James Hunt info & statistics

James Hunt: See All F1 Stats, Wins, Titles, Teams & Wiki info
NameJames Hunt
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Place of BirthBelmont
Date of BirthAug 29th 1947
Date of DeathJun 15th 1993 - 45 years old
First Race1973 Monaco Grand Prix
Last Race1979 Monaco Grand Prix
First Pole1976 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last Pole1977 USA Grand Prix
First Win1975 Dutch Grand Prix
Last Win1977 Japanese Grand Prix
First Podium1973 Dutch Grand Prix
Last Podium1978 French Grand Prix

James Hunt F1 Stats

Drivers' Titles1
Race Entries93
Race Starts92
Race Wins10 (10,8%)
Pole Positions14 (15,1%)
Fastest Laps8 (8,6%)
Podiums23 (24,7%)
Points Finishes35 (37,6%)
Retirements49 (52,7%)
Hat-tricks2
Wins from pole7
Frontrow Starts24
Total Points179
Total Laps3.924

James Hunt Memorabilia »

Biography

 

James Hunt Biography


James Hunt was Britain's sixth F1 champion in history.

James Hunt

James Simon Wallis Hunt, four words and a life full of joy and rebelliousness. Ultimately, the life of a World Champion. Hunt was born on the 29th of August of 1947 in Belmont, England. There are not many secrets when it comes to his childhood and teenage years compared to what he represented as an adult.

He was a difficult kid whose energy was off the charts. Rebellious he was, and an athlete too. He played tennis and simply had everything going his way regarding his love life. However, at 18 years of age, Hunt would find what would drive his competitiveness on the right way and help him canalize it: car racing.

His father Wallis, a stockbroker, and his mother Sue did not support his immersion in racing, but a young Hunt was not going to be denied. After working hard to pay for his machinery, he was known as “Hunt the Shunt” due to the recurrent crashes, including a near-fatal accident in a Formula Ford race in which he got close to drowning.

As he progressed into Formula Three, he found some success, but still had exaggerated drives in which his mindset was not fully calmed to make great decisions at the wheel. Still, his speed was noticeable. After spending four years in Formula Three, from 1969 to 1972, Lord Alexander Hesketh came calling and Hunt made his way into the Formula 1 grid.

James-Hunt driving the Hesketh around the Nurburgring during the 1975 German GP

James-Hunt driving the Hesketh around the Nurburgring during the 1975 German GP

In a March 731 entered by Hesketh Racing, Hunt made his Formula 1 debut in the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix. He started the race from 18th place and could not finish due to an engine failure. He started seven of the 15 races in the 1973 calendar and was able to finish inside the top ten in the World Drivers’ Championship.

Though many did not respect Hesketh, the team showed speed and Hunt was able to score the first podium of his career in the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix. Then, he added another podium finish with a solid drive at Watkins Glen. He finished four of his seven races in 1973 in the points.

Hesketh built their own car for 1974, the Hesketh 308, and Hunt was able to gain podium spots again. Reliability and his tendencies to collisions only allowed him to finish eighth in the WDC again, although he participated in the complete season. Podiums at Sweden, Austria and the USA again, proved that Hunt’s driving was solid, although it needed polishing.

Hunt started 1975 with a great second place in the 1975 Argentine Grand Prix and then scored a point in Brazil. Then, a streak of five straight retirements —three due to mechanical issues and a couple of crashes— took him out of a possible title fight. After the unfortunate streak, Hunt came firing on all cylinders and defeated the two Ferraris of Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix to win his first Grand Prix. He gave Hesketh the first and only win of the team in the pinnacle of motorsport.

McLaren M23C driven by James Hunt in Monaco 1976

McLaren M23 driven by James Hunt in Monaco 1976

Eventually, Lauda won the WDC in 1975 and Ferrari was the top manufacturer, but Hunt’s strong second half of 1975 pushed him into fourth in the WDC and established him as a threat to the Austrian champion and the Italian giants.

As Hunt was no longer supported by Hesketh and Emerson Fittipaldi shockingly left McLaren at the end of 1975, the English driver saw himself with the chance to arrive in a big team. McLaren had won the World Drivers’ Championship for the first time in 1974 with the Brazilian driver and could help Hunt’s charge to become a World Champion.

Hunt grabbed the first couple of Pole Positions of his career in his first two races behind the wheel of the M23 but he retired at Brazil and finished second at South Africa. In the next four races, Hunt retired three times and took the second victory of his career at Spain, though he was initially disqualified.

Fifth in Sweden and a dominant win at France seemed to put Hunt’s season on track, but he was disqualified from his home race, the British Grand Prix, for not completing a full lap after the first start. The decision to disqualify Hunt occurred two months after the race.

James Hunt racing the McLaren M23 at the US GP (1976)

James Hunt racing the McLaren M23 at the US GP (1976)

After the race at Brands Hatch, Lauda was the championship leader with 23 points over Hunt with eight races remaining. A win was worth nine points and, although Lauda’s lead was big, Hunt still had a shot. However, Hunt’s opportunity became very realistic when the unfortunate 1976 German Grand Prix arrived. His off-track friend, Lauda, had a near-fatal accident in a race Hunt himself won comfortably.

Hunt finished fourth and took a victory in the next two races, which Lauda missed due to his injuries. As the Austrian champion returned for the 1976 Italian Grand Prix, his lead was cut to just two points.

Lauda finished fourth in Italy and Hunt retired. With three races left, Lauda’s lead was just five points over Hunt. The English driver took consecutive wins from Pole Position at Canada and the USA to inch within three points of the Austrian with one race to go.

At the finale, the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, Hunt qualified second with Lauda behind him. The Englishman needed to win, to finish second with Lauda fourth, third with Lauda sixth or fourth with Lauda seventh or worst in order to win the title.

Pouring rain flooded the Fuji Speedway on Sunday. Hunt took the lead right out of the box, while Lauda only lasted two laps in the race before he withdrew due to the unsafe conditions —another champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, withdrew too—.

Hunt was comfortably ahead, but he was overtaken late in the race as his worn tyres produced a puncture. He pitted and came out fifth, but managed to overtake Alan Jones and Regazzoni to finish third behind Mario Andretti and Patrick Depailler and win the WDC with a one-point gap over Lauda.

Niki Lauda & James Hunt

Niki Lauda & James Hunt

Lauda recovered in 1977 and retook the title, while Hunt could only finish fifth in the WDC. Of course, Hunt was not as motivated as he once was since he had already accomplished his goal. Still, he was not very competitive after his title-winning season and his third win of 1977, at Japan, was the last of his career.

Also in 1977, he helped an unknown Gilles Villeneuve start his F1 race with a McLaren car after Hunt got beat by the Canadian in a Formula Atlantic a year earlier.

In 1978, he finished third in France, which was his last podium finish. For 1979, he left McLaren and joined Wolf, but he retired after seven starts with the team and only one race finished.

After his retirement, there were moments in which he trie to return to racing, but he really found his place while commentating Formula 1 races alongside legendary narrator Murray Walker. In his second career, Hunt was just as loved by racing fans who enjoyed his unique style and the occasional harsh critique of certain drivers.

He married twice: first to Suzy Miller and then to Sarah Lomax, the mother of his two sons, Tom and Freddie.

At the age of 45, Hunt died of a heart attack on the 15th of June of 1993 in Wimbledon. To this date, more than 25 years after his death, Hunt continues to be remembered by Formula 1 fans as probably the biggest star of the sport due to his unique style, especially outside the track, and his personality.

Hunt rivalry with Lauda returned to the main stage in 2013 thanks to the movie Rush, with Chris Hemsworth playing Hunt’s role.

"We had a respectful, nice relationship. We trusted each other. He would not push you off the road, which in those days was important”, Lauda once said about Hunt.

Seasons

 

James Hunt Final Championship Results

1973197419751976197719781979
8th8th4th1st5th13th25th

 

James Hunt F1 Seasons Summary

YearTeamEngineGP1st2nd3rdPodPoleLapsFLAvg PtsPoints
1979 Canada Wolf Ford70000019500.000
1978 United Kingdom McLaren Ford160011057700.508
1977 United Kingdom McLaren Ford173115685032.3540
1976 United Kingdom McLaren Ford166118881424.3169
1975 United Kingdom Hesketh Ford141304058512.3633
1974 United Kingdom Hesketh
United Kingdom March
Ford
Ford
150033049701.0015
1973 United Kingdom March Ford70112040622.0014

Races

 

James Hunt F1 GP Race Classifications

1st10 Times
2nd6 Times
3rd7 Times
4th7 Times
5th2 Times
6th3 Times
7th4 Times
8th2 Times
9th2 Times
10th2 Times
12th1 Time
DNF44 Times
DSQ2 Times
DNS1 Time

James Hunt F1 GP Race Results

YearRaceNoTeamEngineGridPosRetiredPts
9319791979 Monaco Grand Prix result20WolfFord10DNFTransmission0
9219791979 Belgian Grand Prix result20WolfFord9DNFAccident0
9119791979 Spanish Grand Prix result20WolfFord15DNFBrakes0
9019791979 USA West Grand Prix result20WolfFord8DNFTransmission0
8919791979 South African Grand Prix result20WolfFord1380
8819791979 Brazilian Grand Prix result20WolfFord10DNFSteering0
8719791979 Argentine Grand Prix result20WolfFord18DNFElectrical0
8619781978 Canadian Grand Prix result7McLarenFord19DNFSpun Off0
8519781978 USA Grand Prix result7McLarenFord670
8419781978 Italian Grand Prix result7McLarenFord10DNFDistributor0
8319781978 Dutch Grand Prix result7McLarenFord7100
8219781978 Austrian Grand Prix result7McLarenFord8DNFAccident0
8119781978 German Grand Prix result7McLarenFord8DSQDisqualified0
8019781978 British Grand Prix result7McLarenFord14DNFAccident0
7919781978 French Grand Prix result7McLarenFord434
7819781978 Swedish Grand Prix result7McLarenFord1480
7719781978 Spanish Grand Prix result7McLarenFord461
7619781978 Belgian Grand Prix result7McLarenFord6DNFAccident0
7519781978 Monaco Grand Prix result7McLarenFord6DNFHandling0
7419781978 USA West Grand Prix result7McLarenFord7DNFAccident0
7319781978 South African Grand Prix result7McLarenFord3DNFEngine0
7219781978 Brazilian Grand Prix result7McLarenFord2DNFSpun Off0
7119781978 Argentine Grand Prix result7McLarenFord643
7019771977 Japanese Grand Prix result1McLarenFord219
6919771977 Canadian Grand Prix result1McLarenFord2DNFAccident0
6819771977 USA Grand Prix result1McLarenFord119
6719771977 Italian Grand Prix result1McLarenFord1DNFSpun Off0
6619771977 Dutch Grand Prix result1McLarenFord3DNFAccident0
6519771977 Austrian Grand Prix result1McLarenFord2DNFEngine0
6419771977 German Grand Prix result1McLarenFord4DNFFuel Pump0
6319771977 British Grand Prix result1McLarenFord119
6219771977 French Grand Prix result1McLarenFord234
6119771977 Swedish Grand Prix result1McLarenFord3120
6019771977 Belgian Grand Prix result1McLarenFord970
5919771977 Monaco Grand Prix result1McLarenFord7DNFEngine0
5819771977 Spanish Grand Prix result1McLarenFord7DNFEngine0
5719771977 USA West Grand Prix result1McLarenFord870
5619771977 South African Grand Prix result1McLarenFord143
5519771977 Brazilian Grand Prix result1McLarenFord126
5419771977 Argentine Grand Prix result1McLarenFord1DNFSuspension0
5319761976 Japanese Grand Prix result11McLarenFord234
5219761976 USA Grand Prix result11McLarenFord119
5119761976 Canadian Grand Prix result11McLarenFord119
5019761976 Italian Grand Prix result11McLarenFord24DNFSpun Off0
4919761976 Dutch Grand Prix result11McLarenFord219
4819761976 Austrian Grand Prix result11McLarenFord143
4719761976 German Grand Prix result11McLarenFord119
4619761976 British Grand Prix result11McLarenFord2DSQDisqualified0
4519761976 French Grand Prix result11McLarenFord119
4419761976 Swedish Grand Prix result11McLarenFord852
4319761976 Monaco Grand Prix result11McLarenFord0DNFEngine0
4219761976 Belgian Grand Prix result11McLarenFord3DNFGearbox0
4119761976 Spanish Grand Prix result11McLarenFord119
4019761976 USA West Grand Prix result11McLarenFord3DNFAccident0
3919761976 South African Grand Prix result11McLarenFord126
3819761976 Brazilian Grand Prix result11McLarenFord1DNFAccident0
3719751975 USA Grand Prix result24HeskethFord1543
3619751975 Italian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord852
3519751975 Austrian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord223
3419751975 German Grand Prix result24HeskethFord9DNFWheel0
3319751975 British Grand Prix result24HeskethFord94Accident3
3219751975 French Grand Prix result24HeskethFord326
3119751975 Dutch Grand Prix result24HeskethFord319
3019751975 Swedish Grand Prix result24HeskethFord13DNFBrakes0
2919751975 Belgian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord11DNFTransmission0
2819751975 Monaco Grand Prix result24HeskethFord11DNFAccident0
2719751975 Spanish Grand Prix result24HeskethFord3DNFAccident0
2619751975 South African Grand Prix result24HeskethFord12DNFFuel system0
2519751975 Brazilian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord761
2419751975 Argentine Grand Prix result24HeskethFord626
2319741974 USA Grand Prix result24HeskethFord234
2219741974 Canadian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord843
2119741974 Italian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord8DNFEngine0
2019741974 Austrian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord734
1919741974 German Grand Prix result24HeskethFord10DNFGearbox0
1819741974 British Grand Prix result24HeskethFord6DNFSuspension0
1719741974 French Grand Prix result24HeskethFord10DNFCollision0
1619741974 Dutch Grand Prix result24HeskethFord6DNFCollision0
1519741974 Swedish Grand Prix result24HeskethFord634
1419741974 Monaco Grand Prix result24HeskethFord7DNFHalfshaft0
1319741974 Belgian Grand Prix result24HeskethFord9DNFAccident0
1219741974 Spanish Grand Prix result24HeskethFord10100
1119741974 South African Grand Prix result24HeskethFord14DNFTransmission0
1019741974 Brazilian Grand Prix result24MarchFord1890
919741974 Argentine Grand Prix result24MarchFord5DNFOverheating0
819731973 USA Grand Prix result27MarchFord426
719731973 Canadian Grand Prix result27MarchFord1570
619731973 Italian Grand Prix result27MarchFord0DNSPractice accident0
519731973 Austrian Grand Prix result27MarchFord9DNFInjection0
419731973 Dutch Grand Prix result27MarchFord734
319731973 British Grand Prix result27MarchFord1143
219731973 French Grand Prix result27MarchFord1461
119731973 Monaco Grand Prix result27MarchFord189Engine0

Comparison

 

James Hunt Teammate Comparison

SeasonTeamTeam MateBest PosPointsWinsPolesPositionQualifying
1973MarchDavid Purley397000003131
Jean-Pierre Jarier2117000004132
Mike Beuttler21013000006161
Reine Wisell6211000001010
Roger Williamson3207000002020
1974HeskethIan Scheckter3264000001010
MarchHans Joachim Stuck9170000001111
Howden Ganley980000001120
1975HeskethAlan Jones11110000003140
Brett Lunger2108000003030
Harald Ertl285000002130
Torsten Palm11100000001120
1976McLarenJochen Mass1369196080124151
1977McLarenBrett Lunger1922020305490
Bruno Giacomelli15130000100110
Emilio de Villota1139010205270
Gilles Villeneuve1119010101010
Jochen Mass1240253060116161
1978McLarenBrett Lunger37800000104140
Bruno Giacomelli374000002350
Emilio de Villota6271000001010
Nelson Piquet1090000002130
Patrick Tambay34880000411141
Tony Trimmer25300000001010


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