Seasons Greetings, race fans and families!
For those of you who have been following along, you know I’m a relatively new F1 fan (“Generation Drive to Survive” and proud), I’m obsessed with all things Formula 1 related, and that I’m married with two young kids–Blanca and Joaquin. I wanted to share my love of racing and cars with them, but couldn’t find many good books about F1 for kids–so I wrote my own.
Over this F1-binging and book writing adventure, I did a lot of “research,” by which I mean, buying lots of racing-related merch, books, and most importantly TOYS!
Since it’s that time of year, where we all seek out the best possible gifts for our loved ones, I wanted to share my own Holiday Gift Guide–but make it F1! In other words, a round-up of my favorite F1 racing gifts and motorsports related products that I think would make some pretty cool presents for adults and kids alike.
This Formula 1 and motorsports racing related guide is filled with gift ideas for Christmas, Hanukkah, a special birthday, or whatever holiday you are celebrating this season! It includes a variety of toys, merchandise, and books of course, for kids who love cars and their racing obsessed parents, grandparents, friends and family.
These are all tried and tested items that I’ve bought and have at home myself– I’m not an expert and I’m not compensated for this in any way. It’s just a roundup of products I’ve found that my family loves, and I wanted to share that with you.
Founder and Creator of Red Racer Books.
Written by : Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrated by: Alex G Griffiths
If you are not familiar with the best-selling “Little People Big Dreams” series, you are missing out! It is a wonderful collection of inspirational biographies of outstanding women and men throughout history. My kids’ favorites include Frida Kahlo, Martin Luther King Jr. and Marie Curie. The stories all start with childhood dreams and end with their most notable achievements. So fun and educational!
In 2020 they released the Ayrton Senna biography which is incredible and a must have for any fan of F1 legends. In 2023 they are going to release a Lewis Hamilton book as well!
Written by: Kimi Weart
This book is amazing for so many reasons. I love that the main character is a little girl that is obsessed with cars, who is super relatable and funny. It also includes a round up of all the cars that are part of New York City’s MoMA museum, my personal favorite New York museum.
I used to go there all the time while I lived in the city and got to see some of these cars in person. In the back there’s a glossary of those cars and let me tell you they feature some iconic vehicles including a Ferrari F1 car from 1990, a VW Beetle, and a Jaguar E-Type Roadster.
It is the perfect gift for any and all car enthusiasts, regardless of age!
I’m not ashamed to admit, my son and I fight over these beautiful toy race cars! And calling them toys is really misleading, they are more like works of art! They are premium and very well made, with child-friendly soft-roll rubber wheels and long-lasting UV- resistant paint finish. The higher price tag is totally worth it for a special gift.
I’ve found them in some boutique children’s stores here locally, but they offer free shipping from their US site.
What better way to pass the time with your kids than working on a lego set. It’s even better when they are official F1 race cars you are building. I’m not going to lie, getting to play with toys like legos is one of the best parts of having kids.
I couldn’t keep my son’s hands off the Mercedes AMG W12 kit. It was fun to build and manageable for him - he was 6 at the time. Did I mention affordable for me? That said, I hear great things about the more advanced McLaren F1 Technic Lego set but it’s geared to an older demographic - ages 18+.
I was so fortunate to have found this toy brand - I am obsessed with them and this company. It’s family run business from the Netherlands 🇳🇱 (I wonder if they are Max Verstappen fans?). Plus they started with crowdfunding, just like I did with Red Racer Books.
Here’s what's amazing about them–they make super flexible and ultra durable, waterproof roads of all kinds that your kids can play with using whatever type of cars and trucks they already have at home. We brought them to the beach this summer because they are waterproof, soft and break down really easily. They include a kit to make your own Grand Prix racing circuit and you can build your own track. It’s great for imaginative and creative play for your kids and their toy cars.
From the Way to Play website:
Grand Prix is a specialty racing set, great for those who want to build their own creative racetrack and speed their way to creative play.
- Flexible and durable toy circuit, length 384 cm
- 16 curves and 8 straights, printed on both sides
- Special ‘Grand Prix’ prints (Curbstones, Start Finish, Pitlane)
- Can be used inside or outside
- Encourages imaginative play
- Great to combine with other toys
By: Alanis King and Elizabeth Blackstock
If you are a long time F1 fan you may have heard about the Haas F1 and Rich Energy saga, but this book goes deep into this controversial sponsorship story and some interesting F1 history as well. This book is definitely not for the kiddos as the story takes some bizarre twists and scandalous turns. As my kids would say, “It’s spicy!” It’s very entertaining and I highly recommend it!
It’s written by two of my favorite motorsports journalists, Alanis King and Elizabeth Blackstock, who painstakingly researched this over 3 years after it was started as a blog post on Jalopnik, the media destination for car lovers.
By Adrian Newey
Admittedly, I’ve never studied engineering nor have any experience with the inner workings of cars, yet I am a self-diagnosed fanatic of the engineering side of Formula 1 racing (you can read more about that here in another blog post).
That’s why I have been reading all about it and this book is one of my personal favorites. If you are unfamiliar with who Adrian Newey is (and it’s understandable if you are–unless you are a driver or team principal you don’t get a lot of airtime), he is the Chief Technical Director of Red Bull Racing and is the person behind the designs of their championship winning cars. He has had a long career that includes work as an aerodynamicist and race engineer.
Adrian Newey is considered to be one of the best designers with 11 constructors championships across three different teams (Williams, Mclaren and Red Bull) and 7 different drivers championships.
This book spans his life from his early childhood where his love of cars developed to his early career in Indycar to his work across a variety of F1 teams. It’s a great read and gives us insight into the inner workings of team dynamics and business, as he crosses paths with some iconic drivers, team principals and owners. Highly recommend!
This is another work of art from one of my favorite people in F1, Magnus Greaves, the founder and publisher of RACEWKND. I actually stumbled upon this brand when they did a special edition Austin guide for the 2021 US Grand Prix. Shortly afterwards I heard Magnus on one of my favorite F1 podcasts - The Scuderia F1 podcast with Mark Hamilton and Mark Daley.
If you don’t listen, I highly recommend it, they are great people and their pod is inclusive, welcoming and super informative.
Back to RACEWKND - This is a great gift for fans of F1, new and old, that offers a fresh take on circuits, destinations and traditions of Formula 1. The starter pack collection includes 4 amazing books and they are made to be shown off:
JET SET FORMULA 1
- F1 IN THE 1970’s
- FORMULA 1 IN THE USA
- F1 WORLD CHAMPIONS
This is a gift that will definitely impress and they are a great way to treat yourself!
10% OFF with code SAVE10
Where fangirls, and guys, go to shop for fun unofficial F1 merch and really cozy sweaters. Plus they made some cool custom designs for the US G
rand Prix and now they have holiday merch!
My wife Angela and son Joaquin (who doesn’t love to be photographed) are seen here wearing cool Tsunoda and Hamilton sweatshirts from the TG1F collection.
Shout out to friends Shannon and Danielle from the
cast who put me on to this etsy shop! I don’t know who is behind this store, but they have some really great t-shirts with all your favorite F1 Drivers.
That's me rocking my Lewis Hamilton shirt at the US Grand Prix in Austin this year
I’ve noticed these minimal designs before, but it wasn’t until I met Katie and Megan, of the Dirty Driving podcast, that I realized how cool this brand of unofficial F1 merch is! Racing Thread commemorates special moments in F1 history with subtle but memorable designs embroidered onto t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts and hats. So if you want something to show your F1 love without including sponsor logos and things like that, this is a great option.
For example, you can get a hat that shows when Sebastian’s Vettel’s switched the number boards at the Canadian Grand Prix. There are several great ones of Daniel Ricciardo enjoying a shoey or jumping into the pool after winning in Monaco, and several Lewis Hamilton moments too. . Everything is made-to-order, so order soon to have it by the holidays!
15% off your whole order using the code DIRTYDRIVING
Great for a baby book to read along with or for kids up to age 8 or so. ABCs of Racing teaches kids about racing with Red Racer and Roxy the engineer as your guides. Full of gorgeous illustrations, the pages are inspired by actual tracks and racing situations around the world, to engage both kids and parents.
- 34 vividly illustrated pages that follow the alphabet with detailed explanations for each new racing term!
- Great for kids of many ages, particularly for 3-8 year olds.
- Easy to introduce concepts and terms around car racing for your kids, but fun for adults, too
This hardcover book features the all new 2022 F1 race cars and dives deep inside what makes these machines marvels of technology and science.
Anyone who loves cars, young or old, will love this book, plus it’s a great way to learn more about the current Formula 1 race cars including the new regulations.
In this 40 pages book with vivid illustrations and photography, we explore the ins and outs of the 2022 Formula 1 Race Cars in a fun and engaging way for readers and listeners.
This is the ABCs of Racing’s Spanish version and comes with 10 unique illustrations and racing terms distinct from the English version.
I may be biased but these would definitely make a fun holiday racing gift for F1 loving families, too.
Not Affiliated with F1
Red Racer Books LLC is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.