Hesketh Racing

Hesketh Racing was a British motor racing team, which took from 1973 to 1978 in Formula 1, and at times went to the start even in Formula 3 and Formula 2 race. The team had brought the image of a party band and is primarily concerned with the racing driver James Hunt in conjunction, who drove from 1972 to 1975 or for Hesketh.

Company History

The team was from Alexander Fermor - Hesketh, 3rd Baron Hesketh founded in 1972. The initiative came back to the racing driver Anthony ' Bubbles ' Horsley, who had started in the 1960s, several times in smaller motor sport classes for Frank Williams. Hesketh and Horsley started their joint commitment to motor racing in Formula 3, but increased after only one year in Formula 1. Hesketh Racing contested the debut season as a customer team. 1974 was their first car, with James Hunt achieved a victory and six other podium finishes in World Cup races in two years.

Hesketh Racing awakened at this time the impression of a party band, who seemed to be doing more fun and attention than to sporting success. James Hunt, who had the aura of a " pop icon " or the " rock stars of Formula 1", completed the picture.

Hesketh Racing went from 1973 to 1975 without sponsors in Formula 1 at; the team was funded exclusively by Alexander Hesketh. In the course of the 1975 season came to economic difficulties. The team was now dependent on funds from third parties. Sponsors could be in terms of the still perceived as untrustworthy Image of the racing team did not find, so the Hesketh rented during the season a chassis to paying drivers, in addition to James Hunt, the star of the team, competed. At the end of the 1975 season, Alexander Hesketh withdrew from the team. Some of the cars and some of the equipment was sold to the team of Frank Williams Racing Cars, the order in the following season under the name Walter Wolf Racing was launched.

Bubbles Horsley, the former team manager, took over the team and held Hesketh Racing with reduced equipment until 1978 in Formula 1 In those years, Hesketh was a team for Paydriver: driver Eddie Cheever, Harald Ertl and Hector Rebaque denied their first Formula 1 race for Horsleys Hesketh team.

Formula 3

1972 debuted Hesketh racing in the British Formula 3 Championship. The team used a race car Dastle the Company, which in turn were first works of the designer Geoffrey Rumble. The team's riders were Bubbles Horsley and Steve Thompson. In May 1972, Thompson was replaced by James Hunt, who had previously run for the March factory team in Formula 3 and the team had previously left a month in dispute. The Formula 3 involvement of the Hesketh team already ended in July 1972: When John Player British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1972 destroyed James Hunt in training one of the two vehicles of the team, so he could not participate in the race. The second chassis drove Horsley. He damaged his car during the formation lap irreparably, so no Hesketh - car went into the race. Then the team turned to the formula 2.

Formula 2

As of July 1972 Hesketh Racing announced regularly a March 722 for James Hunt, to the race of the Formula 2 European Championship. In fact, however, the team went to in September 1972. Hunt's first Formula 2 race was the Festival Prize of the city of Salzburg, where he retired prematurely after 25 rounds. On the Hockenheimring he was tenth, the race in Albi, he finished in eighth place. 1973 Hunt was still a Surtees T15 to individual Formula 2 race for Hesketh at the start. After Hunt had the Surtees destroyed by an accident in practice for the Grand Prix de Pau in 1973, Hesketh finished the Formula 2 involvement in the expectation that an entry into Formula 1 "is not much more expensive " than the Formula 2 operation.

Formula 1


Hesketh Formula 1 involvement began as a customer team. At the Race of Champions in 1973, which had no world championship status, put the team a one Surtees TS9 ( chassis 9 / 006), which was built in 1971. Hunt was after Tim giving, Sam Posey and Carlos Pace, the fourth race car driver who drove this chassis. He went from position 13 on the grid. During the event, fell from numerous top riders, so he ultimately finished the race in third place behind Peter Gethin and Denis Hulme.

After this race Hesketh gave Surtees TS9 on. The team manager Horsley was of the view that March Engineering ready made ​​better customer vehicles, and bought in the spring of 1973, a March 731 It was the third of five 1972 -built March 721G - vehicles, in the Formula 1 season 1972 by Ronnie Peterson was down and had received during the winter break 1972/73, a technical update. The car was technically operated by Harvey Postlethwaite and reached a better technical level than the factory cars. Hunt drove better than the factory drivers Jean -Pierre Jarier, Henri Pescarolo and Roger Williamson with him, could While the factory driver in 1973 retract no World Cup points, Hunt was already in his third Formula 1 race, the Grand Prix of Great Britain, fourth. At the next race in the Netherlands, he was third and thus was the first time in his Formula 1 career on the podium. The best result of the year reached Hunt at the end of the season at Watkins Glen: The U.S. Grand Prix Hunt finished in second place. Hunt, who was denied this year, only seven of the 15 Formula 1 races, was in the final scoring with 14 points eighth in the drivers' standings.


In 1974, Hesketh was a designer, that is, a team that took with self-developed and self-built cars. The Hesketh 308 was designed by Harvey Postlethwaite. It was a conservative car with a 3.0-liter Cosworth engine, which was oriented in numerous details of the March 731, which the team had used the previous year. The cars were built and maintained at the site of the Hesketh - estate. 1974 created four chassis of which Hunt began this year in succession three.

The Hesketh 308 proved to be efficient, but also prone to defects. So there were some successes in addition to numerous technical failures. Hunt won the third race of the 308, the BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone, which had no world championship status. He was off third in the World Championship races in Sweden, Austria and the USA. In nine races, he failed as a result of technical defects or due to accidents. At the end of the year, Hunt finished with 15 points again in eighth place of the driving score; the Hesketh team finished fourth in the Constructors' World Championship.


The Formula 1 1975 season was the most successful year of the Hesketh team.

Postlethwaite developed the 308 consistently. After the team had used in the first race of the year, the second and third chassis of 1974 featured the type 308, was released in August 1975, the Hesketh 308C, a compact design, compared to the previous model had improved aerodynamics and had a modified suspension. From 308C was established in 1975 a vehicle; two additional copies were assembled from spare parts in 1976.

Hunt finished the opening race in Argentina in second place, at the next race in Brazil, he was sixth. This is followed by a series of five consecutive failures followed, which were three times for technical reasons and due in two cases to driving errors Hunts.

At the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in Zandvoort, it came to a battle between Hunt and Niki Lauda for the win. Lauda held the pole position, Hunt took the 308 with a training deficit of 0.4 seconds, third place. When launched, it was rainy, Hunt and Lauda went like most other drivers on wet tires in the race. Lauda was leading the race, Hunt was after the start behind Jody Scheckter ( Tyrrell ) and Clay Regazzoni (Ferrari) dropped to fourth place. When drying off piste, he moved quickly to dry tires, while Lauda few more laps on wet tires, which have become increasingly more slowly drove. After he had changed the tires, Hunt was in Hesketh at the top of the field, while Lauda had dropped back to third place. Between them Jean -Pierre Jarier was in the technically inferior Shadow. In the 44th round Lauda overtook Jarier whose tires were damaged and closed on the leading Hunt to. During the last 15 laps to Hunt and Lauda gave battle to the race win. Ultimately, Hunt won a second ahead of Lauda.

The Grand Prix of France and Austria finished second in each Hunt; were added two fourth and a fifth place in the fall race. Hunt finished the season with 33 points from as World Cup Fourth; Lauda clinched the Drivers' Champion with 64.5 points.

In order to finance the operation of the racing team, Hesketh had to rely on third-party funds from the spring of 1975. Hesketh announced, some paying drivers the opportunity to drive a second Hesketh at each race with James Hunt:

  • The Swede Torsten Palm announced in Monaco and the Netherlands for the second Hesketh chassis (308 /3). In Monaco, he failed to qualify, as he won his first Formula 1 race at the Circuit Zandvoort, on the Hunt, tenth.
  • Alan Jones made ​​his debut at the Grand Prix of Spain in the Hesketh 308/1. His team was the British team Custom Made Harry Stiller Racing, who had rented the car for four races. Jones fell Spain, Monaco and Belgium from each early. It was only during his last deployment in Hesketh in Sweden, he came to the finish. He did not reach the points.
  • Harald Ertl drove the Hesketh 308/1 at the Grand Prix of Germany, Austria and Italy. He was supported financially by the brewery Warsteiner. Ertl once was eighth and even ninth.
  • The American Board Lunger drove the Hesketh 308/3 in Austria, Italy and the United States. Lunger was 13th in Austria and in Italy 10 At his home race, he dropped out prematurely.

At the end of the year, Alexander Hesketh withdrew from Formula 1. James Hunt then moved to McLaren, with whom he won the Drivers' World Championship the following year.


In the Formula 1 1976 season put the Hesketh team racing operation under the direction of Bubbles Horsley continued. As a sponsor of the men's magazine Penthouse could in any case be required for some races. Hesketh's regular driver was Harald Ertl; The second car was driven in five races by Guy Edwards; once each went Rolf Stommelen and Alex Dias Ribeiro - next Ertl at the start. When the emergency vehicles Horsley had to resort to outdated material: The 1975 built 308C were not available because they had Hesketh sold at year-end to Frank Williams' team. There they had a second life in 1976 under the name Williams FW05. For the construction of new racing cars Hesketh lacked the money. Therefore, the team revised two 1974 built 308 chassis and gave them the name 308D.

Ertl missed three times the qualification. In the other races he did not finish in the points. His best result was the seventh place at the Grand Prix of Great Britain. Edwards came in five attempts, three times to the finish; his best result was 15th place at the Grand Prix of Germany. Also Stommelen and Ribeiro scored no points.


Hesketh built for the 1977 season new Formula 1 car on (Type 308E ), but had little success. The team broke up in 1978.

All drivers of the team

Hesketh today

Today Hesketh offers engine tuning and special motorcycles.