I’m looking forward to the movie RUSH, which comes out this week. It’s about the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 F1 season. I’m looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a racing movie which is always cool. Second, I’m interested in hearing about this rivalry because I don’t know much about it, but I do remember the ’76 season.
I was eight years old and the ’76 season is the first clear memory I have of keeping up with F1 races on “Grand Prix” on BBC2. I remember seeing Niki Lauda’s crash and the subsequent fireball. I remember the mixed feeling at James Hunt becoming F1 champion in the rain drenched Japanese Grand Prix. I was happy an English driver had won the title but thinking that he won by virtue that Niki Lauda pulled out of that race.
The thing I don’t remember about that season was the rivalry and the clash of personalities. This has a lot to do with being only eight years old and any sporting politics being over my head. However, I am intrigued to learn more as Hunt and Lauda are interesting characters and polar opposites. And if I’m being honest, I’m more of a Lauda fan than a Hunt fan because Lauda lived up to his potential whereas Hunt blew his. So to learn a little more, I’ve just picked up Rush to Glory by Tom Rubython, the book that tells the story behind that rivalry. I’m hoping to learn a thing or three.
So let the racing commence. I have my ticket and my popcorn. :-)