Damon Hill OBE

Damon Hill OBE

Formula One Champion

Synopsis

As British Racing Drivers’ Club President, the former Formula 1 World Champion managed to secure the long-term future of Silverstone. After dinner Damon talks about his rivalry with Schumacher, living in the fast lane while practising self-discipline, and playing guitar on a Def Leppard album.

Biography

It is not easy having a famous father and even harder to succeed in a field in which they have excelled. But Damon Hill achieved just that when, like his father Graham, he became Formula One World Champion.

The first son of a world champion to win the title (and until Nico Rosberg, the only one) - the challenges Damon had to overcome make his success all the more admirable. When his father was killed in a light aircraft accident (when Damon was fifteen), the family were left in difficult financial as well as emotional circumstances. Damon worked as a labourer and motorbike courier to finance his education and started his racing career on two wheels, going on to win the 350cc Clubman's Cup at Brands Hatch.

Moving to cars and working his way through the Formulas, it was whilst working as a test driver with Williams that Damon made his Formula One debut for the struggling Brabham team. After an inauspicious start, he took the first of his 22 victories, at the Hungarian Grand Prix, for Williams the following year.

Damon’s controversial rivalry with Michael Schumacher, both on and off the track, provided rich fodder for the motor racing press throughout the mid-nineties. When the two collided at the Australian Grand Prix, Schumacher snatched his first title by a single point. Two years later, after another Schumacher victory and a runner-up placing, Damon took eight victories and eventually the world championship.

As President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and former F1 World Champion he also succeeded in securing the long-term future of Silverstone. After dinner Damon talks about living in the fast lane without losing self-discipline - and playing guitar on a Def Leppard album.

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