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Publisher's Summary

The world's foremost designer in Formula One, Adrian Newey OBE is arguably one of Britain's greatest engineers and this is his fascinating, powerful memoir.

How to Build a Car explores the story of Adrian's unrivalled 35-year career in Formula One through the prism of the cars he has designed, the drivers he has worked alongside and the races in which he's been involved.

A true engineering genius, even in adolescence Adrian's thoughts naturally emerged in shape and form - he began sketching his own car designs at the age of 12 and took a welding course in his school summer holidays. From his early career in IndyCar racing and on to his unparalleled success in Formula One, we learn in comprehensive, engaging and highly entertaining detail how a car actually works. Adrian has designed for the likes of Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, always with a shark-like purity of purpose: to make the car go faster. And while his career has been marked by unbelievable triumphs, there have also been deep tragedies: most notably Ayrton Senna's death during his time at Williams in 1994.

How to Build a Car encapsulates, through Adrian's remarkable life story, precisely what makes Formula One so thrilling - its potential for the total synchronicity of man and machine, the perfect combination of style, efficiency and speed.

©2017 Adrian Newey (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"The greatest Formula One designer of his - or any other - age." ( The Sunday Times)
"Newey has a legitimate claim on the title of 'Britain's greatest living engineer'." ( The Daily Telegraph)
"Adrian Newey has created more winners than all the super-brain computers in Formula One put together." ( The Times)

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Snooze fest

As an F1 fan and car enthusiast I found this book a massive let down. Somehow Adrian has managed to skip most of the interesting parts of his career. He tells the stories in such a way it’s like listening to a weather forecast. For example; he goes to the trouble of spelling out every car license plate he’s ever owned. He drones on about the career of his daughters, I’m not interested in the lives of your children. I wanted to know the tech behind F1 and interesting highlights from a long career. Instead this book is a weird mix of ego and unnecessary details. The author talks down to the listener and dumbs down most technical details. If you’re into F1 Ross Browns book is far more interesting.

12 people found this helpful

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A Must for any F1 or racing fan

Adrian’s name is synonymous with championships across Indy and primarily F1. What I didn’t know is the entire story behind this extraordinary man. Well he is not. He is just a guy with a passion and a vision. I loved every chapter of this book. Especially all the F1 anecdotes from his career. Those have me a new perspective on a lot of events I’ve observed as an ignorant fan :)

3 people found this helpful

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Great combination of engineering and stories

I found the engineering, especially the aerodynamics, absolutely fascinating. Additionally, the story aspect added interest, while not distracting from the engineering.

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Awesome

The story is great and talks about f1 a lot mostly about Aerodynamic’s but is a really great story



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Fasten your seat belts!

This book is a must for anyone who's even remotely interested in F1. Newey is a legendary race engineer and aerodynamicist whose designs have won an outstanding 10 Constructor's Championships. The book is very well written and has a great pace. It's tone is casual, as if a friend were passionately telling you all the ins and outs of his job. He shares plenty of anecdotes and inside stories involving other great legends of the sport, all of which is bound to make any fan even more excited about watching the next race! I learned a lot from this audiobook and it gave me a new understanding of F1. One can get a sense of the pressure that these hyper-competitive people go through, the challenges that they face, the toll that their work takes on their family lives, their obsession with finding loopholes in the rules and being one step ahead of their rivals... Obviously, in a sport that combines the ability of extremely talented drivers with technological innovation, the engineer plays a key role. There are moments of well-deserved gratification and also tragic episodes (like the death of triple-world champion, Ayrton Senna). Newey also speaks of his involvement in other projects outside of F1. His memoir is mostly a celebration of racing... and of Adrian Newey himself, of course. Narrator Richard Trinder delivers the material somewhat flatly, but efficiently.

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one of the best books I've read

it was an incredible book, one of the best books I've read in a long time

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must for any F1 fan. Newey is a genius

It's great to understand what happened behind the scenes in formula 1. Also to see who is the real champion or the last few years

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biography of a F1 engineer and the cars he created

I recommend to any motorsports lover. this is an autobiography of Adrian Newey, a top F1 engineer. I loved hearing him explain the thought process he used when designing each racecar he helped craft. the story follows Neweys life from college till recent. filled with anecdotes and funny moments, sad moments and ever in between. along the way I also learned the evolution of the F1 car from the 1970s to present
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I knew hardly anything about F1 when I started the book. very enjoyable.

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Required reading for F1 fans!

Great story of an F1 legend.

I listened to it intently and could barely stop. Lots of detail on design, his life and some great insights into the politics behind F1.

Good performance in general with an excellent Nigel Mansell impression.

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Any Formula One nerds dream.

Truly enjoyable on the nerdiest level. Super detailed explanations about all things aerodynamics and auto racing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 04-14-18

So much better than you think it will be!

Don't worry it's not too technical.
Funny, entertaining, fascinating, historical, nostalgic. A must listen for any F1 fan.

If you listen to Damon Hill's and Mark Webber's books aswel there's some nice overlap with some of the stories - so you get at least two perspecitves on some events.

For me I expected it to be a dry, tiring listen full of technical babble I didn't understand - given the subject and what I have seen of Adrian Newey interviews. Couldn't be more wrong. He is extremely funny, explains everything in a way that you can relate to and understand (think of that teacher at school who just had a way of explaining things that made everything make sense to you).

I was unsure about this book... I bought it and now have listend to it twice, and enjoyed every minute both times.
Trust me, just buy it, you WILL enjoy it!

7 people found this helpful

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  • George Chachanidze
  • 01-29-21

Great story, marred by the narrator

I found the book highly enjoyable, but the narrator clearly isn't a Formula 1 fan as they were frequently mispronouncing names.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-17

engineer's/Motorsport must read this

a must read for engineering and Motorsport enthusiasts. inspirational. fascintaing hearing about performance efficiency energy tactics and aerodynamics

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ado
  • 09-23-22

Absolutely Enthralling!

For those of us about the same age as Adrian Newey, most of the social and motor racing history of his career span will be familiar, but what this adds is a precious, rare, brutally honest, entertaining and intriguing glimpse inside that world. OK it's a shame Adrian's attention to detail wasn't applied by Audible editors to the blatantly obvious gaffs by the narrator, which (unfortunately) isn't Adrian himself, so that taints the experience somewhat. You dread Suzuka being pronounced time after time as 'suzakka', until, strangely, towards the end the narrator must have learnt how to say it correctly. Why he didn't go back and correct the dozen or more previous gaffs, only the editors will know.
However, I would still highly recommend this to any F1 fan, car or advanced engineering enthusiast. If Adrian Newey brings out a new edition that he narrates himself, I'll buy it again.

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  • Nurf Herder
  • 09-17-22

The best audio book for Motorsport fans

There's too many positives about this book for me to list. If you love Motorsport and F1, you need this book. you'll laugh and you'll cry. it's simply astounding.

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  • simon
  • 09-06-22

legend in racing

A great story of the life of the racing legend. from childhood to details of the challenges faced in competitive sport.

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  • Matthew
  • 08-20-22

Brilliant insight into both Newey and motor racing

Great book, although sometimes the aero concepts are hard to picture in your mind from the audio description. The only real disappointment was the narrator's lack of research on certain pronunciations: driver names, places, etc. If he'd said K E R S one more time I might have screamed, but when he impersonated Dario Franchitti in an Italian accent I burst out laughing, so swings and roundabouts.

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  • pinklady
  • 08-17-22

Amazing story - some attention to detail lacking in production

What a great life story. I follow Formula 1 and motorsport in general. So, to listen to a first hand account of what it is like to be lucky to contribute so much to the sport was very rewarding. However I got increasingly annoyed at mispronunciations throughout. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment but it was clear that the research wasn’t done in order to direct the narrator. Also K-E-R-S is often referred to as KERS so it broke the flow when the narrator spelled it out every time. Also, Adrian. I heard the narrator read that Graham Hill’s death was from a racing incident. This isn’t true and should have been fact-checked at the publishers. That said, I would listen to another by this author.

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  • James C.
  • 08-05-22

Narrator kinda ruined it

Overall. great story of Adrian's journey in Motorsports. Just technical enough to keep an engineering mind entertained while being simple enough that most laymen could also keep up.

Narration is the only complaint. The narrator was very clear and had a suitable voice for the story, but his pronunciations we're off for many track and driver names. Given the nature of the story, repetition of these within short times was frequent and frustrating. If he had pronunciations down then he would have been perfect for the job.

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  • Legion
  • 08-01-22

Excellent barring the narrator's pronunciation

It's Suzuka (sue zoo ka) not "sue zar ka". Aside from this minor annoyance, this was a masterpiece. Adding a few more chapters to bring us to 2022 would be great.

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  • andrew
  • 08-23-20

Not just for rev heads!

I’m really not much into F1, but really enjoyed this book. Technical without being boring, an entertaining review of a life in the industry.
Really, really good.

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  • Vik
  • 01-08-20

Great Book for F1 Fans

This is a great book and shows a different side of the story for the fans. If you are a fan of the sport this is a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alan P Douma
  • 08-20-19

Loved it

So interesting and what a unique view. Thanks for sharing your story with us all

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-19

it was good. bit repetitive

amazingly good recollection of the challenges for each years car. I enjoyed it. good for F1 fans

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-19

Bit dry but must listen for F1 fans

It's a bit dry in places but definitely worth a listen for super F1 fans.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Loc
  • 07-23-22

Zooooom

what a read, one of my favourites to-date, Adrian is clearly a wizard what it comes to making things go fast.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-22

Fantastic read

Whether an F1 fanatic or a curious car enthusiast, this will get your engine revving!! I really enjoyed this. I loved it so much I went and got a hard copy too!!!!

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  • darcy
  • 02-24-22

hectic book cuz

amazing book. must read for all, but especially f1 fans , and design fans.

do a skid ya sick c u nt

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  • flexter
  • 01-10-22

a must read for any f1 fan

a very very good book. highly recommended. surprised to learn how Adrian got into f1

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  • Crystal
  • 12-05-21

I didn't even like motorsports, until now

Narration was perfect. I stumbled actor's this title as a suggestion after listening to some engineering books and I'm so glad did.

A mix of funny, technical, dramatic and insightful. Highly recommend, even if you only want to hear the technical and engineering details. The interwoven story was wonderful. Written very diplomatically, and clearly not out to even any scores in a highly competitive world. (okay, maybe he sticks it to Ferrari a little, but who wouldn't)