The autobiography of Martin Donnelly



The long-awaited autobiography of ex-Lotus, ex-Arrows Formula One racing driver and FIA F1 steward Martin Donnelly


On 29 September 1990, during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Martin was in a 170 mph, career-ending crash - see here

From the book:


Foreword by a multiple F1 World Champion


Martin is in discussions with a former multiple World Champion to write the foreword to his book. 



Endorsements by other F1 Champions and leading drivers


Don't doubt this - Martin Donnelly had the driving skill to become an F1 World Champion. Only a twist fate cut short his career. And it is an amazing read to learn of his life, his racing career and his recovery in this inspiring new book. That he should still be at the heart of racing - as a Formula One race steward - almost thirty years after his accident tells us all we need to know about the man. He loves his racing, and here, he tells us his remarkable story.


Derek Warwick (Martin's teammate at Lotus F1, Winner Le Mans 1992, President BRDC 2011-7)

I will never forget that Friday...we heard a big bang and then complete hush. It was quite eerie, but everyone knew someone had had a big accident, then someone in the team shouted it was Martin. When I got to him he was dead... one of the cars stopped in front of him in case someone else ran over him. Professor Watkins arrived. When the Prof attended an accident, he always took his time, checked the driver was ok, he was always gentle. NOT this time, he just attacked Martin, straightening his crippled legs, cut the seat off his back, cut his helmet strap and went to work to bring him back to life. At this stage I couldn’t watch, for me he was dead and couldn’t survive.

Martin Donnelly


Ayrton walked there to where I’d crashed. He’s there by Prof Watkins and the medics while they are working on me. That is the amazing thing for me. Ayrton watched all of that, saw it all first-hand, holding my crash helmet and possibly watching me die. He watched all the needles and syringes and the tracheotomy. Then he went back to his garage, put his helmet back on, visor down, and with just 10 minutes left, did the fastest lap ever of Jerez circuit.

Comments from that fateful day

Ayrton Senna

"I was in the pits, practice was stopped. I hear by different people, there was accident, was Donnelly… was bad, was too bad, was disaster. And I decide to go to the place, to see myself. Million things went through my mind… in the end, I realized I was not going to give up my passion … even just having seen what I had seen … and I had to … to put myself together, and walk out, go to the racing car, and do it again, and do it even better than before. Because that was the way to … kind of cover that impact it had on me. As much as I was scared to continue, I was not ready to give up my aim, my target, my objective, my passion, my dream … my life. It is my life".

Copyright © 2019. Martin Donnelly and Stephen Asbury.  All rights reserved

Photographs used with permission.


Martin's co-author

Stephen Asbury

Stephen is the author of six books for Routledge Taylor & Francis, and a writer for Treasure Trails. A life-long F1 fan, he is delighted to be working with Martin on his autobiography.

You'll find his other books on Amazon