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How to Build a Car: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Formula 1 Designer

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,476 ratings  ·  210 reviews
'Adrian has a unique gift for understanding drivers and racing cars. He is ultra competitive but never forgets to have fun. An immensely likeable man.' Damon Hill

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 unrival
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by HarperCollins
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Gem ~ Bee
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I've spent this weekend thoroughly engrossed in this account of the infamous Adrian Newey's life with cars. It spans from his earliest childhood memories to his current Formula One career with Redbull Racing / Redbull Advanced Technologies; charting both personal and professional insights with his likeable, firm but fair style.

As a Formula One fan since childhood I was delighted to receive a review copy from the publisher to be able to compare to the many F1 autobiographies and history books I'
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
Adrian Newey has been living and breathing cars since he first started sketching them at the age of 12. The roots of this love were seeing his father pottering around in the garage on some project or other. Drawing them was one thing, what he really wanted to do was build them, so a welding course followed one summer holiday. He tried racing karts, having saved to buy one, but even though he enjoyed it, it was not his thing. He worked hard to get into Southampton to do a degree in mechanical eng ...more
Dawn McCance
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
He's definitely a genuis.
We probably wouldn't be pals.
Chad Cruickshank
Really enjoyed some of the anecdotes Newey was able to share. For someone who enjoys Formula One on both a sporting and technical perspective this was well worth the read.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Great insight into the life and career of one of the top F1 designers, the technical drawings of parts of each of his cars is a brilliant addition.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: automobile engineering students, race enthusiasts
The Racer’s Edge

How to Build a Car by Adrian Newey
Harper Collins Publishers, 2017

With all the hoopla surrounding F1 racing, in print, visual and interactive media, not to mention official websites, guides, statistics, props and paraphernalia – what more do you need to know about this hyper-competitive sport?

Plenty, it would seem, reading the autobiography of F1 veteran chassis designer, Adrian Newey, OBE. In a career spanning 35 years, he has been making the cars go faster, winning 10 F1
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cars
When you look at a Formula 1 race today, you are flooded with information: real time display of drivers' input, cockpit transmissions, 3D graphics overlaid on the halo. Anything and beyond to keep one seated in front of the screen. What could a book offer then? Basically, everything else you don't see in the two hours of TV coverage.

Adrian is used to expressing himself mostly through the design of his cars: the Williamses from the beginning of the 90's that made world champions of Nigel Mensell
Mike Spear
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half is informative and entertaining. I had no idea how much American motorsports was influenced by today’s de facto automotive engineer / aerodynamicist. The back half was less informative for those that have followed F1 for the past couple decades. Reminiscent and repetitive but an enjoyable read. Great insight to some of motorsports happiest and saddest moments.
Luke Ryan
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really fascinating insight into the complexities of designing racing cars, particularly the level of detail required for aerodynamics. Also interesting to hear the issues encountered in troubleshooting which are common to many industries.
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-it, favourites
The story of Adrian Newey's life all starts at a very young age, when he is drawing cars and joins his dad in the garage. Then, we get to read his progress towards the pinnacle of motorsport - Formula One. He tells how he designed his cars, a large portion of them championship winners. We get to know about the politics behind Formula One, the ruthlessness of the sport and its most influential people. This book is a must-read for fans of motorsport, who are especially interested in the technical ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summary: This was an engaging read and I loved the insider perspective, but I'd have liked more technical details.

I've been enjoying watching Formula One with my husband for the past few years and, as a computer scientist (me) and an engineer (him), we're both fascinated by the technology behind these cars. Unfortunately, a lot of the available books on Formula One seem to be unauthorized driver biographies of varying qualities. So, I was very excited to see that Formula One designer and enginee
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: formula-1
4.5 stars

As an F1 fan I was buzzing to read this - and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Adrian Newey is a remarkable figure in the motor racing industry and takes the reader along his way to reaching the top of motorsport through witty anecdotes and engineering lessons. There have been several times when I was laughing out loud while reading - kudos to the ghostwriter for making the stories come alive on paper.

I’ll admit I didn’t understand everything when Newey explained his solution
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One lovely evening near Ladoga lake in Leningrad region, we were talking with groupmates and enjoying the scenery, and at one point the discussion got technical and I couldn't answer to my groupmate on question about differences of two and four stroke engine, this question changed my life drastically for upcoming decade.

After this talk I started reading and learning about mechanics and engineering of cars, moreover I started following F1 since it is the most technically advanced motorsport, thi
Connor Johnson
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I didn’t really hear about this book upon publication and just sort of happened to come across it. I’m glad I did. It was nice that the book was fairly recent and covered a wide range of racing history from the past to present. It made it feel fresh.

The short portion on Ayrton Senna was especially interesting to listen to after watching the documentary “Senna” some years ago. It gave a firsthand account of the incident from someone who was there and involved in the decision making aspects of the
Tony Hisgett
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Adrian’s F1 story starts with him as a young boy playing with his Scalextric and I must admit that my own fascination with Formula one started with my own Scalextric set, back in the early sixties.
This is an interesting story from one of the great racing car designers of all time. I am more interested in the mechanical systems than aerodynamics and I did skip read a few bits, but it was an enjoyable read.
At times I found his style a bit disjointed and I had to re-read a few bits, as he occasiona
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Why did I pick this book?
How to Build a Car was recommended by many of my recommendation sources. When a recently discovered YouTube channel, focused on engineering, suggested the book I decided it was time to check it out.
I'm an Industrial Designer, so the engineering aspect of the book really peaked my interest. The Formula 1 aspect did not particularly speak to me and I had never heard of Newey before.

What the book is about
This is the autobiography of Adrian Newey, apparently the best Formu
Kundan Jha
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best results in Formula One are seen when man and machine work in tandem. Owing to the technical aspect of the sport, often a driver's balls are overshadowed by the rival car's brawn. This makes the car no less important than the driver. Adrian has worked in motor sport in many capacities - race engineer, aerodynamicist, designer and technical director and excelled nonpareil in all roles.

The book covers his foray into IndyCar racing to begin with and his transition into Formula One. His pers
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, re-read
It's all about having a vision and getting your hands dirty for it. Being an F1 enthusiast myself, getting my hands on such a book that talks about aerodynamics in such depth is pure ecstasy.
Adrian not only tells us how he fixed some of the nagging problems in the cars that he designed during his illustrious career, it also comes as a way to show, how to approach a problem. I've learnt a lot from this and hope you too if you pick it as your next read.
Connor Miller
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read for an engineer.

Great read. Contains a bit of technical content which may need you to use your brain or view diagrams to understand what he’s on about. Inspiring man!
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, biography
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This is a must read for anyone interested in Formula One.
Absolutely brilliant.
Rahul Ponodath
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting view of a sport i have adored for so long but never got into the details of!
Enjoyed it heaps!!
Bjoern Rochel
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Brilliant book for people that are interested in the technical side of formula one
Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
A really interesting trip down memory lane for F1 fans of my era. No secrets divulged but the complexity of designing and driving these cars brought front and centre.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining and informative book if you're into cars!
Jan Toth
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Breathtaking technical parts with explanations of various f1 cars designs by Adrian Newey. Chapters dealing more with Newey's personal life or opinions were bit boring, especially when you don't agree with his too british way of thinking and opinions.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a reminder to browse your public library every now and again. I would have never found it otherwise. This book reminded me of the passion behind engineering and the thrill of competition.
Anders Nielsen
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing 0
Luís Valdenêncio
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it

I've been strugling with software engineering latetely, due to the passion and hard work that I've poured to my personal projects. I'm always cautious and afraid to some extent to give the impression that I consider myself an engineer, part of this owns its existence to the fact that I unfortunately have not gotten over the fear that since the beginning of my aspiring carrer on software engineering I inherited from the inner and deliberate complexity of the internet tutorials and book explanatio
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know if there have not been many books written by engineers/designers, or whether it is simply that I have not been much inclined to go looking for them, but I found this an interesting insight into the day-to-day business of solving engineering problems, though I'm not going to pretend that I really understood his descriptions of how he went about solving problems relating to 'stalling' or the 'airflow becoming detached' in the latter part of the book (I don't think you have to be able ...more
Cillian Kavanagh
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
really interesting book that goes into tonnes of detail from the 80s right up to Red Bull's glory days. Fascinating read and goes into enough technical detail that you learn new things you never knew before about car development etc.
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