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...and I'm still not over Rush. The fourth time I've seen it all the changes once again set my teeth on edge, so here's a short run-down.

Rush versus reality:


  • James Hunt and Niki Lauda were friends, not enemies. They even briefly shared a one-bedroom flat in London in 1971.

  • Niki Lauda was as much of a womaniser as James, he was just less successful at it.

  • James hasn't joined Hesketh Racing until mid-1972. By signing him up Hesketh has literally saved Hunt's career from oblivion as no other team wanted anything to do with him at that point, mainly due to his history of crashing cars. True to his reputation, in the first two races for Hesketh Hunt destroyed both of Hesketh's F3 cars. That is how he got promoted to Formula 2. It took him another year to wreck the F2 car and get promoted to Formula 1.

  • James was paralytically drunk at his wedding after a 4-day-long bender because he very much did not want to get married and was afraid he wouldn't get through the ceremony sober.

  • He promptly abandoned his wife but the two of them kept the fact they were no longer together a secret until the news of her affair with Richard Burton broke out. Hunt was delighted that she found herself a new lover because he could stop feeling guilty. He and Richard Burton became friends.

  • The vote about racing at Nürburgring took place at the start of the season, not just before the race.

  • Before 1976 Hunt has never taken the pole position, and has only won one Grand Prix. No one was taking him seriously as a world championship challenger, and he had to fight for the title of the first driver at McLaren with his teammate Jochen Mass.

  • There were 16 Grand Prix races in 1976: Long Beach, Sweden, Canada, and Watkins Glen also took place.

  • While recovering from his accident Niki Lauda missed two races - Austria and Holland. Hunt won one of those. He and Niki would spend an hour on the phone every day while Niki was recuperating.

  • In Monza the Italian officials used trumped up charges of the Mclaren team using illegal fuel to discount Hunt's qualifying time and stick him at the end of the grid where he couldn't pose any challenge to Niki. Hunt tried to charge anyway and got to the 11th place before his luck ran out and he ended up off the track in a sand trap.

  • Niki Lauda had his panic attack, where he was unable to get his car into second gear, during the first post-accident practice session, not the Italian Grand Prix.

  • Hunt never punched a journalist in Niki's defence. He was, however, a hot-head and had a history of well publicised punching incidents.

  • Ferrari appealed after the British Grand Prix and won, taking James' points away and adding extra 3 to Niki.

  • After the appeal outcome was announced Niki and James hated each other "for about six hours", goaded by the journalists reporting to them what the other one said in reaction to the news. They've made up once they got a chance to talk face to face before the Canadian Grand Prix.

  • For the next Grand Prix, in Watkins Glen, they've stayed in interconnected rooms and chased girls together.

  • Teddy Mayer would certainly have liked James Hunt to be saying meekly "I'm sorry Teddy" after the race in Japan, but Hunt was instead ranting and raving at the team for taking so long to change his tyres. Teddy did indeed shut him up by holding up three fingers to show him he was third. Hunt didn't let himself really believe it until after the press conference was finished and he realised that everyone's left and so no one would be appealing his win that time.

  • Hunt's gear lever broke not in Japan in 1976 but at a non-championship race in Silverstone in 1974, and it was at the start. He ended up driving the 40 laps-race impaling his hand on the sharp stub that was left in order to change gears. He won.

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