Having entered a snowmobile race at the start of the year under the name ‘James Hunt’, Kimi Raikkonen used the name again to disguise his presence at a recent party – at which he also arrived dressed as a gorilla.
Party animal Hunt would have approved. But Raikkonen will also want to emulate Hunt’s 1976 championship victory, after which this book was published.
Hunt was not keen on the idea but despite the subject’s reluctance, Eoin Young got a lot of useful insights from him that make for interesting reading.
The most interesting thing about this book is a few short sections towards the end called ‘Hunt’s mental card files’.
In these Hunt speaks with total frankness about his foremost racing adversaries – Niki Lauda, Clay Regazzoni, Jody Scheckter – and as you’d expect he pulls no punches.
Being what it is, the book is heavily skewed towards 1976 – Hunt’s championship year – and is packed with first-hand quotations from Hunt.
There are some excellent pictures including plenty of colour sections. One that leapt out at me shows a disenchanted Hunt trudging back to the pits after his retirement from the controversial Italian round, with the crowd jeering in the background and a banner proclaiming ‘away with English mafia’. Perhaps we might see similar banners at Monza this year?
It isn’t the best biography of Hunt – it tells you little about his notorious indiscretions and not very much about his racing career pre-1976.
But it is candid and very much a period piece. There are comparisons to be drawn between how British fans took to motor racing when Hunt won the championship and the spread of Hamilton-mania today. Plus it’s written by Eoin Young, so it’s a good read as well.
- â€œJames Hunt: The Biographyâ€ (Gerald Donaldson, 2003)
- â€œMemories of James Huntâ€ (Christopher Hilton, 2006)
- â€œChampion: Huntâ€ (DVD)
- Kimi Raikkonen and James Hunt
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