James Hunt of Britain in a Marlboro McLaren M23 won the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday (29 August) for the second consecutive year.
James Hunt of Britain in a Marlboro McLaren M23 won the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday (29 August) for the second consecutive year. The victory took him within two points of Austria's Niki Lauda, who is leading in the world motor racing championship. Lauda is at present in hospital recovering from a crash during the West German Grand Prix.
SYNOPSIS: Hunt got off to a slow start from his second grid position but took over the lead from Sweden's Ronnie Petersen in a March 671 on the twelfth lap. All 26 drivers started. Hans Joachim Stuck of West Germany in a March had to pull into the pits after only one lap - but there were no mechanical problems for Hunt. One major threat early on, though, came from his fellow countryman, John Watson, driving a Penske. Watson in car number 38, was determined to stay glued to Hunt's tail. Some distance behind them was the third placed man, Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni in a Ferrari.
The other man who has been representing the Ferrari team is Lauda, the reigning World Champion. Lauda's face and hands were badly burned and his lungs damaged from inhaling vaporised petroleum in the crash on the Nurburgring track during the West German Grand Prix at the beginning of August.
Doctors say that his recovery so far has been amazingly rapid, but with Lauda still in hospital, Hunt has closed the gap in this year's world championship.
Hunt's pace at Zandvoor was too much for Watson's Penske. Watson was forced to pull off the track during the 47th lap with engine trouble, and that allowed Clay Regazzoni to move up into second place.
But Regazzoni could not reduce Hunt's lead and the Briton won the race with an average speed of 181.35 kilometres (113.34 miles) per hour. Regazzoni was second. Third place went to Mario Andretti of the United States, driving a John Player Special.