My Greatest Defeat Book - Review by Iain Robertson

01-Jul-2019


With a title that cannot be described as anything less than ‘defeatist’, you might fairly believe that concentrating on the worst moments in the careers of twenty of the world’s greatest living racers and rally drivers is hardly going to be an uplifting subject. 

However, to a certain extent, we all love the underdog, the ‘loser’, who may appear to have had everything on a silver platter, yet somehow managed, for just that one moment in his life, to squander it. Actually, author Will Buxton’s excellent interviewing skills prove to be as disarming to the motorsport legends, as they are fulfilling and capable of carrying a deeper series of messages to the reader. Moments of weakness can be immensely revealing. 

We admire those famous names, people like Derek Bell, Mario Andretti and Dario Franchitti, let alone Mika Hakkinen, Sebastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz and Jackie Stewart, all of whom open their hearts and spill the beans frankly about their greatest defeats. Where the uplift occurs is in their attempts to regain a balance, to deal with their demons and to demonstrate how their greatest moments can emerge from desperate low patches. 

Inevitably the 336pp hardback book deals with death and one of its subjects, Niki Lauda, has passed away sadly since the book was written. While I am well aware of some of the other subjects’ stories, not least those of Ari Vatanen and Alex Zanardi, it is always valuable to take another spin from a first-class author, especially one possessing such a fine journalistic history in the field of motorsports. This is a fantastic read.

By Will Buxton

ISBN: 978 1 910505 40 3

£19.99

EVRO Publishing