Lord Hesketh  Great Britain

  • Full name Thomas Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, 3rd Baron Hesketh
  • Birth date October 28, 1950
  • Birthplace Towcester, Northamptonshire, Great Britain
  • Current age 69 years 49 days
  • Height 6 ft 4 in
  • Other roles Team Owner
driver portrait

A true eccentric, who, rather ironically given his family lineage and place in society, took on the F1 establishment and won. The third Baron Hesketh used his family fortune to go racing and set up a Formula 3 team in 1972 with the main objective of having as much fun as possible. Within a year he stumbled across a promising young driver called James Hunt, who was fast but known for crashing. At the start of 1973 Hesketh bought Hunt an F2 car that was almost immediately written off at the Pau Grand Prix. Assuming that, at this rate, the cost of competing in F1 wasn't going to be hugely more expensive, Hesketh decided to join the top flight. The fervently patriotic team continued with its mantra of fun, holding parties at which Hunt soon cemented his reputation as the sport's ultimate playboy. Baulking at the convention of sponsorship, Hesketh poured more and more money into the project, recruiting the services of Harvey Postlethwaite to design the 1974 car. Soon enough the team started challenging for podium positions and in 1975 took victory at the Dutch Grand Prix, beating the Ferrari of Niki Lauda. Hesketh had rocked the F1 world, but by this time Hunt - affectionately called Superstar - had outgrown the team and landed a contract with McLaren for 1976. Just three years after it had begun the dream was over and Hesketh, running low on funds, decided to call it a day. The team raced on with sponsorship until 1978 but never again reached the heights of 1975.
Laurence Edmondson

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