“Champion: Hunt” (DVD)

Formula One DVD Review - This is one of the more contemporary titles in Duke Video’s series of video biographies of notable champions. 1976 champion James Hunt was one of the sport’s most unusual characters, and his championship-winning season is just begging to be made into a feature film.

There’s a lot of high quality footage and it’s been carefully thought out and well presented – much better than the early F1 season review DVDs. Much of the narrative is supplied by an interview conducted by Autosport F1 journalist Nigel Roebuck with Hunt in 1990, which brings out all the dry, laconic charm that characterised Hunt’s contribution to the legendary BBC Grand Prix broadcasts alongside Murray Walker. Such an approach would perhaps not work so well with most contemporary drivers…

The story of Hunt’s career is, of course, bound up with the brief rise and fall of Lord Hesketh’s Formula One team, that gave Hunt his big break and first win in the sport. But what amazes most of all is Hunt’s attitude to safety – the same man who told Niki Lauda shortly after the Austrian’s return from a crash that nearly killed him, “to hell with safety, all I want to do is race” became in the end mortally afraid of his sport.

This video is an excellent insight into the poorly-captured earlier years of Formula One. The footage may be patchy in places, and the music is terrible, but this is a fascinating, entertaining and wholly worthwhile purchase.

F1Fanatic Verdict

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