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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©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)

What listeners say about How to Build a Car

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  • Vik
  • 08-01-2020

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.

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Loved it

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

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it was good. bit repetitive

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

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Bit dry but must listen for F1 fans

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

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I loved it

I really enjoyed this audio book the insight into where his passion comes from to his drive and honesty. A great audiobook for anyone interested in F1.

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Great Insight

Great recount from his experiences in and out of F1. Fantastic listening. Easy to listen and follow while driving to work and home.

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Great listen

Really enjoyed hearing the stories behind the news stories. Coming from the horse’s mouth filled in the questionable gaps in some of Formula Ones folklore.
I’ll listen again straight away now as I’m sure I missed some of the details as there was soo much.

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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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Insight on the world of F1

Cheerfully telling the great times and sobering sharing the lowest of low points. A must for any Formula 1 fan.

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How to Pronounce a Name

Suzuka, not Suzaka
Ricciardo says RickARdo
Irvine rhymes with vine
Dario Franchitti is a Scotsman

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  • moo
  • 09-02-2020

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.

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  • TohirT
  • 21-09-2018

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 :)

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  • Malachi Drew
  • 12-06-2020

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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  • avaca
  • 09-04-2020

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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  • Joselo
  • 14-03-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • crispy
  • 07-07-2020

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • rodrigo camus
  • 15-05-2020

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-01-2020

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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  • Curtis
  • 15-01-2020

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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  • Jonathon Anderson
  • 05-01-2020

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
  • 14-04-2018

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!

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  • George Chachanidze
  • 29-01-2021

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.

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  • Joe
  • 01-06-2021

great for race fans and the technical minded

loved the level of detail of the mechanical and aerodynamic goings-on throughout Newey's life and career. it errs on the side of 'almost' bring too technical, but I've always found that sort of thing interesting. really enjoyed the general story of the man and how it ties in. will relisten in future for sure

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  • A. Tanner
  • 31-05-2021

A must for any F1 enthusiast or car nut.

What a great insight on how Adrian Newey battled to get the most out of a Formula 1 car and his very interesting back story.

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  • Antony turner
  • 24-05-2021

Not a good way to learn a language!

All it does it chirp on in Spanish and expects you to be able to follow it, giving a very brief description of the words in English after 15mins of Spanish, it's no way to learn a language! We need more explanation and repetitiveness with small paragraphs to begin with so we can follow. I do not recommend this to any beginner.

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  • Andrew R.
  • 15-05-2021

I was never into F1, now I am!

Excellently written, very engaging. Not too technical, but enough to keep it interesting for a mechanical engineer. Best thing I have listened to this year.

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  • DirtyHabit
  • 03-05-2021

Delightfully technical and funny.

Well read and very well written. Combines both stories and technical understanding of the dilemmas encountered.

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  • Lukas33
  • 11-04-2021

F1 Genius Bares All

If you love your F1, this will be a handy insight into the world. Adrian let's face it, is a legend of the modern F1 era, existing at the front of the grid for what seems like 25 odd years now. Came here mainly for his time at William's, but was happy to go away with tons of insights.

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  • stephen hall
  • 07-04-2021

Technical Genius

Newey & Brawn have designed the best f1 cars over the last 30 years, just look at the championship winners. Getting an in depth engineer development fight is very interesting.

The knowledge and design capabilities of Newey come across very well in this book without to much detail, but the surprising part is all the information around his personnel life. He comes across as a very nice man and one of the lads at times. Wish we could see more of this side from the F1 spectacle.

Must read for any f1 enthusiast. Loved it.


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  • Matt
  • 26-03-2021

Superb listen!

If you love formula one, cars and engineering this will entertain you immensely.

A fascinating listen to the career and life of an engineer I now consider a legend of the sport and credit to the world of engineering.

Once you start listening to this you won’t want to put it down! Superb story and well narrated. 5 star.

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