Home Mobile Forum News Cookbook FaceBook Us T-Shirts etc.: Europe/Worldwide. eBay Motorsport Links Advertising Live Chat  
Site Partners: SpotterGuides  
Related Sites: Classic Cars Monthly Your Link Here  

Go Back   TenTenths Motorsport Forum > Historic Racing & Motorsport History > Motorsport History


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 Aug 2002, 12:04 (Ref:357590)   #1
TimD
Veteran
 
TimD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
United Kingdom
Derbyshire Peak District, United Kingdom
Posts: 3,797
TimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
The forgotten James Hunt

The F1 forum has lately been full to the brim with debate as to who is the greatest driver ever. But I wonder if this is the place to ask why James Hunt seems to have been left on the sidelines of motor racing history.It appears to me that his best performances were in the face of the greatest difficulty - tricky courses, under-performing or outdated cars and the like.

Can anyone suggest a reason as to why Hunt is not regarded as up there with the best?

And has anyone got any good Hunt stories? That's always a happy diversion in an otherwise po-faced world....
TimD is offline  
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 12:35 (Ref:357609)   #2
Peter Mallett
The Honourable Mallett
20KPINAL
 
Peter Mallett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
England
Here and there
Posts: 30,918
Peter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FamePeter Mallett will be entering the Motorsport Hall of Fame
There was a story related in Motorsport about a test day. He turned up "fresh" from a "night out" and got in the car. After doing a number of laps the engine went silent on the other side of the circuit (don't recall which) and fearing the worst the team drove round to find the car deep in the trees at the side of the circuit with the driver slumped forwards over the wheel................... snoring loudly.

People tend to come down on the "if luada hadn't crashed Hunt wouldn't have won" theory which I consider Bulldoos. Hunt was driving a four year old car. He didn't cheat but got some harsh decisions against his team. He was disqualified from three races (although one was reinstated). He beat the Ferraris more than once in straight fights and there is nothing to suggest he wouldn't have done so if Lauda had not had his accident.

There is a suspicion that Ferrari manauevred (can't spell it) the FiSA into being over zealous in its scrutineering.

I mentioned some of this in that thread and said that as far as I was concerned he won his championship fair and square. Others disagree and I still to this day can't understand why. (I respect their opinions though).

Hunt was everything a "real" WDC should be. He had character, balls (ask most of the pit babes) and a determination to succeed. He did it mostly by himself and was probably the last of the "self made" champions. RIP James.
Peter Mallett is offline  
__________________
Nobody told me we had a communication problem!
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 13:18 (Ref:357641)   #3
Andrew Kitson
Ten-Tenths Hall of Fame
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
England
5 minutes from Snetterton
Posts: 3,840
Andrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
TimD, I've got a great 'James' story and first hand as I was there!
First of all though, I feel James despite being world champion was very underrated. The powers that be deemed him a playboy and the Hesketh team was very much a joke when they first appeared in F3. Well why should they have been taken seriously with the endless bottles of bubbly and society hangers on for the public schoolboy run team!
Lord Alexander Hesketh, team manager Bubbles Horsley and unknown car designer Harvey Postlethwaite added to the British eccentricity of it just with their names! James' skill paid dividends to turn this team and its endeavours to legend - real schoolboy stuff. James loved to party and I think this was carried with him until way after he retired.
Eddie Irvine is very much the playboy of F1 now and don't forget that when he was in F3 and F3000, James was his mentor and coach, working for Marlboro. They often partied and drank together.
Anyway on to my story..
In 1991 I had a call at home from a friend who had a travel/ hospitality company. He called me late on Friday afternoon of the first French GP at Magny -Cours. He asked me if I wanted to go to the race on Sunday. Of course I said yes, all I had to do was buy a spare Grandstand ticket from him.
He had chartered a 12 seat Cessna, flying from Coventry at 8am on the Sunday morning to arrive back at 8.30pm that evening. One of his customers had backed out and it was too late to fill the spare seat on the plane.I duly arrived at Coventry and as I pulled up in the car park this black Merc pulled up alongside with James at the wheel! He was on this flight too, to do his BBC commentary with Murray.
After a quick coffee - James told us that he had come straight from a party in London - we boarded the small plane and James was sitting directly behind me. The aircraft was very small, no toilet on board and an open view of the two pilots. Idle chatter about racing was followed by coffee from a huge flask that my friend, the organiser had brought along. Halfway across the channel, James called out ' How long before we get to Nevers airport?' The pilot replied 'about 40 mins'. 'Oh, I can't wait that long' said James, 'has everyone finished with the coffee?'
On board were a couple of sponsors wives and other corporate guests - nobody knew anyone else - and James proceeded to use the flask, standing in the centre aisle to...well you can guess!
Embarrassed sponsors wives pretended to look out of the window and James finished, apologised and offered to take it with him and wash it out once we got off. The organiser said there was no need, he would do it.
Once James had sat down again, he said 'Well, I suppose I had better prepare for the race!' He produced a Tesco carrier bag from somewhere full of the latest 2-3 'Autosport's' to refresh himself for his BBC job that afternoon. When you think that poor Murray had been there probably since Wednesday, up and down the pitlane with his dodgy hip at the time, taking notes for his commentary!
Once we got to Nevers and disembarked, James then had another p** against the wheel of the plane. All this too in front of many French folk who had turned out at the little airport for this inaugural event as President Mitterand was in attendance. We were under instuction to meet up at 5.30 at the back of the paddock for the return journey and I had visions of James failing to make it, but he was there, before anyone else ready for a quieter journey home.
Andrew Kitson is offline  
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 13:36 (Ref:357661)   #4
TimD
Veteran
 
TimD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
United Kingdom
Derbyshire Peak District, United Kingdom
Posts: 3,797
TimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Excellent!

That sounds like the James we knew and loved!

I think James' notorious disinclination to prepare for the race commentary was only matched by Murray's extraordinary diligence in doing his duty.
TimD is offline  
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 16:19 (Ref:357765)   #5
zefarelly
Veteran
 
zefarelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
England
good old Sussex by the sea
Posts: 8,775
zefarelly should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridzefarelly should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridzefarelly should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
the falling asleep was in last months motorsport, a good article, apparently James stumbled into the hotel at the same time as Lauda was leaving for practice . . .hunt grabbed his stuff and jumped on the coach with him.

good story Andrew, and 100% believable, halfway down I thought he was going to open a window!

are there any good Biographys on Hunt? can anyone who could keep up with him remember anything of the party years!
zefarelly is offline  
__________________
Joe Allenby-Byrne
trading as Zefarelly since 1985
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 18:25 (Ref:357809)   #6
racing_guru
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location:
Toronto
Posts: 70
racing_guru should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
There's a great biography written by Gerald Donaldson on James Hunt - it's a great read and I highly recommend it.
racing_guru is offline  
Quote
Old 14 Aug 2002, 22:03 (Ref:357939)   #7
strad
Veteran
 
strad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location:
USA
Posts: 777
strad should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
That is the quintestencial Hunt...
Thanks Andrew
strad is offline  
__________________
Lead Follow or get the hell out of the way!
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 02:58 (Ref:358060)   #8
Lee Janotta
Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location:
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,936
Lee Janotta should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I can't ever respect Hunt. His vanity cost Bobby Rahal, one of my all-time favorite drivers and a local hero, his shot at Formula 1. He demanded a one-car team at Wolf in '79, then simply walked away before the season was even over. No matter what else, he was as selfish as they come in racing.
Lee Janotta is offline  
__________________
"Put a ****ing wheel on there! Let me go out again!"
-Gilles Villeneuve, Zandvoort, 1979
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 10:41 (Ref:358190)   #9
simon drabble
Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location:
Hampshire
Posts: 5,676
simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
maybe Bobby Rahal wasnt upto it. James Hunt was a great driver
simon drabble is offline  
__________________
Borrowed money is only credit in a bull market - its debt in a bear market
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 10:58 (Ref:358205)   #10
TimD
Veteran
 
TimD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
United Kingdom
Derbyshire Peak District, United Kingdom
Posts: 3,797
TimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
On the other hand, I'm not sure that Bobby Rahal's reputation would have been enhanced by being given a Wolf in 1979.

The one-car team was so efficient that it managed a half-a-dozen laps of winter testing at Donington before the season started. James Hunt managed a season of 5 mechanical non-finishes, one accident and one non-points finish before he walked away from it. Keke Rosberg took on the car for the remainder of the season and managed one 6th place, two non-points finishes, one retirement due to accident damage, 5 mechanical retirements and a did not qualify.

Rahal, on the other hand, spent 1979 developing his craft. He was a midfield runner at best in European Formula 2, but was showing himself to be a star in the making in Can-Am and IMSA. And he went on to become the Stateside superstar we all remember. Busting a gut to have a chance, any chance at Formula 1 is not always the way forward for a young driver.

Ask Kevin Cogan.

Bobby Rahal's a personal favourite of mine, too. I can't help thinking that in the eternal scheme of things, James Hunt and Walter Wolf did him a favour.
TimD is offline  
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 13:44 (Ref:358310)   #11
ghinzani
Race Official
Veteran
 
ghinzani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location:
Dorset & Cornwall
Posts: 3,977
ghinzani should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridghinzani should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Also does Rahal not suffer himself from Vanity? he got rid of Mike Groff and Bryan Herta - Groff arguably because he was potentially quicker than him. Backing Danica over Buddy Rice shows hes more interested in money than finding a genuine American talent.

Anyway back to the core matter - James life should be celebrated.. he grew up in the public eye, and was finally acheiving some internal karma when he was taken from us. But boy did he live.... like Murray said he lived many lifetimes in his 40 odd years.
ghinzani is offline  
__________________
Andretti, Mario: Auto racing legend owns the rights to an unspecified Spinal Tap song, which he purchased when former manager Ian Faith secretly sold the bandís catalog
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 13:57 (Ref:358319)   #12
DavidStHubbins
Veteran
 
DavidStHubbins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
United Kingdom
Posts: 2,157
DavidStHubbins should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Quote:
Originally posted by racing_guru
There's a great biography written by Gerald Donaldson on James Hunt - it's a great read and I highly recommend it.
A funny and sometimes moving book indeed. I read it a few years ago. Hunt retired before i was born but its obvious the man was a "Superstar"!

"make it fast down the straights and I'll block 'em in the corners!" Something like that anyway... Rocking the establishment in the unfancied Hesketh.

James was a mentor to Mika Hakkinen too, in fact he was one of the first people Mika met in england at Donington for the Malboro tests. Hunt saw him do a few laps and said "sign that man!"

Hunt was also one of the first to recognise the talent of Gilles Villeneuve and talked him up in the F1 paddock to bring him over from Canada.

Not only was he a demon behind the wheel but its obvious he had a real eye for spotting talent too.(not just the female kind!!)

We salute you JAMES HUNT!!

I was named after him too! (my real name)
DavidStHubbins is offline  
__________________
Racing is in my...err... I was born to...um... Winning is...things and stuff...etc.. For sure!
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 15:15 (Ref:358365)   #13
ghinzani
Race Official
Veteran
 
ghinzani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location:
Dorset & Cornwall
Posts: 3,977
ghinzani should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridghinzani should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Yeah spotting talent like that shows a certain lack of vanity I'd say...
ghinzani is offline  
__________________
Andretti, Mario: Auto racing legend owns the rights to an unspecified Spinal Tap song, which he purchased when former manager Ian Faith secretly sold the bandís catalog
Quote
Old 15 Aug 2002, 16:11 (Ref:358385)   #14
theracegypsy
Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location:
Bristol,England, Milwaukee& Toronto
Posts: 863
theracegypsy should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
An old and valued friend, from the early F3 days - not forgotten.
theracegypsy is offline  
__________________
Play Safe,
Bob
The Race Gypsy
Quote
Old 16 Aug 2002, 14:31 (Ref:359132)   #15
SL
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location:
Crawley England
Posts: 1,701
SL should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Added to all the above, I seem to recall that he was once on the TV 'Superstars' programme where all sorts of sportsman and women were pitted against each other. OK not in the same class as Brian Jacks (100+ bar body lifts and press ups) but by no means humbled. It would be interesting to see if the BBC have records as to how he faired. I seem to recall he done quite well despite all the party antics possibly the night before. Was it J Mass who was the best F1 driver ?

He might well have been the last 'Gentleman' racer in F1 and Hesketh the last 'private' F1 team.

I still have an unused Hesketh Bear sticker and badge......Offers anyone ??

Simon
SL is offline  
Quote
Reply

Bookmarks




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
James Hunt Suze Tributes Forum 1 18 Aug 2004 06:19
James Hunt Kicking-back Tributes Forum 6 24 Jun 2004 10:25
The Real James Hunt Yimkin Motorsport History 15 21 Oct 2002 12:19
James Hunt ????????? Crank Case Formula One 7 19 Aug 2001 17:53


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:24.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Original Website Copyright © 1998-2003 Craig Antil. All Rights Reserved.
Ten-Tenths Motorsport Forums Copyright © 2004-2016 Royalridge Computing. All Rights Reserved.