Stories of hardship and hope from motor racing’s finest heroes
My Greatest Defeat is a collection of honest and revealing insights into 20 of the greatest living racing drivers; legends of the worlds of Formula 1, Indycar, NASCAR, Le Mans and Rally. Its purpose is to discover their weakest moment, the one time in their lives when they didn’t know where to turn or what to do next. To show that beneath the fire-proof suits and the helmets and beyond the heroics displayed on track, these great modern gladiators are fallible and breakable. The legends interviewed opened up completely. Honesty flowed as rarely seen and little expected. Mighty champions, men we’ve always seen as thick-skinned, macho, manly men, unburdening their souls. These are their stories. Their words. Their truths.
• Interviews conducted specially for this book are with (in alphabetical order) Mario Andretti, Derek Bell, Emerson Fittipaldi, Dario Franchitti, Jeff Gordon, Mika Häkkinen, Damon Hill, Jimmie Johnson, Tom Kristensen, Niki Lauda, Sebastien Loeb, Felipe Massa, Rick Mears, Emanuele Pirro, Alain Prost, Carlos Sainz, Jackie Stewart, Bobby Unser, Ari Vatanen and Alex Zanardi. Here are five highlights…
• Dario Franchitti – The Indycar champion talks of the deaths of the friends that bookended his career in racing, the heartbreak that each caused and the aftermath of accidents that affected the physical functioning of his brain.
• Niki Lauda – A racer who needs no introduction, Niki Lauda discusses the loss of one of his aircraft over Thailand in which all on board were killed; for eight months he fought to clear the name of his pilots and change aircraft safety forever.
• Alain Prost – Ayrton Senna’s great rival talks of the moral compass that guided his career and the slights he perceived against him, moments that shaped the development of his reputation as a cold, manipulative and divisive character.
• Ari Vatanen – The Finnish rally ace reflects on the accident that almost killed him and the depression into which he fell in convalescence, the dark recesses of his mind leading him to an unwavering belief that he had contracted AIDS.
• Alex Zanardi – In a deep and revealing conversation, the Paralympic gold medallist, who lost both legs in an Indycar accident, discusses how we decipher between our passion and our ambition and how childhood dreams affect our adult decisions.
• Striking portrait artworks come from a revered artist in modern comic book design, Giuseppe ‘Cammo’ Camuncoli, who is renowned for the dark, brooding style that has seen him become a staple in the Vertigo, DC and Marvel stables.
Author: Will Buxton
Format: 234x156mm, Hardback
Page extent: 320pp
Illustration: 20 portraits