Like many people, I suspect, I used to think that James Hunt was a bit of a plonker. He was a few years older than me – when he was winning the world championship in 1976, I was just finishing law school. We admired his heroic driving, or course, but his poor manners seemed boorish.
Later, I warmed to him. There was something very sad about the extent to which he was laid low by his divorce from his second wife. He worked a few days a year – commentating on the races for the BBC – but was by then so poor that he had to bicycle from his home into London to get to the studio. And then, at just 45, he died of a heart attack.
I saw a DVD in the shop of a film “Rush” about his rivalry that year with Niki Lauda, and I rented it for the childish reason that it would be fun to see those cars. To my surprise, it turned out to be a very good movie indeed: well crafted, excellent script, well acted and remarkably authentic.