The Mechanic's Tale by Steve Matchett
Published January 16, 2012
- Author Steve Matchett
Matchett’s three books follow distinct paths - the first an entire year with a championship winning team and the third a look at how to put together a fast race car. This second book focuses on life as part of the pit crew. From getting the job, through winning and losing as a team, to desperately trying to get out, the book expands on its predecessor with more experiences from the F1 paddock.
Rather than covering a single year, this book spans a decade, starting with how Matchett found his way into F1. It ends with his final moments as part of the Benetton team, covering everything that happened along the way. From the specific details of promotions and payrises, to the rather more philosophical thoughts that come from motorsport, Matchett misses nothing and explains everything - clear and concisely, open and honestly.
You could, perhaps, argue that he’s honest to a fault. Revealing some innermost thoughts can occasionally herald paragraphs that are a little harsh. You have to really believe in yourself to get ahead in F1, but sometimes I wonder if that requires believing so little in other people. Having said that, when it comes to safety, there’s no room for messing around!
The writing is excellent. Give or take the odd misspelling of Stirling Moss’ name and you have some great descriptive work that brings you right out to each circuit. Engaging and heartfelt, with just a slight edge of disapproval, it all comes across as a level-headed piece of writing.