James Hunt's famous F1 title win in the wet at Fuji - 40 years on

James Hunt

One of the most celebrated Formula 1 title battles came to a dramatic conclusion 40 years ago this week, as James Hunt survived a treacherous race in the rain at Fuji to beat Niki Lauda at the end of a season-long battle.

The Japanese Grand Prix of 24 October 1976 was the final chapter in a season of intrigue, acrimony, tragedy, fortitude and staggering bravery.

Here we take a look at some images from that famous weekend...

James Hunt en route to win at Watkins Glen
Hunt came to the title-deciding race on the back of victory in the USA at Watkins Glen
James Hunt
And was in relaxed mood on arrival in Fuji, enjoying the pre-race publicity
Jochen Mass and James Hunt (both McLaren M23 Fords) in the pits waiting for the rain to stop.
But the weather turned, and by race day torrential rain was falling, intensifying the charged atmosphere
James Hunt, Niki Lauda
Drivers, and Bernie Ecclestone, discussed whether it was safe to race - mindful of Lauda's life-changing injuries suffered just a few months earlier at the German Grand Prix
Start of 1976 Japanese GP
The delayed race got under way, but the title fight never did...
Niki Lauda (Ferrari 312T2) withdraws from the race due to the conditions
...after just two laps, Lauda - who later admitted to being "panic stricken" - stopped in the pits and stepped out of his car to retire
James Hunt celebrates in the McLaren garage
Hunt just held on to third place to take the title
James Hunt and Bruce Forsyth
And a life as world champion began
James Hunt
A life Hunt relished, until his death in 1993

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