Blood Sport: Formula One Drivers of the Deadly Years


Mary Schnall Heglar


The dazzling sport of Formula One motor racing has an exciting but violent past. Global celebrities and glamorous locations have long been part of the Grand Prix scene, but all the bells and whistles cannot hide the bloody costs in its history. To step into the cockpit in the 1960s and 1970s was to risk everything, every time.

Blood Sport brings you up close to the drivers of those days in 120 rare photographs and personal chapters by the author, who was there. Each of the 49 men in the book–Mario Andretti, Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda, Bruce McLaren, Carlos Reutemann, Pedro Rodriguez, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees, for example–has his own chapter. In addition, a compelling Bonus Section features five of the men who made the cars that so often killed the men who drove them.

As a journalist, Heglar worked inside the sealed world of Formula One during the sport’s darkest years. She offers details on the triumphs and tragedies of those in that exotic universe, as well as an overview of F1 as it developed and how it has changed (or not). She had access to the pits, drivers and teams that is impossible today.

Road & Track published Heglar’s earlier book, The Grand Prix Champions, which detailed the first World Driving Champions from Nino Farina through Emerson Fittipaldi. Like that book, Blood Sport is essential for any F1 enthusiast.