Books

What Books F1 Drivers Read And How It Makes Them Better?

People’s thoughts define their character, while what they read defines their thoughts. Staying focused, well-mannered, motivational, and just relaxing is all about reading books.  Being the fastest on the grid as well as being balanced is crucial to becoming a Formula 1 driver, which is regarded as the highest profession. We’ve heard a lot about books on Formula 1 and favorite drivers. However, let’s find out what books F1 drivers read themselves and how they are able to be better on the grid and outside the racing track. 

Reading the books make you better
Photo by Ben White/ Unsplash

About reading the books

The question is how do drivers currently participating in Formula 1 have time to read books? Moreover, reading as a hobby is more suitable for chess players or architects, but it’s just a stereotype. Among current F1 drivers are a lot of philosophers and people who think a lot. Moreover, older drivers need to keep an open mind in terms of strategy at the racing track. You may wonder but almost each F1 driver read Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Reading the books makes you better

Basically, reading books makes you feel happier, calmer, and wiser.

The inner wisdom and calm are at stake. 

Reading books makes you a better person. That’s the fact!

The scientists proving it as well as many sources confirming the above. Guy Shepherd on the PlannedMan explains that reading fills up your brain with ideas. It improves your vocabulary and your public speaking as a result, and also helps you to solve problems. A few years ago we tried to improve our writing skills and you know what was the number one advice? Surely, do reading every day.  

Motorsport requires special thinking and some kind of wisdom. In other words, it is one of the top skills that is very useful, even if you are driving the fastest car in the world.  And the book is a source of it. So what books do Formula 1 drivers read?  

Lewis Hamilton F1 driver favorite book

F1 drivers’ favorite books or the bookworms at the racing grid

Lewis Hamilton’s favorite books

Although, it’s difficult to calculate all of the books about Lewis Hamilton. We’d found more than ten items on F1 driver biography and about. 

Lewis Hamilton likes to go to parties with friends and read. So, you can find him at home or at the beach with a fascinating book. Those books helped him a lot, and that’s not for nothing.

The Mercedes driver and seven-time Formula 1 world champion faced hard times in 2016, in the battle for the championship title with his previously childhood friend Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton has been criticized to this day. In the end, the book became the tool that helped the most influential athlete in the UK to deal with the conflict. That was Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.

“There’s an element in there (Four Agreements) where it says don’t take anything personally, so when someone says something about you, it’s not actually about you, it’s how they feel about themselves,”

Lewis Hamilton

Another of his favorite books is Thousand Splendid Suns by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini.

Furthermore, Lewis Hamilton shared with us the books he read and recommended we read as well. Here is the list:

  • Afua Hirsch – Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging;
  • Akala – Natives;
  • Alice Walker – The Color Purple;
  • Maya Angelou – And Still I Rise;
  • Layla F Saad -Me and White Supremacy, Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor;
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m no Longer talking to White People about race;
  • Malcolm X – Autobiography; 
  • David Olusoga – Black and British;
  • Paul Gilroy – There Ain’t no Black in the Union Jack.

What does Nico Rosberg read?

Talking about Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, it’s time to reveal Nico Rosberg, ex F1 driver and Formula 1 world champion’s favorite books. Nico Rosberg left F1 racing when no one could have imagined it. Winning his title through sweat and tears, however, he announced on social media that he would no longer be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for 2017.

 Rosberg had his own reasons for making such a difficult decision. Within the Mercedes team, there was a difficult mental, and physical atmosphere. The charged air flew miles outside the pit boxes because it was so high. So, how do you think he dealt with all of that? The books helped the F1 driver manage his emotions effectively. 

Nico Rosberg likes reading, but he prefers difficult and wisdom books. He enjoys autobiographies a lot. When he was younger he suggested us to read A Long Walk by Steven King, but his favorite is Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. The book is about the ascent of Mount Everest, which ended with the death of eight climbers. 

When Nico Rosberg retired he launched a limited-edition book profiling his Formula 1 championship victory in 2016 and the decision to retire from racing. Afterwards, he said that someday he would write a book about the battle with Lewis Hamilton, and how hard it was to work in the Mercedes F1 team, how many problems he faced. Time goes by, but there is no book from Nico Rosberg yet, or perhaps, promises, like pie-crust, are made to be broken, as they say.  

The key to success in Formula 1 is always competitiveness, and both physical and mental wellbeing are crucial to the sport. Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri driver knows this very well. The talented French driver joined the Red Bull Junior Team in early 2014. In 2017 he made his Formula 1 debut at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Gasly replaced Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso.

The mental and physical wellbeing of F1 drivers

Prospective racer joined the fast Red Bull team alongside Max Verstappen in 2019. What a bright future, you may say, but in fact, the story turned out in an unpredictable way. In the middle of the 2019 Formula 1 season, it was decided to replace Pierre with rookie driver Alex Albon. 

Gasly returned to Red Bull’s younger sister team and less competitive Toro Rosso. It didn’t make any sense what was the real reason for such announcement: if it was imperative to keep the policy in regarding Max Verstappen or if Toro Rosso had need in French driver much. Gasly was fully broken. 

In the middle of the season, such movement in the drivers market had been rare.  There was only one question: Was Albon better than Gasly, who was racing in Formula 1 for the second year in a row? 

We expected Pierre Gasly to give up because it was tough and he was depressed. But after a while he started to change. There was a completely new driver in the 2020 Formula 1 season: confident, fast, and mentally strong. F1 fans were delighted to see Gasly win the Italian Grand Prix 2020. 

How did the F1 driver adapt in such a destructive situation? He revealed a bit later that he spent a lot of time thinking, analyzing, and… reading. Reading is a fundamental part of thinking through the situation.  And The Core – Better Life, Better Performance book by Oskari Saari was with him. 

The book describes Hintsa’s holistic well-being model. A Finnish F1 coach and a doctor Aki Hintsa, has for years guided drivers towards success, but more than anything, towards mental and physical wellbeing. 

”To be able to focus and give your maximum, it is important to have the right people around you. “Aki is certainly one of these people.” – said four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel. 

 We did not read the book, but it is undeniably worth reading. Gasly has also announced his own autobiography coming out in 2020 called Gasly, le magnifique.

Fernando Alonso’s favorite books.

The two-time F1 world champion is a genius. He has no equal in terms of mental and psychological games. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, Mclaren’s boss Zack Brown and many others cannot change this fact, but they can only confirm it. He’s always a step ahead of you, no matter how smart you are. Proofs? The announcement that the Spaniard will join Aston Martin for the F1 2023 season was so sudden, even Alpine’s bosses were shaken.

The following announcement regarding Oscar Piastri’s contract became fake news despite the fact that it came from the official Alpine’s people. It’s a strategy mind, no less. 

You may wonder but Fernando Alonso’s book list says it all. One of the favorite books of the Spaniard is very old, rare and complicated to read, but worth the effort. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is the desktop book for Alonso. Honesty, we tried to read it but it was too difficult and would take too much thought, but we were sure Alonso had read it more than once.

There is a reason why you don’t even need to talk, just look at Fernando and he’ll already know what you’re thinking.  

Besides the Spanish Formula 1 driver revealed that he was reading El último paraíso by Antonio Garrido. Especially if you like books about strong people with thriller elements, you absolutely need to read another book The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido. Thank you Fernando, we enjoyed it a lot.  

But this is not everything. The Spaniard likes biographies just like the other F1 drivers. Rafa by Rafael Nadal and Open by Andre Agassi are in his top.

Fernando Alonso is also preparing his own autobiography to launch. ‘The Racer‘ book claims to tell the truth about Alonso. Dates have been delayed until the Spaniard retires from Formula 1.

The strong want to become stronger and the fast racers want to become faster, but they find wisdom in the stories of other successful individuals. Therefore, F1 drivers’ reading lists tend to be dominated by the genre. F1 drivers read nonfiction books. In this case, biographies and autobiographies of famous athletes are at issue. 

Biographies of famous people.

Max Verstappen, the youngest Formula 1 champion, is reading My Turn: The Autobiography by Johan Cruyff

Carlos Sainz likes Open by Andre Agassi. Lance Stroll enjoys reading, and Rafa by Rafael Nadal is one of his favorite. Kevin Magnussen read Faster Than Lightning. My Story by Usain Bolt

Although former F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t spend a lot of time reading, he has his own autobiography The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen Book by Kari Hotakainen. Finn revealed in one interview that he had read James Hunt: The Biography by Gerald Donaldson

Science fiction and fantasy books.

Former F1 drivers also like good books. Jacques Villeneuve is the main fantasy admirer. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien is among his favorites. While Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are his favorite authors.

Former Toro Rosso driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans participant Brandon Hartley is also a fan of science fiction. He enjoyed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Sergio Perez revealed that Urbrands by Spanish author Risto Mejide was one of the last books he read.  

Who is reading least among F1 drivers?

Most current F1 drivers are hesitant to answer questions regarding their favorite or last book, since they dislike to read, or simply don’t have the time. But we should disclose these names. Daniel Ricciardo once said that he tried to read “The Visitor” (US title: Running Blind) by Lee Child. It helped him to sleep. He promised to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho last time, but something tells us it won’t happen.

It’s difficult to point to Sebastian Vettel, since he leaves Formula 1 after the 2022 season. However, the German is also a bit shy about it, but he is frankly adamant that he does not read. Esteban Ocon doesn’t read the books too.  

Needs to say, that today’s generation of F1 drivers are reading books less. Perhaps the solution lies in changing priorities. Young Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and Alex Albon prefer racing games and virtual races or football.

Do not assume they are ignorant, however. Thus, Mick Schumacher has a small book. That is what Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner pointed. Schumacher is always writing things down, as he said. The busy schedule and so many responsibilities may prevent F1 drivers from reading books. 

Books that F1 drivers read and how it makes them better
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Sums up

In some senses, F1 drivers, like any other athletes are similar to ordinary people. Everyone wants to be better, faster, and stronger. Many of them get good ideas from books.

Someone reading fiction, novels. Someone, like Nico Rosberg, prefers the thrilling non-fiction Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Lewis Hamilton dives deeply into the story of origins with a great list of books to recommend to us. Fernando Alonso is catching the best of minds in old rare books. 

The book is, however, a faithful companion in both happy and difficult times. F1 drivers use books to think, to analyze, to find the right path or to relax after a noisy weekend. 

We’re also hoping you enjoy reading the books and will add one or two books to your reading list as a result of our small discovery. Otherwise, at least you already knew what books F1 drivers read.