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How a spectacular but brief F1 career created a British legend

James Hunt's time in a Formula 1 cockpit was relatively fleeting but, says NIGEL ROEBUCK, this maverick character achieved a great deal in a life which was sadly cut short

It was in June 1993 - two days after the Canadian Grand Prix - that a heart attack claimed James Hunt. He hadn't been in Montreal, instead doing the BBC commentary with Murray Walker from London. I got back on the Tuesday morning, and towards lunchtime had a call from Autosport, informing me of the news, and requesting I write an obituary forthwith.

It was not until the next day that I got around to my answering machine, and the last message stunned me: "Nigel, J. Hunt calling. Six twenty-five, Monday evening. Just calling for a gossip. If you're back tonight, give me a shout - failing that, tomorrow perhaps. Bye..."

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