1976 British Grand Prix - DVD
Rarely has there been a Formula 1 Grand Prix where audience participation played such a role in the outcome of the race - at least on paper - than the 1976 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
This remarkable programme charts the twists and turns of a race that was controversial at the time, and has remained so ever since.
The ‘76 season saw the titanic battle between McLaren’s James Hunt and Ferrari’s Niki Lauda.
Racing in front of the home crowd, James Hunt hoped to be the first English driver to win on home soil in 18 years - within seconds of the start of the race it looked very much as if that ambition wouldn’t come to pass.
What followed was an incredible moment of F1 history, now often overlooked because of the crash which nearly claimed Lauda’s life two weeks later at the Nurburgring.
This short film is a perfect slice of grand prix history. Get ready for incredible race footage of Ferrari 312s, six-wheeled Elf Team Tyrell P34s, Lotus 77s, McLaren M23s and more.
James Hunt - Grand Prix Hero : Charming, handsome, irreverent, tenacious and an outstanding talent, James Hunt had everything it took to become one of England’s most famous sportsmen and a household. However, it was his dogged determination and epic battles with Niki Lauda which made him a Grand Prix Hero.
Glorious archive footage shows us the great racer in action, while rare interviews remind us of the cheeky quips and trademark broad grin. There’s dramatic racing film from his debut at the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix right through to the Formula One World Championship-decided Japanese Grand Prix in 1976, with narration throughout from Sir Stirling Moss.
Despite a reputation which earned him the nickname ‘Hunt the Shunt’, Lord Hesketh signed up the young Brit for an assault on Formula One. We are treated to footage from that first year, including Hunt’s maiden podium at the Dutch Grand Prix, and action from 1974, when Hunt, with Harvey Postlethwaite’s Hesketh 308 at his disposal could manage only three podium finishes. The 1975 season also proved tough for the team, but the highlight came at Zandvoort when Hunt scored his first, and Hesketh’s only, Grand Prix win – and archive footage lets us share the epic battle with Lauda.
In 1976 came a move to McLaren and one of the most fascinating and turbulent season’s of Formula One racing. Lauda’s Ferrari led the way with a domination which would have broken the spirit of most contenders. Not Hunt. Neither was his ambition stifled by controversies such as disqualification from two GP wins or a grid penalty ‘mistake’. Hunt kept the pressure on and at the final race of the year he was just 3 points behind Lauda, still carrying the scars of his horrific crash in Germany.
Some say Hunt won his World Championship by default, due to Lauda’s crash, but the spectacular and determined racing in this DVD shows he was a worthy winner, and a true Grand Prix Hero.
Niki Lauda Grand Prix Hero: Niki Lauda’s heroic return from life-threatening injury made him a global sporting superstar, but for Formula One fans it was his lightning speed, supreme skills and utter domination which, as much as his bravery, that made him a Grand Prix Hero.
Archive race action, rarely-seen testing footage and period interviews with Lauda himself recall the highs land lows of a stunning and inspirational career, including film of his very first Grand Prix outing in his native Austria in 1971. Although results with March in 1972 and BRM the following year were disappointing, Lauda did enough to attract the attention of Ferrari, and a race seat for 1974.
With commentary by Sir Stirling Moss, we enjoy action from those early, challenging days, and Lauda’s move to the front with the Prancing Horse – including his first Grand Prix win. There’s also action from Monaco, Zolder, Anderstorp and Zandvoort as Lauda dominates the 1975 season on his way to the World Championship.
There’s race footage from the dramatic 1976 season, including the fiery Nurburging crash which it was feared at the time would claim the champion’s life. However, Lauda was racing again just six weeks later, and we see his brave return at Monza, as well as the Japanese Grand Prix where Lauda, still battling with his injuries, lost the championship by a single point.
More amazing than his rapid return to action, was the speed with which he regained his world-beating form, and race action from throughout 1977 records his dominant journey to a second World Championship. His switch to Brabham for 1978 saw the first stage of his Grand Prix career fade out, although there were unforgettable moments – including the Swedish victory in the controversial BT46B ‘Fan Car’!
In addition, we join Lauda for a 1976 Ferrari test session and five years later as he comes out of retirement to test for McLaren at Donington. Footage from the McLaren session provides a fascinating insight into the decisive moment which saw Lauda return to racing and, in 1984, score his third Formula One World Championship, cementing his place as a true Grand Prix Hero.