Freddie Hunt responded quickly to the request Infobae. No laps, as his father was, James Huntthe 1976 world champion, who was a unique character in the Formula 1 for his free and unprejudiced way of life. From somewhere in Scotland, his son remembered him in a pleasant chat in which he recounted his presence as a pilot, his move to help the refugees from Ukraine and his longing for Argentina, where he lived one year.
Once retired, James married Sarah Lomax and moved to the Wimbledon neighborhood, the same one where the traditional tennis open is held, in west London. There his children were born, Tom (37) and Freddie (34). James enjoyed the family environment very much and his children always praised them as a father.
Freddie raced in monopostos like Formula Ford, Formula Renault and then moved on to Gran Turismo cars. He always competed with the backpack of carrying an illustrious surname, but he made his way and earned his place in motorsports with his own name. He became someone very well loved in the international environment and every time he was invited to an F1 race or other event he was received with open arms, as in Argentina, in the 2013 Master of Drivers, a karting race in the that the best national pilots participated and it was done in Puerto Madero. The English had already been captivated by our country.
“I think I was 15 years old when I first went to Argentina. Since then I have visited the country for more than seven years, most of the time on farms with friends in the province of Buenos Aires, in Corrientes, in Patagonia, and I spent a year living in Buenos Aires. Some of the best memories of my life were the happiest times I spent in Argentina”, he confesses. During his stay he dedicated himself to touring the country and became a lover of barbecue.
This year Hunt runs in the Le Mans Cup, a category with cars similar to those that compete in the legendary 24 Hours (this weekend its 90th edition was held), and runs only in Europe. “It’s great to be in the championship, it’s a challenge. We are a new team and something new for me like prototype racing. So we have a lot to learn and it’s a very competitive place with a lot of the top professionals who came from Le Mans and the rules have changed in recent years. From there the championship was born in which we race with Le Mans P3 (LMP3) regulation cars, with several drivers aged 30-35 with a lot of experience. It’s a tough competition to be able to beat,” he says.
About his driving style, it is defined as “aggressive, but I think it depends on my mood during the day. I was certainly very aggressive but I’m trying to change that because sometimes I got into trouble so I try to be more conservative but sometimes you know you have to attack and sometimes you don’t. The question is knowing when to attack and when not to attack.”
Freddie is also committed to the Ukrainian people suffering from the Russian invasion. That’s why spearheads actions to raise funds for refugees: “We are going to do a three-hour drag kart race on June 28 to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.” She organized the event through her Instagram account and with the help of friends. It will be the day Freddie turns 35.
In 1976 James had the epic duel with Niki Lauda that came to the cinema with the movie Rush (2013). Freddie met the remembered Austrian and forged a friendship with his son, Mathias. About Niki he remembers that “we have met several times and she has given me good advice, which is good. But I know his son Mathias better (also a pilot), and we made a film together, a documentary that will be released this year. I’m really excited about that and now we’re good friends.” production is called “Sons of Speed”.
His father was considered the “Playboy of F1″ and many stories contained their particular way of life, such as the myth of having been with 5,000 women or a party without limits before the definition of the 1976 title, among other. He used to smoke on the weekends or have a beer or other drink after the activity was over. He was always authentic and showed himself to the surface. This Wednesday marks the 29th anniversary of his death. He had a great rivalry with Lauda, but with motoring codes from another era, they forged a great friendship under the car.
But what was James Hunt like in family life? “I have few memories of him because he died when I was only five years old. But I remember going to a Grand Prix when he was a commentator, after traveling by bus and some memories of home, the birds he raised, the parakeets. He used to race these birds, you had hundreds of them, maybe even thousands, so yeah, it was some fond memories of him,” explains Freddie.
What do you miss most about your father?
-I really don’t know, it’s not something I think about very often, but I guess just having a father.
What would you say to him if he were here?
-I dont know. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about.
-Is there any ‘James Hunt’ in F1 today?
And can there be a ‘James Hunt’ in F1 in the future?
-No, to be honest, I don’t think there are many people like my father and I don’t think someone like my father can survive in Formula 1, they would not be allowed to behave the way my father behaved. Yeah, I mean, maybe there will be some characters like my dad, but they won’t be able to be themselves on the track or even off the track because of all the media. So I think that there is no chance of me meeting someone like my father in F1 these days.
Who is the best driver in F1 today?
-Well, that’s difficult, there are many. Obviously I think Max (Verstappen) is probably the fastest, but also Russell (George). Lewis (Hamilton) It’s still Lewis, but maybe he’s past his prime, maybe because George Russell is beating him (they’re teammates at Mercedes). If I had to choose one, I would say Max; George (Russell) and Lando (Norris) they are also very fast, but unfortunately the car is not that good at the moment, so yes, I think there are a lot of fast drivers. Of course, Fernando Alonso it’s still there, but I think Max is probably the fastest.
Freddie dreams of being able to race and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2026, the 50th anniversary of his father’s F1 title. “It is definitely possible. That’s the plan so yeah 2026 is the 50th anniversary of my dad’s world championship so the plan is to win or at least be among the front runners in the morning (night is the hardest part of the race) and we can do it assuming we find sponsors to pay for it, it’s very possible.”
He affirms that he only knows “TC 2000” from Argentine motorsports and “he witnessed a race at the Autodromo de Buenos Aires Oscar y Juan Gálvez”. Personally, he says that “my girlfriend lives near London. I live in Scotland, but we see each other very often and we travel from here to there”.
And he has another visit to Argentina scheduled: “I really don’t have much free time. But when I can, I like to enjoy nature, in the mountains, in the countryside, my idea is not to sit on the beach, it is to go to Patagonia to ride a horse for a few weeks”.
Friendly, direct and simple, Freddie is striking due to his physical resemblance to James, although the image is the least important since he is shown with the strongest legacy that his father left him and that distinguishes him as a true Hunt: his freedom.
MORE FREDDIE HUNT PHOTOS
He was world champion and said he had sex with 5,000 women: the story of James Hunt, the great Formula 1 playboy
The story of the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, which became a blockbuster in the cinema
Niki Lauda’s races in our country and his link with Argentine drivers
Man on fire: 45 years after Niki Lauda’s accident at the Nürburgring that marked Formula 1 forever