Damon Hill

  

Damon Hill

Damon Hill is a former Formula One Grand Prix racing driver from Great Britain. He started his racing career on motorbikes in 1981 before moving onto single seater racing cars in 1985 at the age of 25, after some small successes. By 1989 he was racing in the International Formula 3000 championship, although he never won a race at that level.

At the start of his career, he would prepare his racing bikes himself before personally towing them to and from the races that he competed in, sleeping in a tent in between events. He joined Formula Ford racing in 1985 but didn't have too much success despite showing a lot of promise. He started racing in Formula Three, and, although he didn't produce many victories, his personality attracted the likes of Sir Francis Owen Garbett “Frank” Williams, the founder and team principal of the Williams Formula One racing team. Williams made Damon a Formula One driver, and has since said that it was because of his fierce determination and because he was a “tough b***ard”. Damon attributes these qualities to his parents, especially his father Graham Hill who was also a racing driver, and feels he needed them to endure and overcome the hardships of his racing career and life.
His first year in Formula One was not too successful. Driving a rather uncompetitive car on an improvised team, Hill only qualified twice in eight races. At the same time he was working a testing role with Williams, and a car that he helped to develop driven by Nigel Mansell won the 1992 driving title. This lead to Hill replacing Mansell in Formula One when Mansell left to race IndyCars in America.
in 1993 Damon's Formula One career really picked up. He won three races and finished third overall to his teammate Alain Prost who then retired. Prost's replacement was Ayrton Senna who was unfortunately killed in his third race with Williams, which then meant that Williams had to step in as the team leader which he did successfully, rebuilding morale and pushing the team forwards in the wake of the tragedy.
Damon's biggest rival was Michael Schumacher, and in the 1994 championship they collided during the final race. This has been a somewhat controversial moment in Formula One history as some people think that Schumacher crashed on purpose to eliminate the competition, allowing him to take the championship by a single point.
In 1996 he won the driving title after winning eight out of sixteen of the races. In 1998 he moved to the Jordan Racing team and won their first title. He finished his racing career in 1999 with Jordan. He currently works for the Sky Sports Formula One broadcasting team.
During his rollercoaster career for Formula One, Damon Hill has undeniably left a huge impact in the racing community and has been a role model for many drivers in the competition since. The Williams' name is well regarded thanks to his humble attitude and unrivalled contribution to the sport.

 

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