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Hunt vs Lauda
Hunt vs Lauda“Legendary World Champion racing
  drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt went
  head-to-head in the crazy, adrenaline-
1976 Formula 1 season an
  exciting, dangerous and dramatic time
  for motor racing and perfectly revisited
  in Hunt vs Lauda: Grand Prix
s Greatest
  Racing Rivals, The True Story

FOCUSING ON THE 1976 FORMULA 1 SEASON — during which James Hunt became a contender for seemingly-unstoppable World Champion Niki Lauda's crown — Hunt vs Lauda: Grand Prix's Greatest Racing Rivals explores the relationship between these two titans and their mutual admiration and respectful rivalry.

Driving for top team Ferrari, in 1975 Austrian Niki Lauda is the undisputed Formula 1 Champion of the World. Mentally and physically fit, it seems nobody can touch him. But a new potential champion is to emerge in the form of a good-looking, charismatic and talented Briton who parties as hard as he fights for the title for team McLaren.

Hunt vs Lauda:
Grand Prix’s Greatest
Racing Rivals…
A heart-stopping,
dramatic, and evocative
must-see documentary
of an exciting, yet
poignant and almost
catastrophic time
for Formula 1...”
James Hunt has been hailed as one of the greatest motor racing drivers ever. His reputation as 'Hunt the Shunt' was due to his press-on determination to win. Hunt vs Lauda follows the drama and thrills of the race as the two top and highly-talented racing drivers, facing sixteen gruelling races over ten months at locations all over the world, battle it out for the supreme victory of the 1976 Season.

Unfortunately for Niki Lauda, it is a season beset with problems. Working for the single-minded Enzo Ferrari, for whom the word 'can't' does not exist, Niki is determined not to let the side down in Spain, the fourth round. Despite having suffered broken ribs from a gardening accident, he decides to drive. In spite of his best efforts, James Hunt wins the race; celebrating in his usual style partying into the night.

As the true showman he is, when asked about the later disqualification following a complaint about modifications to the car, James shrugs: "I just drive the damned thing". And with Niki's points almost double that of James, it looks to be a done deal. But fate is about to intervene.

Driving on his own soil at Brand's Hatch for the British Grand Prix, following an accident that caused the race to be restarted, James drives to victory in front of an ecstatic crowd. Again the decision is challenged due to a technicality and there is a lengthy wait to find out if it is overturned.

But disaster is to strike. At the notoriously challenging and dangerous Nurburgring track, Niki is beginning to have doubts. He talks to the other drivers about his observations, but on the day despite torrential rain that has left some areas of the track wet and, because of its length, some dry the race is run.

Niki crashes and his car is engulfed in flames. He suffers serious burns to his face and scalp and has inhaled poisonous fumes from the inferno. His life hanging in the balance, Niki's mother speaks to a sympathetic interviewer in a brave and poignant telephone conversation. The world waits.

Perhaps because of his steely resolve against all the odds, family man Niki survives and his recovery is so good that he is back driving with his wife Marlene's unwavering support after just five weeks. But his brush with death would have affected them both badly. With the championship at stake, Niki bravely prepares to do battle.

Hunt vs Lauda: Grand Prix's Greatest Racing Rivals
is told through never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with Niki Lauda, team managers Alastair Caldwell and Daniele Audetto, families, journalists, and friends who were at the forefront.

The film perfectly captures the heart of the 1970s and the season that was to change Formula 1 forever. A heart-stopping, dramatic and evocative must-see documentary of an exciting, yet poignant and almost catastrophic time for Formula 1.

James retired from motor racing in 1979 and began broadcasting, with his spot-on observations of the sport. He died at the early age of 45 in 1993 and is sadly missed.

In common with top racing driver of the 1950s Mike Hawthorn, who died at the wheel of a road car after he had retired from motor racing, and unlike the great Ayrton Senna, it was not his risky occupation that took James Hunt's life at a young age but a heart-attack. Niki Lauder's amazing recovery would have been, in part, due to the kind of courage it takes to make Formula 1 your life especially during the 1970s.

It will be that same inborn determination that can pull Michael Schumacher through as, at the time of writing, he lies in a coma following a skiing accident. Formula 1 fans' thoughts will be with him.

* A powerful documentary, Hunt vs Lauda: Grand Prix's Greatest Racing Rivals originally aired on BBC4 and is released by Delta Leisure in the UK on DVD on 27 January 2014. Running Time: 52 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: 96456 | RRP: £9.99.

"Hunt vs Lauda: Grand Prix's Greatest Racing Rivals… A heart-stopping, dramatic, and evocative must-see documentary of an exciting, yet poignant and almost catastrophic time for Formula 1" Maggie Woods

"The stuff of which myths and movies are made" Huffington Post

"Breathtaking… brought a tear to the eye ****" Metro

"I did not want to start the race at the Nurburgring… I did so out of loyalty towards my firm and my friends. It was not a good compromise for me" Niki Lauda

"Niki was the only bloke who could get half his face burnt off and come out better looking" James Hunt

"We were big rivals, especially at the end of the season. But I respected him (James Hunt) because you could drive next to him two cars, wheel-by-wheel for 300km or more and nothing would happen. He was a real top driver at the time" Niki Lauda in an interview with Newsweek