The future of the new world motor racing champion, Niki Lauda of Austria, has been uncertain since he clinched the title with fourth place in the Unite States Grand Prix on Sunday (2 October).
GV: start of race (2 shots)
GV: cars round bend and away in heavy rain.
GV: James Hunt down straight and round bend
GV: other cars driving in heavy spray.
GV: cars increasing speed along straight as track dries out.
GV: Hunt round corner sideways and down into chicane followed by other cars.
GV: cars sliding through chicane.
GV: Hunt round bend and across finishing line.
GV: Hunt on winners rostrum.
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: The future of the new world motor racing champion, Niki Lauda of Austria, has been uncertain since he clinched the title with fourth place in the Unite States Grand Prix on Sunday (2 October). Lauda had already announced that he'll be driving for the Brabham team next year, and now there's speculation that he'll leave Ferrari earlier. Some reports have suggested that he won't race in next Sunday's (9 October) Canadian Grand Prix because of his dissatisfaction with the Ferrari team. Britain's James Hunt was the winner of Sunday's Grand Prix.
SYNOPSIS: Raced at Watkins Glen in New York, the Grand Prix began in pouring rain. Most drivers were forced to use wet weather tyres which hampered them later when the track dried out between showers. Hans Stuck of West Germany took the lead in the first turn from James Hunt, who had pole position, and that's where he stayed until the 14th lap when he had to retire because of mechanical trouble. Hunt was then shadowed by Mario Andretti of the United States for the rest of the race.
Hunt doesn't like driving in the rain, but Lauda likes it even less. He was content to let other drivers battle for victory while he moved up slowly from his seventh-place starting position to fourth place....all he needed to take the World Drivers' championship from James Hunt. It was the second time he'd won the title in three years, but he wouldn't talk to newsmen after the race, and left abruptly by helicopter.
Cars driven on a drying track with wet weather tyres give handling problems....the rubber's too soft and the card are hard to control. In fact, showers throughout the race meant drivers had to stick with their wet weather tyres....and many of them were driving through puddles on purpose to keep their tyres wet when it wasn't raining. Hunt and Andretti later said the driving conditions had them very worried throughout the race.
Hunt's McLaren on its way to victory. He became the first driver since Britain's Jim Clark to win grand prix races twice in a row here. But it was only Hunt's second victory in what has so far been a disappointing season for him. In spite of that, he's now confident about the rest of the season which ends in Japan later this month.