1994 the Untold

Book review: 1994 the Untold Story by Ibrar Malik

Book reviews F1 1994

The Formula One was dominated years by McLaren and Williams. Both won several titles during the 1980s and the 1990s, until 1994 arrived. With Senna moving towards Williams and McLaren left with Peugeot engines. And Benetton… well they had some German Michael Schumacher. The season would be full of scandals, false claims and sadly the loss of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger. 1994 the untold Story by Ibrar Malik goes deeper into the season to find the truth about this season.

I came in contact with Ibrar Malik two years ago via twitter, he told me he was working on a book about the 1994 season. The books name would be 1994 The Untold Story of a Tragic and Controversial F1 season.  I was instant interested in the book. As Ibrar explained he already worked on the book for a couple of years. And moreover he was to uncover the scandals of the season. Interviewing key players of that period.  1994 the Untold Story  goes very deep into the matter which most F1 books don’t do at all.

For me personally 1994 the Untold Story shed new light on the season. That specific season was my first season I came in contact with Formula One. Well I can remember seeing Jos Verstappen, our hero, ending on the podium at the Hungaroring. Later in the years I started to question myself what really had happened with Verstappen during the pitstop.  If you read the book you will understand what happened. Benetton was for example not the only team to change the refuelling gear. Were Benetton removed the filter, teams as Larrousse received from Intertechnique scheme’s. Scheme’s showing how to modify the equipment.

Moreover, I’m impressed for the fact that Ibrar managed it too came in contact with people as Willem Toet (Williams), Frank Dernie (Williams), Paul West (Benetton) and several others who shed their light on that terrific, turbulent, strange, dark insane season.  It makes it legit to say that 1994 the Untold Story is a superb investigated book without choosing the side of either Schumacher or Senna nor between Williams or Benetton.

I’m glad that Ibrar questioned also the objectives of the FIA during the season. As we know Barrichello had a bad accident during that dark weekend at Imola. Ratzenberger died during the qualification session, while Ayrton Senna would let his life a day later. These were not the only crashed that happed there were many more which brought the FIA in a terrible situation. On the other hand they had to make the sport safe asap, on the other hand you had the fans that needed to be satisfied.

The relation between the FIA and the Scuderia is described as well. If you followed the 1994 season, or did read about the season it is a returning subject. Was the FIA in favour of Ferrari and allowed Ferrari to use driver aids? Well make up your mind, and read the book you will find out yourself.

Speaking about driver aids, Benetton was the team that was accused of using forbidden driver aids. Probably the rumours were started by Ayrton Senna when he stood next to the track in Aida, and was convinced he heard something strange. Or better said, he knew for sure Schumacher’s Benetton B194 was using illegal driver aids.   Or was it something else why Benetton was investigated?

All I can say, Flavio Briatore and Tom Walkinshaw, at that time the spill behind the Benetton team, were not good friends with Max Mosley. Basically there was some kind of power struggle going on. As a result that the Benetton team was checked most of the times.  Besides that, both the management of Benetton as the FIA were considering to go even further. Read 1994 the Untold Story yourself to find out how or what it happened.

My conclusion:
1994 the Untold Story, is a book that every dedicated Formula one fan should have on its bookshelf. The book is filled with a lot of information many haven’t read about. As well it gives you a good feeling and view of what happened behind the table and gives you an insight how the Formula One itself reacted on all the tragedies, controversies and struggles. Ibrar didn’t choose any side during his investigation of the season and wrote the book, in my opinion, neutral to give the best view.
My only problem was the fact that the book is in English, which isn’t my native language, so it took longer to read the book and make this book review.

I would like to thank Ibrar Malik and the Publisher performancepublishing.co.uk for allowing me to review this masterpiece and give me a free example of the book.  The hard copy of the book can be purchased via the publisher following this link, and will cost you 29 pound (around 33 euros). The audio version can be bought via this link, and will cost you 15 pound (around 17 euros).

During the time  1994 the Untold Story was written, many blogs were released with lots of side info released about the 1994 season. You can read these via this link.