Michael Schumacher by Pino Allievi

I received this book, Michael Schumacher by Pino Allievi – Immagini di una vita/A life in pictures, as a Christmas gift. I was delighted and I wanted to read the book in March, just before the new F1 season started. The season starts today and Mick Schumacher is making his debut in F1.

This book is written in both Italian and English. On the left page is the Italian version and on the right page is the English translation. I’ve decided to read it in Italian. I looked at the English version when I was puzzled by a word and it took longer to read, but it was not as hard overall. It is the first book I read in Italian, so I am very proud of myself.

Michael Schumacher by Pino Allievi

In this book, Allievi looks at Michael’s life in different topics, not chronologically. I enjoyed that and I imagine that people who are reading this book already know what happened. The book is not a hagiography at all. His respect and admiration for Michael is visible, but it is not overly positive, for example controversies are mentioned too, as they were seen at that time.

One of the controversies is that Schumacher stopped the car in the Rascasse corner at the Monaco GP in 2006, so nobody could take the pole away from him. He was disqualified and started last in the race. Keke Rosberg commented, at that point, that: “It was the cheapest, dirtiest thing I have ever seen in F1. He should leave F1 and go home”… funnily enough he remained silent when his son, Nico, did the same, at the same GP, in 2014. Nico went on to win the race, from pole, with no penalties.

Also, the fact that Ferrari ordered Barrichello to move so Schumacher could win (Austria, 2002) was a big no-no, but, of course, it’s fine if Mercedes are doing it with Bottas and Hamilton (Russia, 2018). Personally I don’t see any issues with team orders. Having 1-2 drivers is much more helpful for the team than equal drivers. It might be that the ones who were the 2nd drivers in their teams are now presenting the F1 shows and they let their frustration dictate what people should think.

I was a bit puzzled by the whole Irvine discussion too. He presents the “controversies” at that point, Irvine believing that Ferrari was favouring Schumacher to his detriment… in a season when Schumacher had an accident which meant he had to spend months recovering. I remember the accident like it was yesterday, the fear that something really bad happened. Irvine had a chance to prove that he was just as good and made a mess of it, including some rather stupid mistakes. It was not Schumacher’s fault that he was so much better than his team-mate, just as today is not Hamilton’s or Verstappen’s fault. As I said, I think all teams should go for a 1-2 approach, as squabbles between equal cars sadly very often end up in crashes.

I recommend the book. It is interesting and filled with lovely pictures.

Michael Schumacher by Pino Allievi

Details about the picture: the 1998 car that Schumacher drove, the first season of F1 I saw
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Giorgio Nada Editore
Year it was published: 2019
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Biography
Pages: 239

About the author: Pino Allievi is a journalist. He published a few books on F1: Benetton Formula 1: A Story; Ferrari; Gilles Villeneuve: la vita di un pilota leggendario.
Website & Social Media Links: –

4 thoughts on “Michael Schumacher by Pino Allievi”

  • Goodness, I wouldn’t have expected you to be an F1 fan – isn’t it funny the (often wrong) pictures we build up in our minds of the people we chat to online? I’ve been wondering what Mick’s mother thinks of her son going in for the sport, after years of worrying about her husband. Mind you, I suppose he’s an example that there are plenty of other dangers in the world, poor man.

    • It’s true, we are creating some images that are slightly (very) different from the reality. 🙂
      I agree with you, I think his mother must be so worried, going through that again. Are you watching F1?

  • Whilst I am obviously as not ‘into’ F1 as you are, and not as avid a fan as I used to be in all honesty, I do agree with you about inter team rivalry usually ending in tears. I suppose the trouble is that these days there are not just two competitors on a team, the two out on the track, there is also the third competitor vying for the constructor’s title, so I guess the team orders will always be directed so that the winning car will gather the most constructor’s points too! It just all seems a little too competitive somehow, and we generally prefer to watch amateur sports these days. Sounds like a great ‘coffee table’ book to dip in and out of 🙂

    • You are very right, it’s a coffee table book. It’s quite heavy and big, beautifully illustrated with lots of pictures. I know that F1 is not for everybody. I started watching in `98, getting bored in a weekend at home, and I was amazed that in a few seconds, about 5 or 6, they managed to change the tires and fill up the car. After seeing Schumacher winning, I couldn’t stop watching F1.

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