Coachlines - March 2022

30.03.22 Liveryman John Blauth

Book review: ‘Senna versus Prost’ by Malcolm Folley

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw two of the world’s best F1 drivers go head-to-head. And now in 2022, Hamilton and Verstappen … Plus ca change and all that.

At the time we all thought we knew what was going on and, depending on whether you were a Prost person or a Senna supporter, one passionately took sides despite a lack of many facts. That’s what armchair sport is all about.

This book reveals much from behind the scenes though, and does so clearly and convincingly.

Time has passed since those particular battles, and that horrible weekend at Imola when first Roland Ratzenberger died, and then Ayrton Senna the next day.

If you are of that vintage, or an F1 fan who likes to know more than most, this fascinating book will illuminate much for you.

All top level sport is, ultimately, a mind game because the skill required to compete at the very highest of levels is taken for granted. Eventually Senna out psyched Prost. And when Prost left F1, Senna needed him back because he missed his rival and the rivalry, and yet he died and Prost did not.

The interviews with Prost in the book are a revelation.

Malcolm Folley has written a brilliant book. Yet one cannot help but look at the way that today’s top challengers drive and wonder, could it all happen again?