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Oh my! Isn't she a beauty? Let's talk about James Hunt's F1 cars

Mr Hunt is known for lots of things, one of the most popular is the success he had with women, but this article is not about the beauties he got to know in his personal life, but the conquests he got inside the racetracks. He drove quite a few gorgeous machines, the kind that a lot of us mere mortals can only dream of trying out.

James Hunt struggled to find work when he was a young pilot, because of a reputation that he built for himself as a constant car crasher, that even got him his nickname 'Hunt the Shunt'. In some point between 1972 and 1973, for the luck of him and that of Lord Alexander Fermor-Hesketh (who had recently decided to create a racing team), they met.

In the beginning, they bought a Surtees TS9 Formula One car for non-championship events, such as the Race of Champions, in which the British driver finished third. After that, they bought a March 731 and signed a designer from the brand to modify it for Hesketh Racing. Hunt debuted in the harshest place there is in the Formula 1 world: Monaco. He impressed running in sixth place, but he did not finish the race due to an engine failure.

Two races later, he was claiming a fourth place at his home GP at Silverstone and on the next Grand Prix, he claimed his first podium when he arrived third in the Netherlands. The team withdrew from the Championship after that race but would come back next year with a car of their own making: the Hesketh 308.

This car gave them three podiums (thirds) in the 1974 season and was modified for 1975 (308B) to provide James with his first Grand Prix win in Zandvoort, the only one ever for Hesketh Racing. They also achieved three second places that season and Hunt finished fourth, after racing the 308C for the last two races of the season, but the lack of sponsors was the end of the team.

James dealt his way into McLaren for the 1976 season, and he was an immediate impact. He inherited a perfected M23 that Emerson Fittipaldi used two years before to win McLaren's first-ever World Championship. The Brazilian icon had just left the team after failing to defend his previous feat, and Hunt came to replace him. The new M23D had a new 6-speed gearbox, improved aerodynamics and bodywork.

He fought hard to beat an injured Niki Lauda that season by only one point, claiming the World Title he had desired since he was young. He drove the race of his career at Japan to get that one-point margin and always gave the audience a show in that McLaren.

He went on for two more years with the team. The M23 evolved into the lower and lighter M26, but it came with a lot of trouble, so the British driver had to rely on the four-year-old M23 in the early part of the 1977 season, achieving a second and a fourth place with it.

For 1979 Hunt moved to Wolf, and he drove both the WR7 and the WR8. The cars of the Walter Wolf Racing Team proved untrustworthy, and after avoiding some dangerous situations in his several race retirements due to loose car parts or mechanical malfunctions, the English superstar lost his enthusiasm for driving and decided to retire.

His last race was at Monaco, where it all began for him, and he couldn't even finish it. He was replaced by future World Champion Keke Rosberg and continued his career as a commentator and a family man.

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