James Hunt's 1978 F1 diary part two

James Hunt's 1978 F1 diary part two

To coincide with the AUTOSPORT Legends Hunt and Lauda bookazine launch, relive JAMES HUNT's 1977 and '78 F1 seasons through his contemporary columns for AUTOSPORT magazine

The latest AUTOSPORT Legends bookazine focuses on 1970s Formula 1 superstars James Hunt and Niki Lauda and their infamous rivalry.

To coincide with its release, AUTOSPORT is republishing the complete series of 'Just James' diary columns that Hunt wrote for the magazine during the 1977 and '78 F1 seasons.

Part one: January to June 1977

Part two: July to December 1977

Part three: January to June 1978

November 25 1978. For the past two years I have been fortunate enough to receive end of season invitations to race in countries I have not visited before. Last year I went to Mexico City but was unable to race because the track did not have an international permit. This year it was Australia that lured me away from my home in Spain. Part of the invitation was that I was able to take an 'entourage' with me. I managed to persuade the Australians that it was extremely important for me to have my own mechanic, my manager and a 'gofer' to accompany me on such an expedition, and I was thus able to give Ray 'Kojak' Grant, my brother 'Norman' and an old friend John Richardson a two week holiday. Ray has been with me at McLaren for the past three years and I was delighted that the Wiener gave him the time off to come with me.

Our farewell party at Heathrow, hosted by three other New Zealand McLaren mechanics, complete with 'Maori safety boots'(the inevitable flip-flops) was fairly indicative of the hospitality we were to receive over the next two weeks. The long flight out was made pretty painless by the generosity of Malaysian Airlines who looked after us outstandingly well. Their hostesses were of a standard unequalled by any other airline I have ever used before and we all fell in love every time the crew changed.

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