Tuesday 15th June 1993
James Simon Wallis Hunt (45) died from a heart attack in his house in Wimbledon, England shortly after having asked his fiancée Helen to marry him. James Hunt made a first impression in motor racing with frightening accidents in Formula 3. But once he graduated into Formula 1 with Lord Hesketh’s March privateer team, his career progressed well. Winning the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, now in the Postlethwaite-designed Hesketh 308, opened the doors to replace Emerson Fittipaldi at McLaren the following season. Hunt took the title challenge all the way to the final race at Mount Fuji where third place in torrential rain was enough to secure the title. Having reached the pinnacle, James somewhat seemed to have lost a target to focus on and his career went into a dive. He retired in 1979, finding F1 too dangerous and not worth the risk. After a couple of years away he returned as a TV commentator for the BBC and got more than once in hot water for his laid back commentary style.