Legendary british Formula 1 driver James Hunt will be honoured at this year’s Goodwood Festival, with the help of a very special McLaren. A special edition one-off P1 hybrid supercar will be decorated with the iconic Hunt helmet livery, to celebrate 40 years since the Brit’s unforgettable 1976 championship win. Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton Senna, has been entered to race the car up the famous hill climb course. The P1 will feature the red, blue and yellow stripes on top of the black backdrop with the Brit’s name printed on the rear spoiler of the hypercar.
James Hunt is regarded as one of the finest british racing drivers of all time and considered one of the first ‘play-boys’ of F1. His love of alcohol, cigarettes and women is almost as legendary as his on-track presence. After working his way through the ranks of racing, he entered F1 in 1973, driving for Hesketh, before moving to McLaren late in 1975. Retirement came halfway through the 1979 season, whilst having a terrible season driving for the Wolf team. After moving into commentary, Hunt sadly suffered a heart attack and died on 15th June 1993, aged 45. Hunt’s only F1 championship win came in 1976, when he beat Niki Lauda by 1 point after one of the most eventful seasons to have ever taken place.
Austrian Niki Lauda took an early lead in the season, winning 4 of the first 6 races, whilst Hunt only took 1. Jody Sheckter won the next race in Sweden, before the dominant pair took 1 win each from the next 2 events. The German grand prix at the Nurburgring was the turning point of the season. After spinning off the track into the barriers, Lauda’s car immediately burst into flames whilst sliding back into the middle of the track and being hit again by another race car. Lauda inhaled hot toxic fumes and burns all over his body, and was incredibly lucky just to survive. Unbelievably only 6 weeks later, he was back in his car and racing again, but Hunt had maximized his opportunity and caught up in the championship. Going into the last event of the championship, the rain socked Japanese grand prix on 24th October, Hunt dominated the race until his tyres blistered and he had to pit. He eventually recovered to finish third, and won the title by 1 point since Lauda had to retire through his injuries.
James Hunt was introduced into the MotorSport Hall of Fame in 2014, and his legacy as one of the fastest, and most unique F1 drivers of all time.
For further information about this year’s Goodwood Festival, click here; Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016
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Source – AutoCar – Special McLaren P1 GTR to honour F1 legend James Hunt at Goodwood – 14/06/2016