1994: The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 Season Book Review


The 1994 Formula One season is best remembered from the tragedies that took place on the San Marino Grand Prix weekend at Imola. The stories of the passing of drivers Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger have been told and analysed many times. But what of the other stories that year?

Why did Senna struggle in the opening races? Why was Schumacher so fast compared to his teammates? These questions and many more are explored by first time author Ibrar Malik in his book 1994: The untold story of a tragic and controversial F1 season.

Ibrar has clearly taken what started as a hobby into a full-blown obsession as he tracks down many people who was there in F1 in 1994 to try and uncover what really went on and it shows in the depth and detail of this book.

The book sets the scene with the rules changes for the 1994 season and how the teams adapted to them, some more successfully than others. Benetton is the team which the book focuses most on as it was the source of most scrutiny throughout the season from not only their rival teams but by the FIA.

The book goes on to detail the events which occurred in every race throughout the season from the teams changes, fuel issues, controversies, appeals and court hearings.

What is impressive from the book is the level of detail written from its research and how it has been laid out to make huge wealth of information readable.

This book brings back all the memories, good and bad from one of the most talked about seasons in F1. It will make you buy the 1994 season review and watch countless YouTube footage from the season so you can put more context to the images you thought you knew about. That was before you started reading this book.

The photos are not the strongest aspect of this book but this is not a coffee table book to be picked up and browsed through. It is an in depth, thoroughly researched, hardcore F1 fan geekfest which will have you turning the pages to find the next juicy story uncovered by the author.

From Benetton’s suspicions starts, Williams’ early lack of performance, FIA politics and games, this book will ask all the questions and answer most of them or give you the information to make your own decisions.

1994: The untold story of a tragic and controversial F1 season is not a light read and is heavy on the politics of the sport. It is thorough and in-depth in its content with contributions from people who were working in Formula One at the time including Mark Blundell, Willem Toet and Frank Dernie.

I thought I was a big F1 fan before I read this book, Ibrar Malik has taken F1 fanatic to another level with his obsession of the 1994 season and I am glad he did.

1994: The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 Season is available through Performance Publishing via this link.