to dig out my old copy of ‘The Edge of Greatness’ and re-read.

I guess I miss you in the commentary-box also. It was only 07-08 I had issue wuth TBH – I think ITV went overboard on the Hamilton-mania. I guess this was ITV policy at the time. Mind you I didn’t like Button when ITV were hero-worshiping him and think he’s a lovely chap now!

I never buy end-of-season reviews but I’ll make an exception this time – not just because it’s JA but because it’s been a fascinating year.

James – are there any writers that inspired your intersst in F1? For me it was Nigel Roebuck – he’s a bit more interested in the past than the present these days and always had a bias for certain drivers (Prost, Gilles..) but what a great writer nonetheless…


Agree with you about Roebuck – he was exceptional in the 1980s. But the guy who inspired and even mentored me was Denis Jenkinson. I met him through my Dad, who raced in the 1960s and knew him well. Jenks encouraged me a lot when I started in F1 in 1990. When I went to Autosport in 1992 I persuaded him to leave Motor Sport and join us and we had a few really good years before he sadly passed away. He was unconventional, but he really knew what was important in F1.


You inherited Nigel’s mantle,James.his book about F1 legends is a must read.Now,it’s your turn.Find time to give us a book on YOUR F1 legends,please.


I don’t normally buy annual reviews, I think you can’t really, properly, review a season so quickly after it’s been complete. You need a bit of time to go by to put the season into context.

But I’ve bought this to say thanks James, for your outstanding contribution to my enjoyment of F1 this season.

This blog – free no less – has been a godsend this year. It’s only £10, but it’s the least I could do to repay you for your service this year and over the winter.


Cheers for that, Aaron. Hope you enjoy it and when you’ve read it, let me know how you think I can improve it for next year


Fantastic news! I can spend Christmas day reading this book rather than enjoying the delightful conversations with any Outlaws that will be visiting!

Thanks James you are a life saver.

This website has been my first port of call for any F1 news during the season. Cant believe its nearly all over but looking forward to next season and all the “between” season moves with the drivers.


It appears the website for ordering the book is broken – I can only get to step 1 of the checkout process and no further 🙁


I’m told that the problem they were experiencing has now been fixed. Apologies to anyone who got the TXT message. Thanks for your patience.


Placed my pre-order, James.

Freight was almost as much as the book!

As a supporter of Mark Webber and having suffered many years of frustration and disappointment it will be a wonderful way to relive the season. A season of firsts.


Apparently the “The TxType requested is not supported on this account” error has now been fixed. just trying again now…


been following this blog daily since the start, easily the best place to gain insight into the world of f1, i bloody love it.

will definitely be treating myself to a copy of the book. Im torn however, i really cant stand leggard, but if the return to commentating meant the end of i think ill just have to live with the buffoon!


Ooh, insight from James and photos by Darren Heath. A winning combination! This will be going straight on my Christmas list.

I’d have liked to have commented more frequently, but I have to be careful not to let discussing motorsport interfere with my job! I’m hoping my new job, which I start next week, will impose a little less on me free time and I may even start a blog of my own. Perhaps I could revive my abortive ‘Race Oddity’ one or go for something more broad. ‘Views from the Carwash’ maybe!



This is a brilliant idea. Thanks for some great posts and insight this year – your hard work has been very much appreciated. I shall put this on my Christmas list!


Throw in a TAG watch and you’ve got a deal 😛


Not too keen on your distributer James – website doesn’t work properly (I’m only running Internet Explorer) – so I can’t buy a copy of the book, but I’d like too!


Very cunning sir, very cunning… 😉 So, whoever posts the most gets a book, hey? Well, that’s a sure fire way to keep the posts coming next season… ha ha.

Being serious now, 99% of the posters, would post here anyway as they’ve a passion for F1, want to discuss it with other enlightened followers without resorting to juvenile taunts; your articles are like leading questions, making people think around issues… and the posts are generally respectful. [Yeah, ok, it got a bit tasty with “the bickering” around the time of crash-gate ;-)]

So congrats to you and all those who build and maintain the site, on a job well done.



I’ll be looking forward to reading the book. It has been one of the busiest seasons ever. Your blog has provided some excellent behind the scenes insight to go with the news stories.

Keep up the good work next season.


Wonderful can’t wait. James, is it pretty much finished or you might still add something should more drama happen on the last race Sunday? This is F1 you never know.


Hello James. I need to say that I will not purchase:-) the reason is that I want to forget this year as soon as I can. I only hope that in 2010 it will be different….

My gongrats on the book, though:-)


Your distributor doesn’t seem to take orders for US delivery. A fairly useless error message “This TxType not supported for this account”. That might mean transaction type, but why do they provide for country choices for addresses they don’t support?


We will look into that, apologies.



I tried to pre-order and got the following error: “The TxType requested is not supported on this account.” No explanation given. Can you follow this up with your book people and contact me via email to clarify?



I got the same – however i did then get an email saying it had been ordered, but after fifth attempt… if they all went through all my family will be getting signed copies for xmas!

Thanks james for your blog this season it’s been an absolute pleasure to read. Thank you. However I still very much miss your commentary.


Congrats, James.

I read a few other F1 sites – Autosport, Home Planet, and the Times – but your coverage of the scene is by far the best – both in terms of quality and quantity – quite a feat.

And this comes from a Maine Yankee living in the mountains of North Carolina without a TV and following F1 on my computer.


Chris Finlayson

Existential Motorcycles

Castle Finlayson


North Carolina

Excited States.


James, this is an excellent idea for a book and I’m delighted to hear about it!

I’ve followed your blog avidly since I heard that you wouldn’t be doing the TV commentary any more (it’s just not the same without you by the way) It will be a great collectable for what has been a remarkable year in F1 – great stuff, keep it up!



Will you have a pdf version that can be downloaded for those not handy to the shops?


No, but you can order online click on the book cover on the right of the page.


James, fantastic! The chance of ordering a sighed copy of a book from you on this territic season after following your blog for most of the year is great!

Only problem is that I preordered and get the error ‘Tx Code Not Supported On This Account’ – I assume this has something to do with me being in Australia – I dearly want to order a book signed by you – can you see what the problem is?

Adrian Setterfield

Just ordered it from Australia with no technical difficulties.

This will be the definitive record of the 2009 F1 season – can’t wait to add it to my library!


Very cool idea. I have a couple of questions, James:

(1) will there be a hardback copy available at any point?

(2) will Darren Heath ever publish a book of his F1 work? I am a massive fan of his photography, and as far as I am aware it has not appeared comprehensively in book form. I am sure that his contributions will be one of the (many) excellent features of your new book.



I would also like to see Darren’s work in book form, hope he done one.


No there will not be a hardback. As for Darren I will pass this on to him and he can answer.


Ditto on that, would definitely be interested in a coffee table book of Darren’s work.


Fantastic idea James, I will be ordering one or possibly it will be my wife that roders it as I have put in a request with her for Christmas!! I have really enjoyed your Blog this season, its very insightful and you give such fantastic background information for those of us that cannot be at the Grand Prix in a postition such as yours. Please keep up the good work next season and thanks once again for this season.

Kind regards,



“I’ve loved blogging this season and building up a large and thriving community”

So glad to hear that James, because I’ve certainly loved following your blog. It’s been my first stop on the internet every morning and last stop at night all year. It’s unrivaled for telling the ‘real’ story behind the headlines, looking past the hype and spin. My first thought when itv lost the rights was that i wouldn’t get your friday form guides or sunday race verdicts, imagine my joy when your blog appeared with far more content!

I hope you will continue next season, and that if ever there was financial reasons to stop that you’d consider allowing your following community to have the option of supporting you through donation or subscription.

Just a thought, what about a post on the 5 most popular stories were, and how many hits they got, like the days when the website crashed due to too many hits.

Thanks again for your insights through the year, they’re greatly appreciated.


I second, third and fourth that emotion!


Thanks for that. It’s a long winter so between the news stories there will be room for that.


Definitely in agreement with Albevo’s comments. You’ve added more fun to the season than I can describe with this blog. Keep on rockin’.


i should really read your full artical before asking questions..


tried to pre-order. All I got was:

The TxType requested is not supported on this account.


James, a simple thankyou for the most satisfying and insightful portal to F1 bar none. Furthermore, thanks to all of you who have commented on this blog. Your passion and understanding of F1 has made my F1 year far richer than I could have imagined. Cheers..



Nice thinkink 🙂 I will for sure (Felipe Massa 🙂 ) preorder it and plus I will get your signature! Nice, I cant wait to get it! Greetings from CROATIA!


Will it be available for sale outside the UK, though?


wtf? 😛 this is the age of the internet – you buy things from other countries…


Excellent idea James. I think I can safely speak for a lot of people when I say your blog has been absolutely fantastic this year and an integral part of an exciting season. I’m one of a number of people who have greatly missed the Allen/Brundle duo in the commentary box at the weekends, but it’s great that the fans can still get insightful information and commentary from someone in your position.

Thanks a lot, enjoy the final race and have a great off-season (if there is such a thing in F1!)

Best wishes,



Now I wish I had commented even more!


Heh same here, tough to think of interesting things to say when 50+ people already commented on the article


And the season hasn’t even ended, yet!


Your insight this year has been invaluable chap.

I’ll be buying one 😉


Yeah I’m going to get one too! It’s been a great year


Congratulations James!

Wishing you and the book the very best!

Needless to say I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs and reporting. The blog and twitter brings us, the fans, that much more closer to you, the journalist.

Its amazing to see our questions answered and that brings about a feeling of belonging. This lacked big time when we had to rely only on the TV commentary and the articles in the papers and magazines.

I hope more interactive features come to your blog the coming year.

I wish you the very best and look forward to a whole new season next year.




James are you doing signed copies


Yes all copies ordered through the site will be signed.

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