11-07-1999: GP SILVERSTONE - DAMON FIFTH
Damon did a good race, ending in fifth place, gaining two points. Report
of the race on the normal page.
But this didn't clear up anything about the future of the British Champion:
throughout the weekend Damon didn't want to talk about the possibility of
his retiring, postponing everything till after the Grand Prix.
Rumour has it that he could end the season to earn his full fee, which would
only come to half if he retires after this race. But for now, we can only
wait for his decision. Meanwhile, congratulations for the race
27-06-1999: THAT MAY HAVE BEEN MY LAST RACE
The show is near the end: after a miserable week end, Damon said, right
after retiring from the French GP, that this could have been his last race.
Here is the report on the race
These are his first words - taken from Autosport
His thousands of fans hoped that he might make it to the British Grand
Prix for his Formula One swansong after Hill announced he might quit earlier
than the last race of the season.
But after pulling out of the French Grand Prix with a misfire he admitted,
'That may have been my last race.'
'It was not a very good weekend and when it decides to turn against you
it gives you everything it's got.
'Qualifying was a bit of a shock. Then in the race I made my pit stop at
about the right time.
'As I was going down the pitlane an Arrows hit me and punctured my left
rear tyre. Then when the safety car came out I had a puncture and there
was no way I could carry on.
'I hope it wasn't my last race but there is a possibility it might have
'I could carry on if I wanted to but I don't want to be in a position where
Eddie is not getting any more points.' His miserable race had been the end
to a terrible weekend.
After a catalogue of problems he failed to qualify and was only allowed
onto the grid in 18th position at the discretion of the race stewards who
quoted 'exceptional circumstances'.
Team-boss Eddie Jordan said, 'These decisions must be made by the driver.
I'll support him whatever decision he makes.'
What else to say? Before that race we all hoped that Damon would race 'til
the end of the season. But, if he has to race like in this GP, probably
it's better if he stops now. It's too sad for him and for all us Hill's
fans to see Damon racing only for his signature on a contract.
Now, we can only wait and see what decision he will take in the next few
days. Anyway, Damon is still one of the greatest drivers.
24-06-1999: DAMON'S PRESS CONFERENCE
As announced, Damon made a press conference right before the GP of France,
to explain why he will be retiring at the end of the season.
Here are some quotes from the British Champion:
"I decided to stop after a long talk with my wife Georgie and Eddie
Jordan. I am a father of four, and this is something I couldn't manage before
because, due to GPs and practices, I'm away from home 300 days a year."
"Motivation is not an issue. I find myself trying very hard in the
racing car but the chemical
reaction, or whatever it is, is not taking place and I find myself distracted
which is not a good
position to be in when you are driving a Formula One car."
"F.1 is not like tennis or golf. At 38 to keep at a high level it's
not enough to be in good shape, there must be motivation and, above all,
you need to be convinced, otherwise you're going to end up getting hurt
"My state of mind is that I see an end at the end of this year. I am
having difficulties and I am
trying to overcome them. "
"I do not want to damage, in any way, Eddie's [Jordan] hopes of securing
his highest ever
constructors' championship position.
If my performances aren't up to it then of course we will have to discuss
"I regard Formula One as the pinnacle of motor sport. The strength
and talent in depth in F1 is
greater than any other category of motor sport so it is difficult to do
something less but I don't
want to denegrate racing in America. "
"And much as I love the States I don't want to move the family again.
You can count me out of
your who-goes-where discussion now."
"To just carry on racing to be racing does not satisfy me. I got such
a massive thrill about being
in the lead of Grands Prix. I guess I have been spoilt a little bit."
"I haven't decided to stop because I wouldn't have found a wheel for
next year. As a matter of fact, I never even started looking for a place
for the year 2000."
"I would love to be involved with F1 in some way. Incredible industry
and amazing spectacle
but I would like to spend more time at home that's the real snag."
We should say that during the press conference, Damon did not clear up the
real likelihood of his retiring before the end of the season. Rumour has
it he's going to retire after Silverstone, and that Eddie Jordan has already
told Mika Salo to keep himself ready. We'll see ....
No mistakes, you've read well: unfortunately, Damon Hill, on Wednesday 16th
June announced that at the end of the season he will be retiring from Formula
One. For this reason our regular page has been "revolutionized".
16-06-1999: DAMON HILL ANNOUNCED RETIREMENT
Here is the news from Ansa News Agency
FORMULA 1: HILL ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
He will be leaving racing at the end of the season
LONDON - Former Formula One World Champion Damon Hill (Jordan) announced
in London that he will be retiring at the end of the season.
"I was late getting into Formula One," he stated, "I was
already32, but in only seven seasons I have won 22 GPs and even the World
Championship. I'm proud of it". Hill, World Champion in 1996,
thanked all his fans, but he didn't specify what he is going to do in the
11th May 1999
DAMON GUITARIST FOR DEF LEPPARD
We all know about Damon Hill's love for music, and in particular for the
guitar. Because of this great passion of his, and thanks to his friendship
with the singer of the Def Leppard rock band (also famous for the soundtrack
of the "Nightmare 3" movie), he was invited to take part in the
last album of the band, on which he plays in a few pieces. So, take a look
at the very next issue of the CD, it's a must have
12th September 1998
JORDAN TEAM ANNOUNCE DAMON'S TEAM MATE FOR 1999
During the GP practice, the Jordan team announced that the next season's
Drivers will be Damon Hill, obviously confirmed, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen,
this year's Williams driver.
On Friday, Damon Hill announced that for the next two seasons, 1998 &
99, he will be joining the Jordan-Mugen Team. After the agreement with the
Prost Team seemed almost sure, something snapped between Hill and the French
Champion. Rumour has it that the blame was Damon's Manager-Lawyer Michael
Breen (who moreover is accused of causing all Damon's troubles with the
Jordan team last year, and after that with the McLaren and Sauber teams).
Anyway, Jordan Team got a good deal, the Mugen-Honda engine showed power
and resistance this year, so the Peugeot engine shouldn't be missed. Damon's
fee should come close to US$ 10 Million, plus results bonuses. Damon says
that "I hope to win some races next season, and to have a chance of
winning the World Championship". His team-mate will be Ralf Schumacher.
19th September 1997
Contrary to what Damon Hill declared right after the Spa Grand Prix, the
World Champion didn't announced which team he will be racing for in the
1998 championship. But rumour has it that next season Damon will be in the
Prost-Peugeot team, that will surely be competitive with the new engine
06th September 1997
12th July 1997
Many troubles behind Damon Hill and Tom Walkinshaw. After Walkinshaw didn't
permit Damon to drive the Prost Grand Prix car as of that Gp - Silverstone
-, the atmosphere was very bad in the TWR Arrows Team. Damon says
that he is very upset about the car that isn't performing - "...the
car, is slow and needs a more powerful engine. And it must be improved everywhere"
- and Walkinshaw had answered that for all the money that the team paid
to Hill, he must commit himself a lot more ("Either Hill starts
working, or he can go avay".... "With all we pay he must find
motivation"). All that had driven Damon and Walkinshaw close to a fight,
Friday morning before the free practice. At this point, it appears very
unlikely that Damon is going to stay in the TWR Team next season, also because
a lot of other teams are trying to take Hill for 1998. One of the closest
seems to be the Sauber Team.
17th April 1997
ENGINE TEST AT SILVERSTONE
Test of the new engine step for Damon Hill, that showed the continued performance
growth of his car: best lap of 1'26"89, compared to the 1'26"62
made this same day by Ralf Schumacher with the Jordan-Peugeot.
29th January 1997
TEST AT SILVERSTONE
More trouble with the gearbox and the clutch of the new Arrows A18. Damon
had done only 12 laps, clocking the best time with 1'42"40.
20th-22nd January 1997
TEST AT ESTORIL
On the three day-test in Spain, Damon was able to complete only a few laps,
total only 22. That was because of the gearbox, that has caused the team
a lot of trouble. Hill made 12 laps on Monday, nothing Tuesday, and 10 on
Wednesday. His fastest lap was 1'26"990, compared to 1'21''931 clocked
by Frentzen (Williams). But times are still not priority for the Arrows
team. Hill was satisfied from the driving seat of his car - "It feels
great." - Next week the car is going to be on the Silverstone circuit
to perform more tests.
17th January 1997
DAMON ON TRACK WITH THE NEW ARROWS
Damon Hill drove the new Arrows A18 on the track. Actually it was almost
a "debut for the press", because the car went out onto the track
at five p.m., pratically in the dark, and did only one lap. Originally a
series of laps had been planned to try out the car before sending it to
Spain, to the circuit of Jerez, where the real test was to be done, but
because of trouble with the gearbox managment software, darkness fell without
being able to get out onto the track. However Damon was happy: "Was
it worth the wait? Yes, it was important to check the car's functionality
on the track before sending it to Spain.
Damon Hill near the new Arrows
9th January 1997
OFFICIAL PRESENTATION OF THE NEW ARROWS A18
Thursday 9 January, as announced, the new Arrows TWR Yamaha was presented
for the 1997 season. It is called A18 and it's powered by the new 10-cylinder
Yamaha Ox 11A, which last year was on the Tyrrell. Very first debut also
for the tyres, Bridgestone, that will be one of the new features and an
important strong point for the team.
At the debut of the new car there were all the members of the team, from
Tom Walkinshaw to the test-driver, and morale was really high, as if the
presentation room were filled with fireworks. One of the first declarations
by Damon Hill regarding the car was "I find it sexy, elegant and sensual.
The thing that I prefer is the number one on it. Beautiful, isn't it?".
After this, getting serious again, Damon said, "... now that all the
parties for my winning the championship are gone, I want to get back to
work. I can judge the car only after having driven it on the track, but
I know that I have to be ready to take a step back compared to last year,
to then be able to make a big jump forward together with the team".
"One important thing, that all the fans must understand, is that this
year there is no possibility that I can repeat the same results as last
year. I must be realistic and accept the fact that some time is probably
going to pass before I can see the track free in front of me, like last
year with Williams". Again about next season, Hill thinks that "winning
a Grand Prix in 1997 will be a remarkable event", while about the new
tyres "on 50% of the circuit Bridgestone and Goodyear have the same
chance of success. On the remaining tracks, some times they have the advantage,
but in the other cases it's surely ours".
Group Photo with (from the left) P.P. Diniz, test driver Jorg Muller,
Tom Walkinshaw and Damon Hill.
To conclude, Damon says that he is sure about the team's potential: "I
have my pride. I'm not in F.1 to wander around from track to track.
Who is going to win the next championship? I would like to say 'me'. But
that time will come".
Tom Walkinshaw, chief and owner of the team, was happy and he showed himself
sure about the future of the Arrows-TWR in F.1: "After all, also Benetton
was far from being a reliable team, when I arrived there. In the first races,
I will be happy to see the Arrows not too far from the fourth row. The first
half of the season will not be easy, there will inevitably be trouble: beacuse
the structure is young, we lack a little experience. But in the second half
we aim to go on the podium regularly. Also with Diniz. .... I think we made
the first jump at Imola, with the first of the two or three important developments
that the Yamaha engine, small and powerful, had to have". And, about
a possible victory: "We can do it: Hill is one of the fastest drivers
in the championship and the Bridgestone tyres on some tracks should be
Teammate of Damon is Pedro Paulo Diniz, a promising Brasilian driver, last
year with the Ligier Mugen team, said, "Hill is an open man. I hope
to be able to learn a lot from him, and, maybe, to get onto the podium sometimes."
1st January 1997
DAMON HILL HAS RECEIVED AN O.B.E. FROM THE QUEEN
1st January 1997 Her Royal Mayesty Queen Elizabeth conferred upon Damon
Hill the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.).
Damon Hill and Tom Walkinshaw
DAMON HILL ANNOUNCED THAT HE IS TO RACE FOR THE ARROWS-TWR TEAM IN 1997
Surprising everyone, on Friday 27th September Damon Hill held a press conference
to announce he had signed for the next season with the TWR-Arrows Team.
That news surprised us all, because at this point it seemed certain that
Damon was to join the Jordan-Peugeot Team. And, also 'cause TWR are not
really competitive: this season they finished only once in sixth position,
and the Team has been racing in the Formula One Championship since 1977,
with no victories and only one Pole Position in 287 races. But a series
of factors drove Damon to make that choice. First of all, the fact that
the Team is now owned by Tom Walkinshaw, ex partner of the Benetton Team
and with a lot of experience in the world of sports cars, who has won in
every category he has entered. Furthermore, in the next season TWR should
have the Yamaha engine and Bridgestone tyres in exclusive (it's not yet
official, the announcement will be made in Suzuka, Japan, during the race
week-end), that will give a big technical and financial boost. Technical
Director will be Frank Dernie, former Benetton and Williams.
Damon declared "next year will be only the start, but I'm expecting
fast progress. What I have seen at TWR is the seed of a big project, to
which I'm going to give my experience as a driver and test-driver. Tom has
offered me the position I am looking for and I am delighted with the package.
I have the chance to test and develop with the team, to play a key role
and, in the future, to win races. It is all I wanted and I am very happy.
Of course it is going to be difficult racing for the championship next season.
To all my fans I can only say that, if really all of them love me, they
have to continue supporting me no matter what the results". "Tom
has offered me more than I could have hoped for - a rewarding package, a
great challenge and a partnership with him in helping to develop a winning
Tom Walkinshaw said that "Damon abilities are beyond question. He stands
on the verge of his first world title, he is a proven winner over several
seasons with 20 victories from 66 starts - and that is quite an outstanding
strike rate. His speed, his experience and his technical focus will be of
enormous value to us. " "I want to take TWR into the top 5 teams
of the World Championship. Forget the Arrows of the past. Our goal is to
be the world champions in the shortest possible time and Damon's recruitment
brings the day when we can achieve that goal considerably closer."
The contract, Damon said, is for 1997, but both he and Walkinshaw made it
clear they hoped it would last much longer. He is to be paid around $8 million
for next year.
For now that's all. There's nothing more to say than all we fans of Damon
Hill will follow him always, hoping that TWR next year can be really competitive.
SENSATIONAL: DAMON WILL NOT RUN WITH WILLIAMS IN 1997!!
During a press conference on Sunday 1st September, Damon Hill announced
that he will not be racing for the Williams Team in 1997. Officially for
the failing to reach an agreement on salary, but as was already revealed
by Damon's lawyer in the conference, the real reasons are others. Not least
the fact that the team seems to prefer his team-mate Villeneuve, also for
the current Race Championship (see problem with tyres at the pits in the
Belgian GP). And, the lawyer declared that on the day of 28th August he
had received a phone call from Frank Williams that announced, with no explanation,
the end of talks on the contract.
By now, Damon has three possibilities for next year: go to McLaren-Mercedes,
to Jordan Peugeot or the new team Stewart Racing, that is to debut in 1997.
Of these three, the one nearest to engaging Damon Hill seems to be McLaren
Nice one Williams, having let go of the probable World Champion, and one
of the fastest drivers in Formula One.
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