France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
1971 Italian Grand Prix
The 1971 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 5 September 1971. It was race 9 of 11 in both the 1971 World Championship of Drivers and the 1971 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers; this race featured the closest finish in Formula One history, as Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson by 0.01 seconds. The top five were covered by just 0.61 seconds, with François Cevert finishing third, Mike Hailwood fourth and Howden Ganley fifth. With an average speed of 242.615 km/h, this race stood as the fastest-ever Formula One race for 32 years, until the 2003 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The rather simplistic Monza National Autodrome, located just north of the northern Italian city of Milan, had become the fastest circuit used by Formula One at the time - for only one year, as it was modified with chicanes to slow the cars down for the next and subsequent year. With the championship settled, this was an opportunity for new drivers to prove themselves. Chris Amon in the Matra proved an embarrassment to Ferrari by seizing pole at their home track with the fastest lap of all time in a Formula One championship race, lapping at 156 mph, with the BRM's on the second row, whilst champion Stewart was in 6th after suffering gearbox problems.
Mike Hailwood was making his debut for Surtees—an inspired choice as he held both the Formula 5000 and motorbike lap records for Monza. Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari thrilled the crowd by surging forward from the fourth row to lead from Jo Siffert and Stewart until lap 3, when Ronnie Peterson took the lead. On lap 7, Stewart took the lead. By lap 16, Stewart and Jacky Ickx retired with engine problems, followed two laps by Clay Regazzoni; the race began to break into high-speed packs—the leading one containing Hailwood, François Cevert, Siffert, Howden Ganley, Chris Amon, Peter Gethin and Jackie Oliver. Gethin, Cevert and Ganley battled right down to the line and all finished within two-tenths of a second of each other. Siffert dropped back after problems with a gearbox. Emerson Fittipaldi drove a four-wheel drive Lotus 56B powered by a gas turbine, the only time he would race in a Formula One World Championship race in a car not powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV engine. Due to ongoing legal issues between Team Lotus and the Italian authorities following Jochen Rindt's death the previous year, the car was entered under the name "World Wide Racing".
Tyrrell-Ford won their first Constructors' Championship with two races remaining. This was the last race to be held on the fast, chicane-less Monza circuit. Chicanes made of tyre walls were installed for the following year's race; this was the fastest race lap at 242.615 km/h. This was the closest finish in Formula One history, as Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson by 0.01 seconds. This was the only win for Peter Gethin; this was the final win for an English driver until James Hunt won the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix. Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. "1971 Italian Grand Prix". Retrieved 27 August 2015
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing first codified in 1948. It was replaced in 1985 by Formula 3000, but revived by the FIA from 2009–2012 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship; the name returned in 2017. While Formula One has been regarded as the pinnacle of open-wheeled auto racing, the high-performance nature of the cars and the expense involved in the series has always meant a need for a path to reach this peak. For much of the history of Formula One, Formula Two has represented the penultimate step on the motorsport ladder. Prior to the Second World War, there existed a division of racing for cars smaller and less powerful than Grand Prix racers; this category was called voiturette racing and provided a means for amateur or less experienced drivers and smaller marques to prove themselves. By the outbreak of war, the rules for voiturette racing permitted 1.5 L supercharged engines. In 1946, the 3.0 L supercharged rules were abandoned and Formulae A and B introduced.
Formula A permitted the old 4.5 L aspirated cars, but as the 3.0 L supercharged cars were more than a match for these, the old 1.5 L voiturette formula replaced 3.0 L supercharged cars in an attempt to equalise performance. This left no category below Formula A/Formula One, so Formula Two was first formally codified in 1948 by FIA as a smaller and cheaper complement to the Grand Prix cars of the era. Among the races held in this first year of Formula Two was the 1948 Stockholm Grand Prix; the rules limited engines to two-litre aspirated or 750 cc supercharged. As a result, the cars were smaller and cheaper than those used in Formula One; this encouraged new marques such as Cooper to move up to Formula Two, before competing against the big manufacturers of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. In fact, Formula One in its early years attracted so few entrants that in 1952 and 1953 all World Championship Grand Prix races, except the unique Indianapolis 500, were run in Formula Two. F2 went into decline with the arrival of the 2.5 L F1 in 1954, but a new Formula Two was introduced for 1957, for 1.5 L cars.
This became dominated by rear-engined Coopers drawing on their Formula 3 and'Bobtail' sports car, with Porsches based on their RSK sports cars enjoying some success. Ferrari developed their'Sharknose' Dino 156 as a Formula Two car, while still racing front-engined Grand Prix cars; the dominant engine of this formula was the Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder, with the rare Borgward sixteen-valve unit enjoying some success. A enlarged version of the F2 Cooper won the first two Formula One Grands Prix in 1958, marking the beginning of the rear-engined era in Formula One; the 1.5 L formula was short-lived, with Formula Junior replacing first Formula Three and Formula Two until 1963—but the 1961 1.5 L Formula One was a continuation of this Formula Two. Formula Junior was introduced in 1959, an attempt to be all things to all people, it was soon realised that there was a need to split it into two new formulae. Formula Two was the domain of Formula One stars on their days off. Engines were by Cosworth and Honda, though some other units appeared, including various Fiat based units and dedicated racing engines from BMC and BRM.
For 1967, the FIA increased the maximum engine capacity to 1600cc. With the "return to power" of Formula One the gap between Formula One and Formula Two was felt to be too wide, the introduction of new 1600cc production-based engine regulations for Formula Two restored the category to its intended role as a feeder series for Formula One; the FIA introduced the European Formula Two Championship in 1967. Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the inaugural championship by 11 points from the Australian, Frank Gardner; the most popular 1600cc engine was the Cosworth FVA, the sixteen-valve head on a four-cylinder Cortina block, the "proof of concept" for the legendary DFV. The 1967 FVA gave 220 bhp at 9000 rpm. Other units appeared, including a four-cylinder BMW and a V6 Dino Ferrari. Many Formula One drivers continued to drive the smaller and lighter cars on non-championship weekends, some Grand Prix grids would be a mix of Formula One and Formula Two cars. Jacky Ickx made his Grand Prix debut there in a Formula Two car, qualifying with the fifth fastest time overall.
Forced to start behind the slower Formula One cars, Ickx forced his way back into a points position, only to be forced to retire with broken suspension. Jim Clark, regarded as one of the greatest race drivers of all time, was killed in a Formula Two race early in 1968, at the Hockenheimring; the "invasion" of Formula One drivers in Formula Two ranks was permitted because of the unique grad
Formula Three called Formula 3 or F3, is a class of open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, South America and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for F1 hopefuls – it is the first point in a driver's career at which most drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts. F3 is regarded as a key investment in a young driver's future career. Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or a Formula One test or race seat. Formula Three evolved from postwar auto racing, with lightweight tube-frame chassis powered by 500 cc motorcycle engines; the 500 cc formula evolved in 1946 from low-cost "special" racing organised by enthusiasts in Bristol, just before the Second World War. The second post-war motor race in Britain was organised by the VSCC in July 1947 at RAF Gransden Lodge, 500cc cars being the only post-war class to run that day.
The race was a complete flop, as three of the seven entrants were non-starters, and, of the four runners, all but one were out of it in the first lap, leaving Eric Brandon in his Cooper Prototype trailing round to a virtual walk-over at the unimpressive speed of 55.79 mph, though his best lap was 65.38 mph. Cooper came to dominate the formula with mass-produced cars, the income this generated enabled the company to develop into the senior categories. Other notable marques included Kieft, JBS and Emeryson in England, Effyh and Scampolo in Europe. John Cooper, along with most other 500 builders, decided to place the engine in the middle of the car, driving the rear wheels; this was due to the practical limitations imposed by chain drive but it gave these cars exceptionally good handling characteristics which led to the mid-engined revolution in single-seater racing. The 500cc formula was the usual route into motor racing through the mid-1950s. Other notable 500 cc Formula 3 drivers include Stuart Lewis-Evans, Ivor Bueb, Jim Russell, Peter Collins, Don Parker, Ken Tyrrell, Bernie Ecclestone.
From a statistical point of view, Don Parker was the most successful F3 driver. Although coming to motor racing late in life, he won a total of 126 F3 races altogether, was described by Motor Sport magazine as "the most successful Formula 3 driver in history." Although Stirling Moss was a star by 1953, Parker beat him more than any other driver, was Formula 3 Champion in 1952, again in 1953, in 1954 he only lost the title by a half-point. He took the title for a third time in 1959. In 1954, Parker took on a young man named Norman Graham Hill as his mechanic and general assistant, gave him his first taste of competitive motorsport in a 500cc car at Brands Hatch; some years now using his middle name of Graham, this young man twice became Formula 1 World Champion. Parker retired from Formula Three after the 1959 season, chose not to move to Formula 2 or Formula 1 because of his age. However, he did race for one final season, representing Jaguar in the British Saloon Car Championships, winning at Oulton Park on June 6 in his XK150.
As a retirement gift in 1961, Jaguar's Lofty England presented him with a specially-designed 3.8 litre Jaguar Mark 2. It was claimed to be the fastest Mark 2 Jaguar had built, being tested at 140 mph on the newly opened M4 motorway in 1963. 500cc Formula Three declined at an international level during the late 1950s, although it continued at a national level into the early 60s, being eclipsed by Formula Junior for 1000 or 1100 cc cars. A one-litre Formula Three category for four-cylinder carburetted cars, with tuned production engines, was reintroduced in 1964 based on the Formula Junior rules and ran to 1970; these engines tended to rev highly and were popularly known as "screamers". The "screamer" years were dominated by Brabham and Tecno, with March beginning in 1970. Early one-litre F3 chassis tended to descend from Formula Junior designs but evolved. For 1971 new regulations allowing 1600 cc engines with a restricted air intake were introduced; the 1971–73 seasons were contested with these cars, as aerodynamics started to become important.
Two-litre engine rules were introduced for 1974, still with restricted air intakes. Today engine regulations remain unchanged in F3, a remarkable case of stability in racing regulations; as the likes of Lotus and Brabham faded from F3 to concentrate on Formula One, F3 constructors of the 1970s included Alpine, March, Modus, GRD, Ensign. By the start of the 1980s however, Formula Three had evolved well beyond its humble beginnings to something resembling the modern formula, it was seen as the main training ground for future Formula One drivers, many of them bypassing Formula Two to go straight into Grand Prix racing. The chassis became sophisticated, mirroring the more senior formulae – ground effects
1973 Formula One season
The 1973 Formula One season was the 27th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-race series that commenced on 28 January and ended on 7 October. There were two new races for the 1973 season – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in São Paulo and the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp; the season included two non-championship races which were open to both Formula One and Formula 5000 cars. The World Championship of Drivers was won by Jackie Stewart, driving for Elf Team Tyrrell, the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers by John Player Team Lotus. In the World Championship, Lotus teammates Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson raced each other while Stewart was supported at Tyrrell by François Cevert. Stewart took the Drivers' title at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but at the final race of the season, the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Cevert crashed during Saturday practice in the notorious'Esses' and was killed instantly.
Stewart and Tyrrell withdrew from the race. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision, made before the US Grand Prix. By the end of the 1973 season the best car on the track was the new McLaren M23, a wedge-shaped car following the same concept as the Lotus 72 but with more conventional suspension and up-to-date aerodynamics; the 1973 season marked the debut of future world champion James Hunt at the Monaco Grand Prix driving a privateer March 731 entered by Hesketh Racing. The 1973 season saw the intervention of a Safety Car in Formula One for the first time, in the form of a Porsche 914 at the Canadian Grand Prix. However, this safety concept would not be introduced until twenty years in 1993; as well as Cevert, Briton Roger Williamson was killed during the season, in a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Another change to the rules introduced this season was the cars doing a full warm-up lap before the race. Prior to this, tracks included a dummy grid a short distance behind a grid proper, the cars would move from one to the other to begin the race.
It was this season that the numbering system for teams was formalised. In the second race of the season in Brazil, team-mates were paired - Lotus drivers 1 and 2. For 1974, the numbers were assigned based on finishing positions in the 1973 constructor's championship, after which teams did not change numbers unless they won the drivers' championship, or if a team dropped out; the following teams and drivers contested the 1973 World Championship. The following races counted towards both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers; the Belgian Grand Prix carried the title of European Grand Prix for 1973. After being absent from the Championship in 1972 due to extensive safety upgrades to the Zandvoort circuit including new asphalt, new barriers and a new race control tower, the Dutch Grand Prix returned to the Championship calendar for 1973. Points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the first six finishers in each race. For classification, only the seven best results from the first eight races and the six best results from the last seven races were retained.
Drivers scoring an equal number of points were awarded equal championship classifications, regardless of the relative number of wins, second places, etc. scored by each driver. The FIA did not award a championship classification to those drivers who did not score points in the championship. Points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the first six finishers in each race. Points were only awarded for the position filled by the best placed car from each manufacturer. For classification, only the seven best results from the first eight races and the six best results from the last seven races were retained. Ensign, which did not score points during the championship, was not given a classification in the official FIA results; the 1973 Formula One season included two non-championship races which were open to both Formula One and Formula 5000 cars
ATS was a German Formula One team, named after German alloy wheel brand Auto Technisches Spezialzubehör. The company is based in Bad Dürkheim near the Hockenheimring, its team was active in Formula One from 1977 to 1984; the ATS company created some revolutionary new lightweight wheels for VW automobiles. ATS manufactured a light aluminum alloy 5 spoked wheel for AMG, the high performance tuner for Mercedes-Benz automobiles, in the 1970s and 1980s; this 5 spoked wheel is popularly known as the AMG "Penta" wheel. The AMG "Penta" spoked wheel by ATS, designed by Hans-Werner Aufrecht in 1979, was the first aluminum alloy rim marketed by AMG when it was still an independent tuning company. ATS owner Günter Schmid had sponsored various national motorsport events, before realising Grand Prix racing was an ideal way of promoting his brand. Due to his temper, Schmid was notoriously difficult to work with, a rapid turnover of staff plagued ATS for their entire history. In 1977, ATS purchased the remaining PC4 chassis from Penske Racing.
Jean-Pierre Jarier was signed to drive the car, placing 6th on the team's debut at the United States Grand Prix West. A second car was entered in the 1977 German Grand Prix for German touring car racer Hans Heyer. Heyer failed to qualify, but famously took the start anyway in front of his home crowd at the Hockenheimring; the race organisers only noticed. Hans Binder would take the second car for the rest of the season, though the team missed the final three races of the year. Robin Herd from March Engineering was enlisted to build the first genuine ATS Formula One car, the HS1 being driven by Jarier and Jochen Mass. Jarier came 8th at the South African Grand Prix, but was fired after an argument with Schmidt, replaced by Alberto Colombo for the Belgian Grand Prix. After two failures to qualify, Colombo was fired, replaced by Keke Rosberg until the German Grand Prix. There, Jarier returned, having patched up his differences with Schmid, only for them to re-emerge following Jarier's failure to qualify.
Binder returned for one race. By now Mass had left following a broken leg in testing; as Harald Ertl had failed to pre-qualify his Ensign for the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, he was given another chance with the first ATS. Ertl didn't qualify for the race, Rosberg returned for the final two races; the lack of continuity both in the cars and in the garage had been no help to the fledgling team, despite the introduction of the new D1 chassis. The D1 was designed by John Gentry, featured skirts, wider track and side pods; the D1 was used in the last two races of the 1978 season.1979 saw Hans-Joachim Stuck arrive, to drive a single car. The new Giacomo Caliri-designed D2 arrived mid-season but it was an ill-handling car, with Stuck taking the team's only points score of the season with 5th place at the United States Grand Prix in another new car, the D3, courtesy of Nigel Stroud; the team stepped up to a two-car operation again in 1980, with Marc Surer and Jan Lammers signed to drive the D3. Surer took 7th at the Brazilian Grand Prix, while Lammers started 4th before retiring at the United States Grand Prix West, but the team were still distinct midfielders after the introduction of the new Gustav Brunner-penned D4.
From the US GP West, they were back down to a single car, with Surer injured, though he returned in the French Grand Prix, this time replacing Lammers. Once again, the team failed to score points. 1981 saw Lammers recalled to drive a single D4, with a second fielded for Slim Borgudd for the San Marino Grand Prix. After this, Lammers was dropped once more, with Borgudd driving the single entry; the Swede took 6th place at the high-attrition British Grand Prix, the D4 having by now been replaced by the HGS1, designed by Hervé Guilpin, but otherwise results were poor, non-qualifications frequent. This was the year. In fact, Slim Borgudd had appeared on some ABBA recordings as a drummer. Schmid made a major effort to get the team together for 1982. Two D5 cars were fielded for Eliseo Salazar; this brought better results, with Winkelhock 5th at the Brazilian Grand Prix and Salazar 5th at the San Marino Grand Prix. While the team were improving, they were midfielders more than anything else. Indeed, the team's most high-profile moment came when Salazar was attacked by Nelson Piquet on live television at the German Grand Prix, the ATS driver having collided with the race-leading Brazilian while being lapped.
However, Schmid used his muscle in the German auto industry to secure a supply of BMW's powerful BMW M12/13 4-cylinder turbocharged engine for 1983. ATS fielded a single new Gustav Brunner D6 for Winkelhock. There were some excellent qualifying positions and races from the German, but the constant turnover of backroom staff meant that reliability issues were never solved, 8th place at the European Grand Prix was his best result. For 1984, Brunner's new D7 chassis was introduced, but it was the same story, with not inconsiderable speed rewarded, not helped by Brunner quitting after, yet another an argument with Schmid. Winkelhock ran 3rd at the Belgian Grand Prix before the electrical system failed, but his best finishes were 8th places in the Canadian Grand Prix and the Dallas Grand Prix. From the Austrian Grand Prix, a second D7 was added for Gerhard Berger. After a gearbox failure on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix, Winkelhock lost patience and quit. In the race, Berger placed 6th, but the point was not awarded as the
James Simon Wallis Hunt was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became businessman. Beginning his racing career in touring car racing, Hunt progressed into Formula Three, where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and soon came under their wing. Hunt's reckless and action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname "Hunt the Shunt". Hunt entered Formula One in 1973, he went on to win for Hesketh, driving their own Hesketh 308 car, in both World Championship and non-championship races, before joining the McLaren team at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 World Drivers' Championship, he remained with the team for a further two years, although with less success, before moving to the Wolf team in early 1979. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season. After retiring from motor racing, he established a career commenting on Grands Prix for the BBC. Hunt died from a heart attack aged 45.
James Hunt was born in Belmont, the second child of Wallis Glynn Gunthorpe Hunt, a stockbroker, Susan Noel Wentworth Hunt. He had an elder sister, three younger brothers, Peter and David, one younger sister, Georgina. Hunt's family lived in a flat in Cheam, moved to Sutton when he was 11 and to a larger home in Belmont, he attended St Leonards-on-Sea Sussex. Hunt first learned to drive on a tractor on a farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales while on a family holiday, with instruction from the farm's owner, but he found changing gears frustrating because he lacked the required strength. Hunt passed his driving test one week after his 17th birthday, at which point he said his life "really began". Hunt took up skiing in 1965 in Scotland and made plans for further ski trips. Before his 18th birthday, he went to the home of Chris Ridge, his tennis doubles partner. Ridge's brother Simon, who raced Minis, was preparing his car for a race at Silverstone that weekend; the Ridges took Hunt to see the race. Hunt's racing career started off in a racing Mini.
The first race he entered was at Snetterton but he was prevented from competing by race scrutineers as the Mini was deemed to have many irregularities, which left Hunt and his team mate, Justin Fry, upset. Hunt brought the necessary funding from working as a trainee manager of a telephone company to enter three events, It was at this point that Fry took the decision to part company with the team due to the irregularities and modifications that were happening to the cars they were using, he graduated to Formula Ford in 1968. He drove a Russell-Alexis Mk 14 car, bought through a hire purchase scheme. In his first race at Snetterton, Hunt had lost 15 hp from an incorrect engine ignition setting but managed to finish 5th. Hunt took his first win at Lydden Hill and set the lap record on the Brands Hatch short circuit. Hunt raced in Formula Three in 1969 with a budget provided by Gowrings of Reading which bought a Meryln Mk11A. Gowrings intended to run the car in the final two races of 1968. Hunt won several races and achieved regular high placed finishes, which led to the British Guild of Motoring Writers awarding him a Grovewood Award as one of the three drivers to have promising careers.
Hunt was involved in a controversial incident with Dave Morgan during a battle for second position in the Formula Three Daily Express Trophy race at Crystal Palace on 3 October 1970. Having banged wheels earlier in a closely fought race, Morgan attempted to pass Hunt on the outside of South Tower Corner on the final lap, but instead the cars collided and crashed out of the race. Hunt's car came to rest in the middle of two wheels. Hunt got out, ran over to Morgan and furiously pushed him to the ground, which earned him severe official disapproval. Both men were summoned by the RAC and after hearing evidence from other drivers, Hunt was cleared by a tribunal and Morgan was given a 12-month suspension of his racing licence, but was subsequently allowed to progress to Formula Atlantic in 1971. Hunt met with John Hogan and racing driver Gerry Birrell to obtain sponsorship from Coca-Cola. Hunt's career continued in the works March team for 1972, his first race at Mallory Park saw him finish 3rd, but he was told by race officials he had been excluded from the results, as his engine was deemed to be outside the regulations.
The car, passed scrutineering tests at the next two races at Brands Hatch. In these races, Hunt finished 5th respectively, he collided with two cars at Oulton Park but finished 3rd at Mallory Park after a long duel with Roger Williamson. The cars did not appear at Zandvoort. In May 1972 it was announced by the team that he had been dropped from the STP-March Formula 3 team and replaced by Jochen Mass; when Hunt attempted to contact March, he was unable to get any response from his employers. Hunt decided to consult Chris Marshall, his former team manager, who explained that a spare car was available; this followed a period characterised by a series of mechanical failures. Hunt decided, against the express instructions of March director Max Mosley, to race at Monaco in a March from a different team; this had been vacated by driver Jean-Claude Alzerat, after Hunt's own March had first broken down and been hit by another competitor in a practice lap. 1973Hesketh purchased a March 731 chassis, it was developed by Harvey Postlethwaite.