The greatest duel
in FORMULA 1 history: the 1976 season between Austrian Niki Lauda
and Britain's James Hunt. As the '75 season ended, Hunt was
out of FORMULA 1 racing while Lauda was world
champion and the odds-on favorite for '76 with a year's contract
ahead of him and Enzo Ferrari begging him to sign a multi-year
deal. James Hunt, without a drive until Emerson Fittipaldi broke
his McLaren contract, grabbed the McLaren drive with both hands and
the help of friend John Hogan and Marlboro cigarettes. The
result? Two drivers in an epic sixteen-race battle across the
globe for the '76 title, ultimately decided by a single point.
Fame, wealth, drugs, sex, and the rest of globetrotting 1970s
FORMULA 1 racing are encompassed in the Lauda vs. Hunt duel.
At the '76 German Grand Prix, Lauda nearly died in a fiery crash,
only to emerge six weeks later, severe burns on his face and
head, to pursue his rivalry with Hunt. It all came down to the last
race, a rain-soaked affair in Japan, where Hunt won the
championship by the slimmest possible margin. The book is a study
in contrasts during an era of Brut aftershave and disco sex
parties. James Hunt, legendary philanderer and FORMULA 1 rock star,
versus supernatural racer Niki Lauda, who in '75 set the first
sub-seven minute lap around the Ring.