James Hunt

James Hunt - Sportspersons, Family and Childhood

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James Hunt Biography Stories 

James Hunt's Personal Details

James Simon Wallis Hunt was a British racing driver who became hugely popular in 1970s

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 29, 1947
Died onJune 15, 1993
NationalityBritish
FamousSportspersons, F1 Drivers
SpousesSarah Lomax, Suzy Hunt
SiblingsDavid Hunt, Georgina Hunt, Peter Hunt, Sally Hunt, Timothy Hunt
Known asJames Simon Wallis Hunt, Hunt the Shunt
ChildrensFreddie Hunt, Tom Hunt
Universities
  • Wellington College
  • Berkshire
Birth PlaceBelmont, Sutton
GenderMale
FatherWallis Hunt
MotherSue Hunt
Sun SignVirgo
Born inBelmont, Sutton
Famous asF1 Driver
Died at Age45

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James Hunt's photo

Who is James Hunt?

James Simon Wallis Hunt was a British racing driver. He became immensely popular in the 1970s and won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. He had a colourful personality which combined with his handsome looks and playboy image, won him the love and affection of many young people. Although he started his career as a touring car racing driver, he gradually advanced to Formula Three in 1969 when he became a part of the Hesketh Racing team. He came to be known as ‘Hunt the Shunt’ for his thrilling adventures on the racing track. In 1973, he entered Formula One representing the Hesketh Racing team and driving a March 731. Later, he won both World Championship and non-Championship races for them, driving the Hesketh 308 car. Towards the end of 1975, he joined the McLaren team and won the World Drivers' Championship in 1976. After a couple of years he joined the Wolf team but was unsuccessful in completing a series of races, perhaps because he had lost the thrill in the sport. He retired from his racing career in the mid season of 1979. Following his retirement, he continued to create an impact as a television commentator and businessman, but died all of a sudden at the age of 45.

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Childhood & Early Life

James Hunt was born on August 29, 1947, in Belmont to a London stockbroker, Wallis Hunt and his wife Sue Hunt. He was the second child of the family and had an elder sister and four younger siblings.

He got educated at Westerleigh School in Hastings from 1955 and later at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire. As a young boy, he was resolute by nature and became a talented sportsman, excelling in tennis and squash.

Exposure to an auto race before his 18th birthday motivated him to become a professional car racer. However, given his whimsical temperament, his parents did not support his plans. He did odd jobs to purchase a previously owned Mini and dedicated two years race-preparing it. His entry was, however, disqualified because the driver's seat was an old lawn chair. He later worked as a trainee manager of a telephone company to collect necessary funds to prepare for races.

In the initial days of his racing ventures, he met several big accidents that instilled fear in him. Gradually, he learned to overcome these fears momentarily in order to win races but would throw up in the garage.

Career

In 1968, he raced in Formula Ford and drove a Russell-Alexis Mk 14 car. In his first race, he finished at the fifth position. He first won at Lydden Hill and set a lap record on the Brands Hatch short circuit.

In 1969, he raced in Formula Three and drove a Meryln Mk11A car. Thereafter, he won several races and created a reputation for himself. In 1972, he was dropped from the STP-March Formula Three team.

He signed up with the Hesketh team in 1973. Initially, the team entered him in Formula Two but with little success. He was later entered in Formula One according to Lord Hesketh’s wishes. He drove the Hesketh March 731 and won the second position at the 1973 United States Grand Prix.

In 1974, he was successful at the BRDC International Trophy non-Championship race at Silverstone. In 1975, he won the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Soon, Hesketh was running short of funds leading Hunt to sign up with McLaren for the next season.

1976 was the most remarkable season of his career. He drove the McLaren M23 and won six F1 Grand Prix that year. He was the last British F1 champion until Nigel Mansell won the 1992 championship for Williams.

The season of 1977 started on a rough note with McLaren M26 underperforming but by the year end, he and McLaren M26 emerged quicker than most rival combination. He won in Silverstone and Watkins Glen. He also won the race in Fuji but was imposed a heavy fine for not attending the podium ceremony. He finished fifth in the World Drivers' Championship that year.

In 1978, he wanted to win a second world championship; however, he could manage to score only eight world championship points due to the slow responding McLaren M26.

By 1979, he was determined to part with the McLaren team. He received a deal from Ferrari but opted to join the Walter Wolf Racing team instead. He desired to win more races and compete for world championship. However, he soon lost motivation as he realised that the team’s car was not good enough. On June 8, 1979 he announced his retirement from F1 competition.

After his retirement, he took up television commentary for BBC's Formula One coverage and continued for thirteen years until his death.

Major Works

James Hunt won a total of ten Grand Prix during his lifetime out of which six were won in the year 1976 when he was part of team McLaren.

Awards & Achievements

In 1973, James Hunt was awarded the Campbell Trophy for putting forward the best performance by a British in F1.

In 1976, he was awarded the Tarmac Trophy along with two cheques of total value £2500 and other awards, by the Duke of Kent.

Personal Life & Legacy

James Hunt married Suzy Miller in October 1974 but by the end of 1975, she moved on with Richard Burton, who also paid Hunt's divorce settlement of $1 million.

He married Sarah Lomax in December 1983. Together, they had two children, Tom and Freddie. They divorced in November 1989.

He died of heart attack in his sleep on June 15, 1993. He was 45 years old and had proposed to Helen Dyson via telephone a day before his death.

Trivia

Fellow racer Ronnie Peterson's fatal car crash in the 1978 Italian Grand Prix had affected Hunt deeply.

Regardless of having earned millions in his lifetime, he was in terrible financial state at the time of his death.

In 2013, Ron Howard directed a movie called ‘Rush’ based on James Hunt’s life.

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James Hunt biography timelines

  • // 29th Aug 1947
    James Hunt was born on August 29, 1947, in Belmont to a London stockbroker, Wallis Hunt and his wife Sue Hunt. He was the second child of the family and had an elder sister and four younger siblings.
  • // 1955
    He got educated at Westerleigh School in Hastings from 1955 and later at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire. As a young boy, he was resolute by nature and became a talented sportsman, excelling in tennis and squash.
  • // 1968
    In 1968, he raced in Formula Ford and drove a Russell-Alexis Mk 14 car. In his first race, he finished at the fifth position. He first won at Lydden Hill and set a lap record on the Brands Hatch short circuit.
  • // 1969 To 1972
    In 1969, he raced in Formula Three and drove a Meryln Mk11A car. Thereafter, he won several races and created a reputation for himself. In 1972, he was dropped from the STP-March Formula Three team.
  • // 1973
    He signed up with the Hesketh team in 1973. Initially, the team entered him in Formula Two but with little success. He was later entered in Formula One according to Lord Hesketh’s wishes. He drove the Hesketh March 731 and won the second position at the 1973 United States Grand Prix.
  • // 1973
    In 1973, James Hunt was awarded the Campbell Trophy for putting forward the best performance by a British in F1.
  • // 1974 To 1975
    In 1974, he was successful at the BRDC International Trophy non-Championship race at Silverstone. In 1975, he won the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Soon, Hesketh was running short of funds leading Hunt to sign up with McLaren for the next season.
  • // Oct 1974 To 1975
    James Hunt married Suzy Miller in October 1974 but by the end of 1975, she moved on with Richard Burton, who also paid Hunt's divorce settlement of $1 million.
  • // 1976 To 1992
    1976 was the most remarkable season of his career. He drove the McLaren M23 and won six F1 Grand Prix that year. He was the last British F1 champion until Nigel Mansell won the 1992 championship for Williams.
  • // 1976
    James Hunt won a total of ten Grand Prix during his lifetime out of which six were won in the year 1976 when he was part of team McLaren.
  • // 1976
    In 1976, he was awarded the Tarmac Trophy along with two cheques of total value £2500 and other awards, by the Duke of Kent.
  • // 1977
    The season of 1977 started on a rough note with McLaren M26 underperforming but by the year end, he and McLaren M26 emerged quicker than most rival combination. He won in Silverstone and Watkins Glen. He also won the race in Fuji but was imposed a heavy fine for not attending the podium ceremony. He finished fifth in the World Drivers' Championship that year.
  • // 1978
    In 1978, he wanted to win a second world championship; however, he could manage to score only eight world championship points due to the slow responding McLaren M26.
  • // 1978
    Fellow racer Ronnie Peterson's fatal car crash in the 1978 Italian Grand Prix had affected Hunt deeply.
  • // 8th Jun 1979
    By 1979, he was determined to part with the McLaren team. He received a deal from Ferrari but opted to join the Walter Wolf Racing team instead. He desired to win more races and compete for world championship. However, he soon lost motivation as he realised that the team’s car was not good enough. On June 8, 1979 he announced his retirement from F1 competition.
  • // Dec 1983 To Nov 1989
    He married Sarah Lomax in December 1983. Together, they had two children, Tom and Freddie. They divorced in November 1989.
  • // 15th Jun 1993
    He died of heart attack in his sleep on June 15, 1993. He was 45 years old and had proposed to Helen Dyson via telephone a day before his death.
  • // 2013
    In 2013, Ron Howard directed a movie called ‘Rush’ based on James Hunt’s life.

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James Hunt's FAQ

  • What is James Hunt birthday?

    James Hunt was born at 1947-08-29

  • When was James Hunt died?

    James Hunt was died at 1993-06-15

  • Where was James Hunt died?

    James Hunt was died in Wimbledon

  • Which age was James Hunt died?

    James Hunt was died at age 45

  • Where is James Hunt's birth place?

    James Hunt was born in Belmont, Sutton

  • What is James Hunt nationalities?

    James Hunt's nationalities is British

  • Who is James Hunt spouses?

    James Hunt's spouses is Sarah Lomax, Suzy Hunt

  • Who is James Hunt siblings?

    James Hunt's siblings is David Hunt, Georgina Hunt, Peter Hunt, Sally Hunt, Timothy Hunt

  • Who is James Hunt childrens?

    James Hunt's childrens is Freddie Hunt, Tom Hunt

  • What was James Hunt universities?

    James Hunt studied at Wellington College, Berkshire

  • Who is James Hunt's father?

    James Hunt's father is Wallis Hunt

  • Who is James Hunt's mother?

    James Hunt's mother is Sue Hunt

  • What is James Hunt's sun sign?

    James Hunt is Virgo

  • How famous is James Hunt?

    James Hunt is famouse as F1 Driver