The legendary James Hunt would have been 69 today, a raunchy number that encapsulates the speedy playboy from an era long gone. Here are five of his best on-track and off-track moments.
5. Big Balls
Hunt is asked a serious question about new regulations and parts on his car. His answer is pretty accurate and one that can’t really be disputed.
4. Winning the 1976 British Grand Prix
It was James Hunt’s year in 1976, but his victory at a packed Brands Hatch circuit sent the crowd loopy. He won the race by an incredible 52-seconds after being involved in a first lap incident. He was excluded from the result two months later. But he won the race on the day.
3. Hunt the hero pulls Peterson from the flames
Ronnie Peterson would never recover from this crash at Monza in 1978, but had James Hunt not been there to pull the Swede from the wreckage, his death would have been much more agonizing. Hunt couldn’t get Peterson out of the car initially, the cockpit mangled. The Brit kicked in the steering wheel so he could pull him out of the flames.
2. James Hunt the Commentator
After his racing career, Hunt went into punditry alongside Murray Walker, creating the most legendary commentator partnership in Formula One. Not one to be marginalized or neutral for the sake of journalism, Hunt is on form here. One can only imagine how enraged he would be today.
1. James Hunt – 1976 World Champion
James Hunt’s battle with Niki Lauda is well-documented and is arguably one of the greatest rivalries in Formula One history. Hunt pulled off the impossible, climbing up the order in treacherous conditions. He went into the race as second favorite to come away with the championship but came away with the title nonetheless. Hunt and Lauda were polar opposites as individuals, but had huge respect for one another.