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Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One
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Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  569 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Total Competition is the most compelling, comprehensive and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula One that has ever been published.

Across four decades, Ross Brawn was one of the most innovative and successful technical directors and then team principals in Formula One. Leading Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, he worked with driver
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 3rd 2016 by Simon Schuster UK
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Athan Tolis
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
If you are an F1 fanatic, you inevitably fall in one of two camps: you’re either a Brawn / Byrne fan or you are an Adrian Newey fan. I don’t know too many who really love both.

I’m a Brawn / Byrne fan, to the extent that I actually no longer admire Newey as much as I once did.

My problem with Newey is he’d rather his car broke in the lead than it secured a safe second place. He’s a prima donna with immense sense of his own value and Ron Dennis had to let him go for that, for example. Then, of cour
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
More interesting as a kind of insider's account of recent F1 history than as a book about organisational strategy.

It might simply be that while the authors have had senior roles in organisations with hundreds of employees, I, um, head up a team of five people, but I do have my doubts about whether 'strategy' is something that can be taught, or that it is possible to develop an abstract theory about. At best, Brawn's career provides an interesting case-study from which it is possible to draw cert
Harry Buckle
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I had long been a Ross Brawn fan, observing his pragmatic and interesting style creating much success for Benetton, Ferrari and then with it's last ditch attempt Honda spin off 'Brawn.' This all famously contrasting with his well reported love of fishing. BUT this book with it's monotonous, unoriginal and quite frankly contrived Sun Tzu comparisons is a disaster. I really hope that's the fault of Adam Parr the obviously hapless CEO of Williams. The picture is alarming as it is full of Birtspeak ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book, co-written by two Formula One strategists formatted in a dialogue format which gives their either their opposing views or things that they agreed upon. Having heard these people give post-race interviews it was a fun read, according to the introduction they’d kept the transcript as raw as possible to reflect their conversations at the time of writing the book, and the relatively informal language used helped to make some of the more technical details easier to follow. The bo ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I hyped this book up in my mind ever since I ordered it and couldn't wait to begin reading it. Little did I know that the entire length of the book reads as an extended interview - a long conversation between the two authors of the book. Although their discussion surely took place over multiple instances, there's no break in the dialogue for the reader, which all gets quite monotonous.

There are still interesting parallels with Sun Tzu's "Art of War" and it was enjoyable to read about how strateg
Vince Marsters
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Get insights into Formula One from two of the leading strategists of recent times in Ross Brawn and Adam Parr. The book (and associated audio narration) gives an insight into how to get the best from your car, team and most importantly driver, whilst in many cases fighting for your survival with money and the FIA.
Like me, you may not agree with every thing that is said but this book provides that inside glimpse into the thinking and rational of many of the critical F1 decisions in the past coupl
Ibrar Malik
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brawn's comments on Benetton were invaluable research for my upcoming book

The link between Flavio Briatore & Tom Walkinshaw attempting to dispose of Max Mosley in Spain 1994 and how the cheating allegations against Benetton escalated thereafter, were particularly insightful. It gave my book a particularly useful lead to investigate the FIA / LDRA report.

Brawn also gives great analysis into Benetton planning for the major rule changes introduced at the start of 1994. Meaning
If you like F1, you’ll enjoy reading about Brawn’s illustrious career and his tactics at different stages of his career. The book, however, is sold as having lessons in strategy from F1 and I didn’t feel there were any groundbreaking lessons - most were cliches that you can pick up from any management/strategy book. The book left me underwhelmed for what was described as the “the most compelling, comprehensive, and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula 1.”

The referen
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A total go for leaders and Formula One fans.

When I first started reading, I found myself involved so deep into the book as Ross describes his early stages in Formula One and how he went about to achieve success in later stages with teams like ferrai, Mercedes, perhaps his own team Brawn GP and drivers like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. This is given in a raw dialog format between Adam Parr and Ross Brawn which is beautiful.

This book revolves around how to succeed in Formula One world a
Andy Moore
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This makes a slightly more interesting sports biography than book on strategy, but the decision to leave this as lightly edited interviews is, in my opinion, the wrong one and makes the book less readable. I wouldn't recommend this book, even to someone who has an interest in Formula One. Shame, because I have a lot of respect for Ross Brawn. The best thing about this book (my copy) is that it is signed by Brawn.
Tufty McTavish
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating behind the scenes insight. In a happy coincidence I'd just read Jenson Button's autobiography. Where that was a thin dive, this on the other hand has far more depth and analysis. The two books complement each other in this order.

Interestingly a lot of the strategy and observations here apply to everyday business and professions beyond F1. Nice to read upon what worked for Brawn. Filling in a lot of F1 detail is a rare bonus.
Matt Lanka
Pretty interesting for Formula One fans, especially if you have been following the sport for decades (I haven’t). The authors want the book and its lessons to apply in other situations beyond F1 but it’s kind of up to the reader to figure out how. It’s a good book for what it is but I didn’t find it to be revolutionary.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There are excellent management strategies discussed throughout, and I really like that is told in a conversational style. The subjects discussed are of particular interest to me as both an engineer and Formula One fan, but I believe anyone interested in competition and optimal management in competitive environments would really like this book.
Jennifer Lynch
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable. I have always had a lot of respect from Ross Brawn and that respect increased on reading this book. Brawn recounts his career with Adam Brawn and they discuss what makes the perfect competitor.
Ciarán Bohane
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some very interesting points on strategy to be gleaned from this book but there are hints of another book that needs to be yet written detailing Ross Brown's time in F1 but I guess that will have to wait until retirement.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book which not only tackles the similarities between "The Art of War" and Formula 1, but also offers the reader quite a few insights on Ross Brawn's MO during his career in F1. Most of the people in today's paddock should read it because the lessons are almost invaluable.
Bartosz Binczyk
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is great for die-hard formula 1 fans that want to learn about the cogs running the show.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: formula-1-racing
A few fascinating chapters in here but ultimately not as interesting as similar books by other F1 team bosses and notable personalities.
Rustam Hashimov
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a F1 fan or even better a Ferrari fan, this is a must read! The book opens a window to the backstage of Formula 1.
Andy Tovell
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: formula-one
An interestjng insight although I found some sections a little repetitive and the links between history and strategy a little tenuous. Still, a good read into a modern F1 genius.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t buy

Ramble, unedited, dull. Read Adrian Newey’s book instead. Or Mark Webber’s, or Jenson Button’s. Six more words required to review
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great book that not only gives you insight into the deeper workings of Formula 1, but also sheds a light on how to set up a vision for a business.
Alasdair Craig
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Unique perspectives and interesting insights into Formula 1.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting insight into the strategy and working practices of arguably one of Formula 1's most successful team managers. Refreshingly, Brawn comes across as a decent guy.
Marcelo Galdieri
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book about strategy and organizational management, even if it's set-up around Formula One.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is book about strategy not F1. Which is even better for me :)
Luke Ryan
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting analysis of management of F1 team particularly the ability to measure changes in strategy and tactics in quickly evolving environment.
Neal Brown
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motorsport
A happy mix of my two favourite things: motorsports and strategic thinking.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. To say that Ross Brawn is a genius would be an understatement. But this book is about more than just Ross Brawn and his success in Formula One. Adam Parr sought out Ross Brawn to help author this book so that he could dissect and document the principles that made Ross Brawn so successful. That being said, this book is about success, leadership, and the application of strategy to achieve total competition (hence the name). Adam Parr nails it; he leaves no stone unt ...more
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