Two Jersey brothers have teamed up to publish a laugh-a-minute memoir which gets the inside track on the glamorous and chaotic world of Formula One.
When Kris Henley decided to write a book about his own comedic career path as a Sports TV producer and occasional cameraman on the F1 circuit, he joined forces with his brother Ian.
Starting from the Back of the Grid: Misadventures Inside Formula One’s Flying Circus is the hilarious and endearing story of how Kris, an academic flop with a prodigious talent for getting into embarrassing situations, somehow succeeds in the glamorous world of Formula One.
Charting Kris’s own eventful career path from trouble-making pupil at Victoria College and eventual rough sleeper on a rubbish tip in Hong Kong to the paddock in Monte Carlo, Starting from the Back of the Grid gets up close and personal with motorsport legends, A-list celebrities and the super-rich.
Featuring spectacular photos and a whirligig of hilarious anecdotes, Kris tells of his encounters with the sport’s most distinguished drivers and most intriguing behind-the-scenes personalities, and recalls F1’s greatest rivalries, tragedies, and scandals.
The Henley duo not only got their book to publication, but it also received a foreword from celebrated motorsport icon Guenther Steiner. The renowned Haas team principle describes the book as a “hilarious story of how a most unlikely character somehow succeeded in our crazy world,” and says it provides a “unique perspective on how the Flying Circus really works”.
Author Kris commented: “I’m really proud to have published this book, it makes me feel like all the scrapes I got into during the course of my implausible career are somehow worth it after all! I thought it was all over when my first words to Michael Schumacher caused the racing legend’s face to inflate with rage, but here I am all these years later!”
Although Kris’s autobiographical experiences are at the heart of the book, it’s Bill Henley – Kris and Ian’s father – whom he credits with having inspired him to write in the first place.
“When I was sixteen, my father – who was an amateur writer himself – promised me a fiver if I wrote a daily diary for three months. Though I wasn’t very good in English class at school and had an extreme aversion to work or discipline of any kind, I shocked dad by keeping up the habit and winning the bet.”
Perhaps as his father had intended, Kris continued this diary long after he left home to travel the world and so his hair-raising and comedic adventures were meticulously recorded. And it’s those diary entries which became the basis for this book.
Pictured: Kris interviewing Bernie Ecclestone