In the 70s, James Hunt and Niki Lauda were probably the biggest names on the world stage of Formula One. Their epic rivalry was one of the most iconic in the sport. However, James Hunt suffered a terrible car crash during Monaco Grand Prix in 1976 and was never the same again. The Formula One driver, who soon rose to the position of the sport’s greatest playboy, was known for his prowess on the track and lived a lavish lifestyle. Today the legend would have been 75 years old if an untimely heart attack did not claim his life in 1993. Meanwhile, some reports have come to light that claims that James’ rival Lauda warned him prior to his 1976 crash.
Niki Lauda Warned James Hunt About The Accident!
Hunt and Lauda were polar opposites on the racing circuit. And their intense competition captivated the world and alienated supporters. While Hunt joyfully led a wild playboy lifestyle of luxury in the public glare, Niki Lauda was a soft-spoken, well-mannered introvert. The two got to know one another through their racing endeavors. And they engaged in a legendary fight on the tracks for over a whole decade. With the release of the 2013 film Rush, their conflict was later made famous in popular culture.
The pinnacle of their rivalry occurred during the infamous 1976 world championship. In Japan, the two had participated in a thrilling final race that went down to the wire. Prior to the film’s debut, Lauda had told the media that he had forewarned Hunt about his way of life years before the actor passed away. Hunt had been warned by Lauda that he would not endure if he continued living his showy, playboy lifestyle.
Niki stated, “I was in contact with him after racing, when he was broke and more or less finished. I met him for lunch in London one day and told him.” Niki also said that he warned James Hunt that he needed to get his act together or he would not survive. Lauda mentioned, “My biggest regret is that he’s not sitting here now, talking about this movie with me.”
After competing in Formula One for seven years, Hunt announced his retirement in 1979 at the age of 32. He then turned to writing and commentary for sports publications. James Hunt won his sole Formula One championship three years before retiring in the memorable 1976 race. The previous year, Lauda had won the title, and he appeared poised to continue his dominance until he was involved in a horrific incident at the German Grand Prix that would go down in history.