Once again Kimi Raikkonen shows us just how much he is affixed to the 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt. The helmet, used for Monaco this weekend, is the second from Kimi which is dedicated to the British legend. Last year Kimi sported a replica of Jame’s helmet.
This year, Kimi celebrates the 40th anniversary of Hunt’s GP debut. Adding a personal touch, written above the Iceman logo is ‘Kimi on the Hunt’, which seems to be in Kimi’s own handwriting. A few years before, I’m sure most of you already know, Kimi attended a boat race in Finland for charity dressed as a gorilla with his name listed as ‘James Hunt’. Kimi really loves the guy, may he rest in peace.
The 2013 Monaco Grand Prix will mark the 40th anniversary of 1976 Formula One World Champion James Hunt’s grand prix debut. To honour this occasion, Lotus F1 Team driver and 2007 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen will feature various references to Hunt on his helmet when he pilots his Lotus-Renault E21 through the streets of Monte Carlo.
“I’ve always respected James Hunt,” said Räikkönen, who wore a replica of Hunt’s iconic black helmet at the 2012 Monaco GP. “I think it’s great that ‘Rush’ is coming out and that his family is launching products to represent one of my favourite eras in F1.”
Hunt is the co-subject (with triple champion Niki Lauda) of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard’s film ‘Rush’, slated for September release, which centres on the pair’s friendship and fierce rivalry for the 1976 driver’s title. Revered for his combination of courage, talent and rebellious playboy lifestyle, ‘Hunt the Shunt’ tragically passed away in 1993 at the age of 45.
To commemorate the late champion, Hunt’s family has commissioned paintings from renowned motorsport artist Nicolas Hunziker, one of which adorns the top of Räikkönen’s helmet.
“Being chosen to depict one of the most colourful characters in motor sport is an incredible honour,” said Hunziker. “James was a hero of mine, someone who brought his own style and passion to racing. I’ve tried to capture that spirit in my paintings, which has in turn inspired an upcoming James Hunt Racing Collection of wearable art.”The Hunt family will soon announce a number of initiatives to honour James’ legacy – including the Hunziker-inspired apparel line and a charitable foundation – clues to which will be visible on the official James Hunt website, http://www.jameshuntf1.com, which goes online this weekend.
“We’re thrilled Kimi is celebrating this special weekend with us,” said Tom Hunt, James’ elder son. “We wish him luck and thank him for rekindling the spirit of a golden era in F1. We also look forward to seeing comments from Twitter followers using the #KimiontheHunt hashtag!”
When asked about the reported run-in with Ecclestone, Raikkonen told Speed Week: “I know nothing about it. As far as I know, I will wear the helmet all weekend.”
(Read press release by lotusf1team.com)
Update: Raikkonen benefits from U-turn over tribute helmet: Kimi Raikkonen has been cleared to race with a tribute on his helmet to the late James Hunt after the lettering was initially deemed to contravene television regulations.
Check out the pics of #KimiOnTheHunt: