At the same time, his natural ability behind the wheel was unparalleled, and while his propensity for risk-taking didn’t always endear him to others (hence the nickname “Hunt the Shunt”), it also made him spectacular to watch in full-flight.
In 1976, with Lauda at Ferrari and Hunt at McLaren, the two combined for the greatest season-long battle in Formula 1 history. Over 16 races filled with drama, controversy and near-tragedy, Hunt managed to reel-in Lauda’s early championship lead to eventually win the title by a single point, 69-68. The award-winning and acclaimed film - Rush - immortalised one of sport's greatest duels.
Throughout it all, the admiration each had for the other would only grow despite the rivalry which captured the hearts and minds of a whole new fan base across the globe. The two would remain good friends until Hunt’s passing in 1993.
Niki said of his mate: "For me, James was the most charismatic personality who's ever been in Formula 1."