Book reviews

Book review: The Mechanic by Marc “Elvis” Priestley

The mechanic book cover

Banter, it is my new favorite English word

Elvis the Formula 1 Mechanic is one of the better books about the nuances and atmosphere of Motorsport you will read. You will have to read the book to understand the connection between banter and the atmosphere of Formula 1. I don´t usually laugh when I read a book but this book brought a smile to face many times. The delight of being in a group of hard-working people and this work-hard-play-hard attitude is so funny to read. The highlights of this book are definitely the practical jokes and banter within the team. The book is a life story of Elvis in the Formula 1 pit-lane. The highs and lows and the special connection with people you get during these times. For being a mechanic he does not know a lot about engineering, or as he confesses himself he doesn’t know a lot about cars. Elvis is a competitor, he wants to win. That’s why he gains my respect. He was willing to work hard, and party hard, to gain results as a team.

As a writer Elvis is OK, he is not a storyteller in any sense but his writing is OK and his descriptions of the Formula 1 pit-lane is mesmerizing at times. The book contains highs and lows content-wise. This book requires zero Motorsport background so anyone can pick it up and have a good read. What I learned from this book was more of the inner-workings of Formula 1. Sure there are some juicy bits about Ron Dennis and Kimi and so on but that about it. If there any criticism of this book is that its a pretty one-sided view of Motorsport. The mechanics are important for the team to succeed, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t give you any insights or aha-moments. It doesn’t give you any concrete value for you as a practitioner of Motorsport to use. Yet, it´s a very entertaining book.

Score: 7/10

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