"Tales from the Toolbox" is a unique collection of behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes as told, in their own words, by former Grand Prix mechanics who have worked at the top level of the sport during the past 50 years. On the front line of the sport, mixing with drivers and team bosses, they saw a side of it that nobody else got to see and rarely gets to hear about - and this book tells their story. Chapters are themed around a particular aspect of a mechanic's life, ranging from what they consider the highs and lows of their career, to their opinions of drivers and team bosses, the all-nighters, letting off steam, the 'Mechanic's Gallon', nightmare journeys and customs capers. It also reveals a tale of camaraderie between teams and individual mechanics which is hard to imagine in today's highly competitive Formula One environment. The stories are supplemented by photographs from the archives and photo albums of the mechanics themselves, many of which are previously unseen.
Michael Oliver went to his first Formula One race when he was just two weeks old, and contends that he learned to count looking at the number roundels on the sides of racing cars. A professional writer, he has contributed features to a wide range of magazines and websites, including autosport.com, itvf1.com, Motor Sport, Octane, Classic Cars, Vintage Racecar, Victory Lane, Chequered Flag and Motor Racing Australia. He is also the author of two other motor racing books: Lotus 49: The Story of a Legend, published in 1999; and Lotus 72: Formula One Icon, published in 2003. It was the contact he made with mechanics while researching these books, and the mechanics' wealth of untold stories, that inspired him to write this latest title.
Acknowledgements Foreword by Sir Jackie Stewart OBE Introduction 1 Getting there: travel trials and tribulations 2 Anything to declare? Customs capers 3 The all-nighter: par for the course 4 One big, happy family 5 The mechanic's gallon 6 The team bosses and designers 7 Letting off steam 8 The Champions 9 The contenders 10 The highs, lows, risks and responsibilities 11 Nuts and bolts Index