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Publisher's Summary

Formula One Grand Prix mechanic Steve Matchett takes the listener on a compelling journey through his life in the pit-lane, from his beginnings as a young apprentice through his time at Ferrari and BMW to his later success with Benetton.

He gives eye-witness views of the great drivers, including Michael Schumacher, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, and Ayrton Senna. He also talks of key Benetton personalities and explains how the team was transformed into a strong, competitive organization, winning three World Championships.

©1999 Steve Matchett (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Mechanic's Tale

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Life outside the Pit-Lanes

It felt like a half third to a half of the book is actually about his adventures outside of F1. There is a long deviation about how to get a book publishing deal; his experience n a hot air balloon; for five minutes he talks about entering digits into a old fashioned calculator; not to mention various other side-stories about English country towns.

Actually the book and the narration are quite entertaining, although at some points the deviations got so long it began to get frustrating (to the point where it becomes clear the 'deviations' are not in fact deviations but the point of the book itself).

Overall the book is not the inside of the pit-lanes. So just be forewarned.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing to understand the inner workings.

I found it extremely informative and interesting to find out the inner workings of an F1 team. Steve Matchett does an amazing job of telling a story and also narrating this book. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in formula 1.

1 person found this helpful

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A fun listen

I’m new to the world of racing, and learning more to bond with my husband, who loves Formula 1. A fun listen, and inviting narrative to newbies like me.

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loved it!

Please keep writing and narrating! I would be very interested to hear you narrate another book.

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Great perspective

Matchett paints a unique portrait of his entry into Formula 1. His sharing of a mechanic’s POV whilst traveling the globe with the biggest automotive circus known to man is accessible and believable with plenty to wisdom to be imparted both to fervent fans and curious sorts alike. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see another era of F1 similar to his experience, so this account is a splendid documentation when “privateers” still had a shot of claiming gold within the upper crust of racing glory.

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great insight in heyday of benetton F1

great story by the guy that should know about working as a wrench for Benetton. I could do without the poetry but that's just me. well worth the time.

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Verbose with unusual level of detail on irrelevant topics

Let me first say that I love Steve Matchett and miss him and his commentary during formula 1 races. This has been on my target list for several years and I only got around to listening to it this year. I say this year, because it has taken me several months to get through this book. While I love his detail when describing all things automotive, I found an usually high level of detail on things like a book store he visited or a glass of champagne to be boring. It kept leaving me with the impression that he was trying to establish his capabilities with prose beyond the world of formula one. These desperate reaches for literary credibility, are unnecessary as his strengths as an author are patently obvious when he stays on topic.

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love Steve's knowledge

dated with a little to much complaining. good insights, believe it could be updated to include current times

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Great Listen

I love that Steve Matchett narrated this book. The narration takes you right away into the life & work of an F1 race mechanic. If you're a F1 fan or are just curious about what's going behind the "poshness" of F1, this is all you can ask for and more.

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  • geo s
  • 07-06-20

RUBBISH

This book is over 9 hours long and I managed half that. It started well until he got into the f1 team then it was downhill from there.Sorry couldn't take anymore of the constant drivel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-13-18

The book with the best insight into F1 Racing

So much detail used to describe every step of the story, would recommend to anyone who is interested the slightest in racing and wants to get a taste of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gill M
  • 02-01-21

F1 dream read

An absolute must for any F1 fan with a great look behind the scenes of a racing team

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  • Frieda
  • 02-04-20

Fascinating!

I found it incredibly fascinating reading what was when I really got into watching F1. I had forgotten so much but there was so much more to it than I knew. I also laughed at some of the stuff that hasn't aged well and agreed whole heartedly with Steve's pronouncements on refueling, which is again being touted.

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  • K. A. Thomas
  • 08-08-19

Plodding and dull

Slow, plodding narration delivering mindnumbingly dull anecdotes peppered with nonsense quotes and inane ramblings. An extremely disappointing listen that could have been condensed to about an hour of mildly interesting insights.

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  • Mr M W Fluke
  • 06-30-19

Moaning

Sorry but I personally found the constant complaining about lack of sleep, being tired, how his mate had to get him out of bed and how depressing it is over a race weekend to much..... really struggling to finish the book....

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  • Paul Blundell
  • 07-20-20

Interesting if you're a fan

Much better F1 books out there. it's an interesting insight into the story behind the racing, but it's a bit limited in scope. I never felt I got the bigger picture of why things happened.

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  • Martin Castilla
  • 01-02-19

Interesting and fascinating. But missing bits...

Enjoyed listening to this book by the author, some interesting inside stories etc. I feel there's more there than he told: He mentions Benetton were questioned re their engine mapping software (remember every other team suspected of them using anti-wheel spin launch mapping on their cars), but skims the surface of that topic, and also 1-2 others which the team was embroiled in. Every other driver/team bio I've read strongly points the fingers at Benetton for deliberately infringing during those years, but Matchett doesn't delve deeper than to mention the fines. Still, the book is enjoyable and a worthwhile addition to a motor racing fan's library of knowledge.