James Hunt’s son opens up on dealing with ‘so much loss’

Freddie Hunt is preparing to compete in the European Le Mans Series this season, a championship he is targeting to win.

Son of Formula 1 legend James Hunt, Freddie Hunt, has discussed his journey on dealing with the horrific health issues that have taken so many family members from him, most notably his father.

James, who claimed the World Championship in 1976, died when Freddie was just five years old, following a sudden heart attack.

The racing legend’s tragic death came at just 45 years old, whilst Freddie has since gone on to lose another five family members as a result of upsetting health issues.

Freddie lost his mother and two of his uncles from his father’s side of the family to cancer, whilst he lost another uncle and his grandfather to a heart attack.

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Given how much loss the 35-year-old has had to deal with, the racing driver has wondered himself if he’ll suffer the same fate as the majority of his family, something that anybody would begin to question in that position.

Freddie admits that the death of his mother is what made him begin to really consider his own health, with that loss in particular having “really knocked me for six”.

“I was 27 when my mum died,” said Freddie, per The Mirror.

“I wasn’t in a very good place at the time. It really knocked me for six. The worst part is I didn’t realise she was going to die until a few weeks before she did. I thought she was going to beat it. Unbeknownst to me it was always terminal, but I didn’t get the memo.”

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Freddie has really started to think of the impact his potential death would have on those close to him, especially after he got together with fellow racing driver Aimee Watts, whom he’s now engaged to.

The European Le Mans Series driver has given a small insight into what the grief of losing a loved one is like, with Freddie therefore being aware of the effect his death would have on those he loves, with him not wanting “anyone to go through that”.

“I’ve had so much loss in my life the idea of having any more really churns my guts,” added Freddie.

“The idea of losing my fiancee Aimee, or any of my loved ones losing me is awful. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that.

“The loss of a loved one is ghastly. It takes a small chunk out of me every time it happens. And it’s happened a few times.

“It leaves me with a very empty feeling, and I don’t want it to happen any more.

“I do what I can to live to a ripe old age. I would very much like to have children and I don’t want to die on them when they’re five years old.”

Incredibly, Freddie never realised that he could do a genetic test to see if he was susceptible to the same types of cancer that took so many of his family members from him, with Freddie’s fiance having told him to “go in for an MoT, as it were”.

“To be honest I didn’t even know you could genetically test for cancer or heart issues,” Freddie admitted.

“Aimee and her mum were saying I should look into it and then I learned about the Goodbody Clinic that did private tests and it all came together.”

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After conducting the incredibly simple tests, Freddie got the brilliant news that his results showed no “predisposition to any cancer or cardiac issues”, taking understandably a huge weight off the racing driver’s shoulders.

“It took around six weeks for my results to come back,” he said.

“And thankfully they show I don’t have a predisposition to any cancer or cardiac issues.”