F1 Winter Break
JA on F1 2011 review book “Vettel Steals the Show” launched today
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Dec 2011   |  11:01 am GMT  |  75 comments

Today sees the publication of the review book of the season, JA on F1 2011 – “Vettel steals the show”

This is the third year we have produced a limited edition yearbook, which features the best of the posts from 2011, plus lots of new text linking the stories and looking back and how they developed.

It’s fascinating to look back and see the origins of a story and then to see how it plays out across a year, to see how the principal characters reacted at the time and how their attitudes change over time.

There are reports on all the races as well as strategy insights and lots of behind the scenes stories. There are also beautiful colour photos from renowned F1 photographer Darren Heath.

World championship winning team principal Christian Horner provides the Foreword. The book is a large format paperback and sells for £9-99 & postage. It can be ordered on Amazon, but only copies ordered from this site will be signed.

Although F1 is dominated by machines it is at heart about people and this book is a reliable guide to the cast of characters and what they get up to inside and outside the F1 paddock.

Books are being sent out today and can be dispatched to anywhere in the world.

To buy your signed copy please click HERE

Please send in your reviews.

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Congratulations on the new book James, are back copies from previous years available anywhere?


Wayne, I found the 2009 recently through an Amazon marketplace seller, brand new and signed, so they are definitely out there, and seriously worth having.

(Incidentally, the seller sent me the 2010 by mistake the first time round, so I have two copies of this (both signed) if anyone has trouble finding one.)


Wayne, try amazon.co.uk, copies of both available and even on ebay every now and then.

James thanks for the great reads this year. Next year is looking to be another great year and can't wait for Melbourne. Have you any plans for your readers lined up for us down here in Melbourne??

Thanks again


Thanks. Both the 2009 and 2010 editions sold out. The idea is it's a collectable so we do a limited print run. It also goes out to various figures within F1


I'd like to see an electronic edition.

The printed version might be a collectable, but reading has moved on (at least for me).


When are you going to tell us if you're going to BBC or not?

Kudos to the book.


They announced Ben Edwards will be joining DC in the commentary box.



A lot of books to sign on that desk!

Can't wait. My copy has been dispatched already according to the Grand Prix Legends email.


Excellent news! I can't wait to receive my signed copy soon James. I hope you didnt get writers cramp signing all those books???


I now realise not buying last year's was a mistake. I bought the '09 edition, flicked through with the season fresh in my mind and thought "yeah, that's ok". It then sat on a shelf gathering dust for nearly two years.

Looking at it again more recently it's a different book. Details had faded from my memory, and I found myself really enjoying being reminded of the pressure JB came under towards the end of the season, remembering that Alonso went back to Renault, and reliving Flav's fall from grace.

These books get better with time. I'll not miss another!


I made the mistake of not buying James's 09 book.

I read the 2010 book whilst on holiday, I'd forgotten how much had happened at the start of the season.

Here's a tip: Read the book in conjuction with the official F1 2011 DVD, you then begin to appreciate the work that goes into the posts on this site day in day out. For me it's the posts between the races that are of great interests to me, these give us a better insight of what is happening behind the scenes.


Excellent work throughout the year. It's a bit early, but have a great christmas and I look forward to reading more of your posts.


Agreed ... its almost the perfect companion to the official DVD review, which says a lot I think.


Try Ebay, you might get lucky


I was hesitant until now to buy the book, because I've never missed a race this season..or any story from this website and told myself there might not be much in there to read.

But then I realised that I already forgot plenty from 2010 season and knowing that James has got plenty new stuff in the book..was a no-brainer decission.

Write my name big Mr Allen! 😛


Hi James, any news on when the competition winners will be announced? I want a signed copy of this year's book to go with the others, but I'd like to know if I've won one before I shell out for a copy!


We'll email the first ten correct respondents. Thanks


Just got confirmation that mines shipped looking forward to reading it when it arrives. Always nice to get a look back at various parts of the season and the stories that emerged throughout.

A must for any F1 fan really.


Last year I was lucky enough to get a free copy due to being in the top 10 posters on the site.

This year, due to work commitments I've had very little time to contribute. So I'll be asking Santa for a copy 🙂

Merry christmas to you and your family James, have a good one.

Was good to meet you at the Senna preview. All the best for 2012.




Christian Horner? A fine choice but surely as you went to press you wern't expecting the other Red Bull to catch you out like last year 🙂


It's a pity I've missed out on the previous years editions, but better late than never - order placed!


To be a cherished collectibel, you and your publisher should've opted for a hardcover print. But I guess you wanted to minimize the price?


I missed out on 2009's edition but got last year's and was very impressed by it.

I was wondering where you ended this year's book?

Your "My Top 5 Drivers of 2011" seems like a natural place to end it but I assume due to printing schedules that won't be possible.

I was thinking maybe something like this or a summary of your thoughts of the year would be a nice inclusion.

Also echoing thoughts from above it would be great to see you with the BBC next year - you were great as a pit lane reporter and lead commentator during the ITV years!


It ends with Kimi and no I'm not going to BBC TV


James, I note BBC TV, what about 5live?!


After todays announcement about the lead beeb commentator, I'd prefer it if it was JA (much as I like and respect Ben Edwards)...but I'd prefer it even more if every other post on this blog didn't refer to next years Sky/Beeb commentary teams...


BBC Radio?


but perhaps BBC R5.


Hi James,

Will you make the book available as an I book on itunes? As I travel a lot rading books in hotel resteraunts on my iphone is a great thing and better than a bulky book. It would be great if you as a great follower if the new media such as twitter, blogging etc, led the way for F1 with an iBook... what do you think?


It's done as a collectable really. Of course we could do it, but it's not about volume sales, it's about taking what's digital and making it a book. I quite like that reversal of trends! We'll consider it for a future plan, maybe, for people like you


This is good news; As a middle aged automotive book / magazine / model collecting nerd, I am sad about the declining status of books as physical objects and potential collectables. Stand your ground, James Allen! PS great job with the site again this year, a detailed and always balanced view.


Based on the first two, I'd heartily recommend to everyone with a genuine interest in F1 - and that's not just because I'm mentioned in the first!

James, on my shelf of autographed motor racing books, you live next to Raymond Baxter ... and you once signed my autograph book on the same page as Jacky Ickx. Esteemed company you keep!



Are you planning a second edition for this year, with added chapter on the major event of the season?

(for many of your readers here this event took place 2 days after the end of the last race ..)


If you mean Kimi, it's in the book!!


Wow. brilliant time management or no sleep? or both?

we swiss have a reputation for good time planning but you take the biscuit, James


...ruthless Liverpudlian efficiency...



I see the above are linking you to "joining Lee McKenzie" in the pitlane. I presume they don't read your comments thread!!


I couldn't make it much clearer could I?



Don't blame you in the slightest- as an eager follower of this website since its beginning (and proud owner of the two books- will order my next copy next week), I've loved seeing it develop from a little Wordpress hosted project and full kudos to you, Luca and whoever else is involved.

Pitpass in comparison is a poxy little website....who quite recently used a "F1 Politic" column on Force India that quickly turned into a full blown attack (unprovoked) on Joe Saward....


Kindle version please. The money is waiting for you James. Oh yes.



I often send longer articles here to the Kindle anyway.


Hi James, just saw Peter Windsor's 'The Flying Lap' announcing your upcoming visit. Expect your many fans would like to know more particulars, given that I understood it'll be live and open to questions as well.


It's rather confusing - it was recorded on Friday in London. Peter has now gone to Colombia for Christmas with his family.

It's a good hour long chat with Manish Pandey about Senna movie's success and about F1 in 2011.


Hi James,

I believe you've been covering F1 since 1990. Looking back, is there a particular season during that time that stood out for you as a great one, perhaps more than any other?


I loved 1993 with Senna in a customer Ford engined McLaren winning 5 races against the mighty active Williams and Damon Hill winning 3 races, including Spa



Having followed F1 since 1991, 1993 still tops my list.

In many ways it was Senna's year, and is made all the more poignant by what transpired the following year.

Incredible to think that 2 drivers from that year were still active in F1 in 2011!

Not only did F1 excite, Nigel Mansell was creating a new wave of interest for Brits in Indycar racing.

I vividly recall waking up and checking Teletext for the results of the opening race at Surfers Paradise and being amazed to read that Nigel had won on his debut!


'93 was definitely a great one. As a twelve-year old, the F1 addiction was in full flow. I bought (and still own, if anyone wants to buy) the 1:43 scale McLaren's of both Senna and Hakkinen. Kudos to my twelve-year old self. Got to Silverstone that year too. Brill.

Not such a great selection from me in '94 though- bought the Brundle Mclaren and the Nicola Larina Ferrari!


I thought 1990 itself was great, several strong teams, a diversity of winners and some unpredictable and unexpected races - like Leyton House failing to qualify in Mexico then almost winning the French GP, the very next race. Plus the Prost and Senna feud was still simmering away, adding some real tension to many of their battles.

Close behind would be '93, as noted it really brought out the most stunning form from Senna and he was indeed amazing as the underdog.

I also liked '97, with Williams domination starting to fade as McLaren and Ferrari began to strengthen, and a dramatic finale.


gotta be 2008, Hamilton lucking in at the last real corner on the last racing lap to take the title in a very exciting season by a single point. I couldnt talk for weeks from screaming at the TV for the last 4 laps! Great year

Thanks James for everything. Oh and on little question i dont think anyone has asked if ur maybe joining the BBC next year? ha ha



It looks that this article turned out in a Q&A with James. Can it get any better?

Thanks James


Going to be asking for this book for christmas!

Gotta say james i'm not surprised so many want you back commentating on f1/in the paddock again. I've gone back to watch some races from 2002-2004 and you commentary is always fantastic. You've got great knowledge on the sport and clearly have a lot of respect for the drivers. Importantly you never took cheap shots at them (DC has done a few times towards Schumacher). You and Martin were fantastic together, I sincerely hope you two get to do at least one more session together as it'd make people realise how spot on your commentary was.

Must've been sweet to see everyone complain about Legard once he started in 2009!


Congratulations on the publication of your new book, and thank you for picking me as one of the ten winners to receive a signed copy of your new book! I will enjoy reading it!

A smile on my face 🙂



It was the first ten people with the same Top 5 Drivers list as mine.


I know 😉 - but I'm just thanking you again 🙂 - Glad we agreed on the same 5 (me, you and the other 9 winners)


I got last year's and though I read every post that year, it is a nice collectable and a great reference of that season. In fact I'm thinking any future kids of moi that become F1 fans will be the ones to benefit from it the most (while they watch 'present day' interviews of a bald Hamilton and grey Button ha)!

I'm annoyed now that I didn't buy it in 2009, though it wasn't as exciting a year as 2010.

In conclusion, I better go order this year's!


May I suggest making an appointment for a massaging service? For your hands and wrists are sure to be dead sore after signing that huge stack of books lol........


Thanks very much for putting this together again this year, James, I hear Santa's got a copy coming my way soon! 😉


In my opinion as an 'F1 insider' James is the best and most knowledgable journalist in the pit lane by a long way.

My advice to you all is place your orders today as his book is sure to sell out quickly!

Happy Christmas to all and thanks for all the effort with the website JA it continues to get better and better!


Book ordered. I'm sure it'll be another interesting read. To be honest, even if it wasn't it would be worth buying as a kind of payment for the pleasure I get for reading this website throughout the year.


just got mine 😉

flicked through and my finger stopped at page 69, "Fans were concerned about News Corp's interest in FA and the growing suggestion of the sport being on pay TV. Again Whitmarsh sought to calm fears by saying that free-to-air TV was the business of the sport. All FOTA Teams believe in free-to-air TV....

Well we're going to find out, would love a crystal ball to see what sponsors think of 2..3.. Million less viewers per race!

Must dash, got a book to read


Congrats. Sounds Good. When is it physical copy getting released in the US ? Would there be a Kindle or a Digital edition available ?


Just got home from work to find a parcel from grand prix legends addressed to the wife! My hints have worked this year 🙂


I'm beginning to realize that my apparent fading of interest in F1 after 25 years isn't that at all ... its the overkill we are now subjected to, with the CBBC coverage, websites all over the place, Sky now adding to this with an F1 channel, F1Racing magazine being dumbed down to the point of absurdity.

But now I am realizing that I still love this sport as much as ever ... all I need is the live on-track action on tv, Autosport.com, and this blog. Then in December the FIA official review and James' book ... perfection! Less is more!


Just ordered mine to Bergen, Norway. It's worth getting if only in support of this great site.

THE best site for F1 fans.

Thanks James!




Congratulations on your new book James. Just received it :). That's going to keep me busy for a couple of days.


Motor Books still have copies of the 2009 book apparently signed as well.


Just about to scroll up and order now, thanks for your insight throughout the year and look forward to your continuation on OneHD and RPM.



I received your book on 23.12. Thanks a lot for the reading. Really some good reading. Keep up the good work.

Merry christmas and a happy new year to you.



I recieved a lovely signed copy of your book today for Christmas, all the way over here in Canada! My partner got it for me after I dropped a hint or two that I really wished for a copy to call my own. I haven't read it yet, what with the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, but I wanted to thank you for reaching out and making even the more far-flung Formula 1 fans, such as myself, feel a purer connection to the sport we love. Finding good F1 merchandise here is extremely difficult (which compliments our substandard television and media coverage) and usually prohibitively expensive if ordered online, so I appreciate the efforts you put into connecting with the fans around the globe. It was really special and fun this morning opening my book, knowing it came from the very same James Allen I grew up listening to commentating alongside Martin Brundle on the ITV race feed run by TSN here in Canada. I don't comment often on this site, but I check it daily, and eagerly read new content, which is always of the highest calibre. I imagine it takes a lot of effort, and you really do go the extra mile, which we fans appreciate to no end.

Anyway, thanks for the splendid book and the fantastic blog. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best in the New Year.


Thanks very much for the lovely message. Hope you enjoy the book

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