July 19, 2007

Big Balls and mutton chops

The discussion I had with badbadM about Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's choice to take the risk for the win in the 2005 European GP got me thinking about some of the more colorful and basically did it for fun and passion.

Before the start of this Formula 1 season, Kimi sneaked off to Finland and without telling Ferrari's management who would have most certainly have had a cow if they had found out, entered a snowmobile race. He signed up with a pseudonym: James Hunt.

Now Hunt was the ultimate slacker genius of F1: girls, cars, booze and cigarettes, it's safe to say he would not have fit well in a corporate environment. In fact he had a clause in his Mclaren contract that he would not ever have to wear a suit or got to sponsor events.

I don't need to go into the James Hunt story which you can find elsewhere online but I did find this fantastic period clip starring Dickie Davies an announcer who looks like a cross between a Michael Palin character and a porn actor and must surely have been the inspiration for Brian Fontana. The graphics alone are hilarious.
It's a wind up to the 1976 season final at Fuji Japan a race that would be held under such torrential rain that Niki Lauda decided to quit after two laps even though the championship was on the line. I guess he gambled that Hunt "the Shunt" would throw it all away and that he would win by playing it safe. Of course you can't fault Lauda for bravery, not after missing only two races after his horrific accident at the Nürburgring, an accident shown in graphic detail in this clip.

the volume is kind of loud on this clip, you might want to turn the speakers down before you hit play...

I saw these cars in person at the last Monaco Grand Prix Historique. A fantastic event and a great chance to see all these amazing cars driven, in most cases, just as hard as back when they were new.

thanks to stavelot7


  1. oh man... wtf... "we will bring you extended coverage right after the break."

    Where can i find that? I was really enjoying this.... and wasnt ready for it to just end.

  2. Yeah,, I'm sorry about that... I do have the whole race bu I though it would be beyond the internet attention span ;). I might post it in the Forum section at some point.

  3. I'm reading an old biography of Hunt at the moment - it doesn't say too much about his extra-curricular activities but some of his candid remarks about other drivers are great.

    Raikkonen going off and doing that snowmobile race really gave me some more respect for him - I just wish he'd let a little of his personality come across when he's interviewed.

  4. I'm thinking about funny Kimi remark on the starting grid of the 06 Brazilian GP...

    you can find it here


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