Legends Of The Sport
Formula 1 Print 1977 - Niki Lauda & James Hunt during the 1977 Formula One season
Niki Lauda (SUI) and James Hunt (GBR) during the 1977 Formula 1 season.
Niki Lauda won his second championship, despite Mario Andretti winning more races. Jody Scheckter's Wolf won first time out, Shadow took their only victory, and Gunnar Nilsson achieved the only win of a career ended by cancer. Renault entered grand prix racing with a turbocharged car which was initially not very successful. The German ATS team took over the Penske cars and the South African Grand Prix was the last race a BRM ever qualified to start. Lauda departed Ferrari even before the season ended, so did not complete the season, having already sealed the title thanks to his consistent form. Ferrari won its third consecutive Constructors' title with new driver Carlos Reutemann having a solid season.
The season was also marred by one of the most horrific accidents in Formula One history. During the South African GP on 5th March, TV cameras captured how Tom Pryce was unable to avoid 19-year-old Race Marshall Frederik Jansen Van Vuuren.
The latter was killed by the terrifying collision, his body was hurled into the air, and his fire extinguisher killed and nearly decapitated Pryce, whose car proceeded to the end of the straight where it collided with Jacques Laffite's Ligier. There was further tragedy as Carlos Pace lost his life in an aviation accident only a couple of weeks after Pryce's accident.