James Hunt was a London born F1 driver who won the Drivers Title in 1976 after a controversial exit by Niki Lauda.

James’ career started in a self-funded Formula Ford before joining Hesketh’s Formula 3 team in 1973 and staying with the team when it moved up to F1 in 1974. He moved to Mclaren at the end of 1975 and won the title in 1976.

James was a huge character inside and outside of F1. His pre-race nerves were so great that he would vomit before getting into the car, although he later stated that this was not a fear of being injured, more a fear of the cost associated with wrecking the car.

James joined Wolff in 1979 but quit part way through the year and went on to join Murray Walker in the commentary-box.

Off the track, James lived a playboy lifestyle and sadly passed away at the age of 45 from a sudden heart attack.

The story of James and niki is brilliantly told int he movie Rush. See the trailer here.

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Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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