Graham Hill

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Graham Hill
HillGraham1969Aug.jpg
Born (1929-02-15)15 February 1929
Died 29 November 1975(1975-11-29) (aged 46)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 19581975
Teams Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Hill
Races 179 (176 starts)
Championships 2 (1962, 1968)
Wins 14
Podiums 36
Career points 270 (289)[1]
Pole positions 13
Fastest laps 10
First race 1958 Monaco Grand Prix
First win 1962 Dutch Grand Prix
Last win 1969 Monaco Grand Prix
Last race

1975 Monaco Grand Prix

24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1958-1966, 1972
Teams Team Lotus
Porsche AG
NART/Rob Walker
Aston Martin
BRM
Maranello Concessionaires
Alan Mann Racing Ltd
Equipe Matra-Simca Shell
Best finish 1st (1972)
Class wins 1 (1972)

Norman Graham Hill OBE[2] (15 February 1929 – 29 November 1975) was a British racing driver and team owner from England, who was a two time Formula One World Champion. He is the only driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport—the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and Formula One World Championship. He also appeared on TV in the 1970s on a variety of non sporting programmes including panel games.

Hill and his son Damon are the only father and son pair both to have won the Formula One World Championship. Hill's grandson Josh, Damon's son, also raced his way through the ranks till he retired from Formula 3 in 2013 at the age of 22.

Hill died when the aeroplane he was piloting crashed in foggy conditions near Arkley golf course in North London. Hill, Tony Brise and four other members of Hill's racing team were returning from car testing at Circuit Paul Ricard in France and were due to land at Elstree Airfield. All six were killed.

Biography[edit]

Professional history[edit]

Hill, who was born in Hampstead, London, served in the Royal Navy as an Engine Room artificer. After leaving the Navy he re-joined Smiths Instruments. Hill did not pass his driving test until he was 24 years old, and he himself described his first car as "A wreck. A budding racing driver should own such a car, as it teaches delicacy, poise and anticipation, mostly the latter I think!"[citation needed] He had been interested in motorcycles but in 1954 he saw an advertisement for the Universal Motor Racing Club at Brands Hatch offering laps for 5 shillings. He made his debut in a Cooper 500 Formula 3 car and was committed to racing thereafter. Hill joined Team Lotus as a mechanic soon after but quickly talked his way into the cockpit. The Lotus presence in Formula One allowed him to make his debut at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, retiring with a halfshaft failure.

Graham Hill testing the BRM P261. Chassis designer John Crosthwaite in pale duffel coat

In 1960, Hill joined BRM, and won the world championship with them in 1962. Hill was also part of the so-called 'British invasion' of drivers and cars in the Indianapolis 500 during the mid-1960s, triumphing there in 1966 in a Lola-Ford.

In 1967, back at Lotus, Hill helped to develop the Lotus 49 with the new Cosworth-V8 engine. After team mates Jim Clark and Mike Spence were killed in early 1968, Hill led the team, and won his second world championship in 1968. The Lotus had a reputation of being very fragile and dangerous at that time, especially with the new aerodynamic aids which caused similar crashes of Hill and Jochen Rindt at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix. A crash at the 1969 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen broke both his legs and interrupted his career. Typically, when asked soon after the crash if he wanted to pass on a message to his wife, Hill replied "Just tell her that I won't be dancing for two weeks."[3]

Upon recovery Hill continued to race in F1 for several more years, but never again with the same level of success. Colin Chapman, believing Hill was a spent force, placed him in Rob Walker's team for 1970, sweetening the deal with one of the brand-new Lotus 72 cars. Although Hill scored points in 1970 he started the season far from fully fit and the 72 was not fully developed until late in the season. Hill moved to Brabham for 1971-2; his last win in Formula One was in the non-Championship International Trophy at Silverstone in 1971 with the "lobster claw" Brabham BT34. But the team was in flux after the retirements of Sir Jack Brabham and then Ron Tauranac's sale to Bernie Ecclestone; Hill did not settle there.

Graham Hill driving a Lotus 49 at the Nürburgring in 1969

Hill was known during the latter part of his career for his wit and became a popular personality - he was a regular guest on television and wrote a notably frank and witty autobiography, Life at the Limit,[4] when recovering from his 1969 accident. Hill was also irreverently immortalized on a Monty Python episode ("It's the Arts (or: Intermission)" sketch called "Historical Impersonations"), in which a Gumby appears asking to "see John the Baptist's impersonation of Graham Hill." The head of St. John the Baptist appears on a silver platter, which runs around the floor making putt-putt noises of a race car engine.

Hill was involved with four films between 1966 and 1974, including appearances in Grand Prix and Caravan to Vaccarès, in which he appeared as a helicopter pilot.[5]

Although Hill had concentrated on F1 he also maintained a presence in sports car racing throughout his career (including two runs in the Rover-BRM gas turbine car at Le Mans). As his F1 career drew to a close he became part of the Matra sports car team, taking a victory in the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans with Henri Pescarolo. This victory completed the so-called Triple Crown of motorsport which is alternatively defined as winning either:

Using either definition, Hill is still the only person ever to have accomplished this feat.

With works drives becoming hard to find, Hill set up his own team in 1973: Embassy Hill with sponsorship from Imperial Tobacco. The team used chassis from Shadow and Lola before evolving the Lola into its own design in 1975. After failing to qualify for the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix, where he had won five times, Hill retired from driving to concentrate on running the team and supporting his protege Tony Brise.

Hill's record of 176 Grand Prix starts remained in place for over a decade, being equalled by Jacques Laffite.

Family[edit]

Hill married Bette in 1955. Because Hill had spent all his money on his racing career, Bette paid for the wedding. They had two daughters, Brigitte and Samantha, and a son, Damon, who himself later became Formula One World Champion—the only son of a former world champion to emulate his father.

Rowing[edit]

Hill at the 1971 Race of Champions.

Before taking up motor racing, Hill spent several years actively involved in rowing. Initially, he rowed at Southsea Rowing Club, while stationed in Portsmouth with the Royal Navy and at Auriol Rowing Club in Hammersmith. He met Bette at a Boxing Day party at Auriol and, while courting her, he also coached her clubmates at Stuart Ladies' Rowing Club on the River Lea.

In 1952 he joined London Rowing Club, then as now one of the largest and most successful clubs in Great Britain. From 1952 to 1954, Hill rowed in twenty finals with London, usually as stroke of the crew, eight of which resulted in wins. He also stroked the London eight in the highly prestigious Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, losing a semi-final to Union Sportif Metropolitaine des Transports, France by a length.

Through his racing career he continued to support rowing and London. In 1968 when the club began a financial appeal to modernise its clubhouse, Hill launched proceedings by driving an old Morris Oxford, which had been obtained for £5, head-on into a boundary wall. Hill made three runs to reduce the wall to rubble, and the car was subsequently sold for £15.

Hill felt that the experience gained in rowing helped him in his motor-racing. He wrote in his autobiography:

"I really enjoyed my rowing. It really taught me a lot about myself, and I also think it is a great character-building sport...The self discipline required for rowing and the 'never say die' attitude obviously helped me through the difficult years that lay ahead."

Famously, Hill adopted the colours and cap design of London Rowing Club for his racing helmet - dark blue with white oar-shaped tabs. His son Damon and his grandson Josh later adopted the same colours.[11]

Death[edit]

IN MEMORY OF GRAHAM HILL. TWICE WORLD CHAMPION RACING DRIVER WHO DIED WITH FIVE COLLEAGUES WHEN THEIR AIRCRAFT CRASHED HERE IN FREEZING FOG 29TH NOVEMBER 1975

Plaque at Arkley Golf Course, North London.

In November 1975, returning from the Paul Ricard circuit, France, Hill was killed when the Piper PA 23-250 Turbo-Aztec, registration N6645Y,[12] that he was piloting crashed near Arkley golf course in North London while attempting to land at Elstree in foggy conditions at night. The crash also resulted in the deaths of team manager Ray Brimble, mechanics Tony Alcock and Terry Richards, up-and-coming driver Tony Brise and designer Andy Smallman; all from the Embassy Hill team.[13]

His funeral was at St Albans Abbey, and he is buried at St Botolphs church in Shenley.

After his death, Silverstone village, home to the track of the same name, named a road, Graham Hill, after him[14] and there is a "Graham Hill Road" on The Shires estate in nearby Towcester. Graham Hill Bend at Brands Hatch is also named in his honour. A blue plaque commemorates Hill at 32 Parkside, in Mill Hill, London NW7.[15]

Race results[edit]

Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Pts.[1]
1958 Team Lotus Lotus 12 Climax L4 ARG
MON
Ret
NED
Ret
500
NC 0
Lotus 16 Climax L4 BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret*
POR
Ret
ITA
6
MOR
16
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 MON
Ret
500
NED
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
9
GER
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
NC 0
1960 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM L4 ARG
Ret
15th 4
BRM P48 BRM L4 MON
7
500
NED
3
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
USA
Ret
1961 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P48/57 Climax L4 MON
Ret
NED
8
BEL
Ret
FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
5
16th 3
1962 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM V8 NED
1
MON
6
BEL
2
FRA
9
GBR
4
GER
1
ITA
1
USA
2
RSA
1
1st 42 (52)
1963 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM V8 MON
1
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
GBR
3
GER
Ret
USA
1
MEX
4
RSA
3
2nd 29
BRM P61 BRM V8 FRA
3
ITA
16
1964 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 MON
1
NED
4
BEL
5
FRA
2
GBR
2
GER
2
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
1
MEX
11
2nd 39 (41)
1965 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 RSA
3
MON
1
BEL
5
FRA
5
GBR
2
NED
4
GER
2
ITA
2
USA
1
MEX
Ret
2nd 40 (47)
1966 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 MON
3
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
NED
2
GER
4
5th 17
BRM P83 BRM H16 ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1967 Team Lotus Lotus 43 BRM H16 RSA
Ret
7th 15
Lotus 33 BRM V8 MON
2
Lotus 49 Ford V8 NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
CAN
4
ITA
Ret
USA
2
MEX
Ret
1968 Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford V8 RSA
2
1st 48
Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford V8 ESP
1
Lotus 49B Ford V8 MON
1
BEL
Ret
NED
9
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
ITA
Ret
CAN
4
USA
2
MEX
1
1969 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford V8 RSA
2
ESP
Ret
MON
1
NED
7
FRA
6
GBR
7
GER
4
ITA
9
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
7th 19
1970 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 49C Ford V8 RSA
6
ESP
4
13th 7
Brooke Bond Oxo Racing - Rob Walker Lotus 49C Ford V8 MON
5
BEL
Ret
NED
NC
FRA
10
GBR
6
GER
Ret
AUT
Lotus 72C Ford V8 ITA
DNS
CAN
NC
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1971 Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT33 Ford V8 RSA
9
21st 2
Brabham BT34 Ford V8 ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
NED
10
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
9
AUT
5
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
7
1972 Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT33 Ford V8 ARG
Ret
RSA
6
15th 4
Brabham BT37 Ford V8 ESP
10
MON
12
BEL
Ret
FRA
10
GBR
Ret
GER
6
AUT
Ret
ITA
5
CAN
8
USA
11
1973 Embassy Racing Shadow DN1 Ford V8 ARG
BRA
RSA
ESP
Ret
BEL
9
MON
Ret
SWE
Ret
FRA
10
GBR
Ret
NED
NC
GER
13
AUT
Ret
ITA
14
CAN
16
USA
13
NC 0
1974 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
11
RSA
12
ESP
Ret
BEL
8
MON
7
SWE
6
NED
Ret
FRA
13
GBR
13
GER
9
AUT
12
ITA
8
CAN
14
USA
8
18th 1
1975 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T371 Ford V8 ARG
10
BRA
12
RSA
DNQ
ESP
NC 0
Hill GH1 Ford V8 MON
DNQ
BEL
SWE
NED
FRA
GBR
GER
AUT
ITA
USA

* Hill entered the 1958 German Grand Prix in a Formula Two chassis.

Non-Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1957 Graham Hill Willment Climax SYR
PAU
GLV
NAP RMS
CAE
INT
13
MOD
MOR
1958 Team Lotus Lotus 12 Climax L4 GLV
Ret
SYR
AIN
7
INT
8
CAE
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 GLV
Ret
AIN
11
INT
Ret
OUL
5
SIL
Ret
1960 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P48 BRM L4 GLV
5
INT
SIL
2
LOM
9
OUL
1961 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM L4 LOM GLV
2
PAU
BRX VIE AIN
3
SYR
NC
NAP
LON SIL
13
SOL
KAN DAN MOD
7
FLG
OUL
Ret
LEW VAL RAN NAT RSA
1962 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM V8 CAP
BRX
Ret
LOM
2
LAV
GLV
1
PAU
AIN
Ret
INT
1
NAP
MAL
3
CLP RMS
2
SOL
KAN
Ret
MED
DAN
Ret
OUL
2
MEX
RAN
Ret
NAT
15
1963 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P578 BRM V8 LOM
1
GLV
9
PAU
IMO
SYR
AIN
1
INT
Ret
ROM
SOL
KAN
MED
AUT
OUL
3
RAN
1964 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 DMT
Ret
NWT
Ret
SYR
AIN
2
INT
2
SOL
Ret
MED
John Willment Automobiles Brabham BT11 RAN
1
1965 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 ROC
Ret
SYR
SMT
2
INT
Ret
MED
RAN
1966 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P83 BRM V8 RSA
SYR
INT OUL
Ret
1967 Team Lotus Lotus 33 BRM V8 ROC
SPR
8
INT
4
SYR
Lotus 48 Ford V8 OUL
3
Lotus 49 Ford V8 ESP
2
1968 Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford V8 ROC
Ret
INT
Ret
OUL
Ret
1969 Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford V8 ROC
2
INT
7
MAD OUL
Ret
1970 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 49C Ford V8 ROC
5
INT
9
OUL
Ret
1971 Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT34 Ford V8 ARG
ROC
Ret
QUE
26
SPR
INT
1
RIN
OUL
VIC
8
1972 Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT37 Ford V8 ROC
7
BRA
INT
OUL
REP
VIC
Ret
1973 Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT37 Ford V8 ROC
Ret
INT
1974 Embassy Racing Lola T370 Ford V8 PRE ROC
Ret
INT
Ret
1975 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Hill GH1 Ford V8 ROC INT
11
SUI

Indy 500 results[edit]

  • Hill failed to qualify the innovative John Crosthwaite (who had worked with Hill at Team Lotus) designed 'roller skate' car for the 1963 Indianapolis 500 race after crashing in practice. Hill, who had been commuting weekly due to other commitments in Europe, would not wait in the USA while the car was repaired and risk not qualifying or qualifying badly.[17][18]
  • Hill's 1966 victory marked the first win by a rookie driver since Frank Lockhart's 1927 win and the last until Juan Montoya's visit to Victory Lane in 2000.
  • Hill entered the 1969 Indianapolis 500, but his car (Lotus-Ford Chassis 64/2) was withdrawn during practice along with those of Mario Andretti and Jochen Rindt due to delays rectifying problems associated with hub failure on Andretti's car.

Complete Tasman Series results[edit]

Year Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
1964 Brabham BT4 New Zealand
LEV
New Zealand
PUK
New Zealand
WIG
New Zealand
TER
Australia
SAN
Australia
WAR
4
Australia
LAK
Australia
LON
1
6th 12
1965 Brabham BT11A New Zealand
PUK
1
New Zealand
LEV
New Zealand
WIG
New Zealand
TER
Australia
WAR
5
Australia
SAN
Ret
Australia
LON
4
7th 14
1966 BRM P261 New Zealand
PUK
1
New Zealand
LEV
New Zealand
WIG
New Zealand
TER
Australia
WAR
2
Australia
LAK
1
Australia
SAN
(3)
Australia
LON
2
2nd 30 (34)
1967 Lotus 48 New Zealand
PUK
New Zealand
WIG
Australia
LAK
Australia
WAR
Ret
Australia
SAN
Australia
LON
NC 0
1968 Lotus 49T New Zealand
PUK
New Zealand
LEV
New Zealand
WIG
New Zealand
TER
Australia
SUR
2
Australia
WAR
2
Australia
SAN
3
Australia
LON
6
4th 17
1969 Lotus 49T New Zealand
PUK
Ret
New Zealand
LEV
Ret
New Zealand
WIG
2
New Zealand
TER
2
Australia
LAK
4
Australia
WAR
11
Australia
SAN
6
5th 16

Credits[edit]

Hill's easy wit and charm helped him become a television personality, notably on the BBC show Call My Bluff with Patrick Campbell and Frank Muir. For a number of years in the early 1970s he appeared as one half of a double act, with Jackie Stewart, as an insert within the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

In 1990, Hill was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

A one-off BBC Four documentary called Graham Hill: Driven was first broadcast on 26 May 2008.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. ^ Graham Hill (1929 - 1975) - Find A Grave Photos
  3. ^ Autosport http://forix.autosport.com/noteshow.php?l=0&x=3&r=19690010&i=3591 |url= missing title (help). 
  4. ^ Hill, Graham (1971). Life At The Limit. London: Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0-330-02675-5. 
  5. ^ Caravan to Vaccarès: Cast & Crew movies.msn.com. Retrieved on 14 July 2007.
  6. ^ Dan Knutson (3 June 2003). "Points Race Stays Tight; Montoya Joins Elite Company With Victory". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  7. ^ Henri Boulanger. "Monaco Grand Prix Glitz Draws Rising Stars". IntakeInfo.com. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  8. ^ "Tribute to Graham Hill". lastingtribute.co.ok. Retrieved 2007-12-05. [dead link]
  9. ^ Bette Hill with Neil Ewart (1978). The Other Side of the Hill. Hutchison/Stanley Paul. p. 87. ISBN 0-09-134900-1. 
  10. ^ Oliver Irish (15 June 2007). "Stick to the day job, Jacques". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  11. ^ Dodd, Christopher (2006). Water Boiling Aft: London Rowing Club The First 150 Years 1856-2006. The London Rowing Club. ISBN 0-9552938-0-4. 
  12. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report 14/76". Accidents Investigation Board. 29 September 1976. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Racing Mourns Death of Graham Hill". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1 December 1975. p. 5. 
  14. ^ Graham Hill, Google Maps
  15. ^ "HILL, GRAHAM (1929-1975)". English Heritage. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  16. ^ "Graham Hill Indy 500 Race Stats". Indy500.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  17. ^ "Mickey Thompson - Indy 500 1963". Thompson-motorsports.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  18. ^ Car and Driver August 1963
  19. ^ "Graham Hill: Driven". BBC Four Programmes. BBC. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Stirling Moss
BRDC International Trophy winner
1962
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
Preceded by
Phil Hill
Formula One World Champion
1962
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
Preceded by
Jim Clark
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1966
Succeeded by
A. J. Foyt
Preceded by
Denny Hulme
Formula One World Champion
1968
Succeeded by
Jackie Stewart
Preceded by
Chris Amon
BRDC International Trophy winner
1971
Succeeded by
Emerson Fittipaldi
Preceded by
Helmut Marko
Gijs van Lennep
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1972 with:
Henri Pescarolo
Succeeded by
Henri Pescarolo
Gérard Larrousse
Awards
Preceded by
Stirling Moss
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1962
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
Preceded by
Denny Hulme
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1968
Succeeded by
Jackie Stewart
Records
Preceded by
Jack Brabham
128 entries, 126 starts
(19551970)
Most Grand Prix entries
179 entries, 176 starts
(19581975),
129th entry at the 1971 Dutch GP
127th start at the 1971 Monaco GP
Succeeded by
Jacques Laffite
180 entries (176 starts),
180th at the 1986 British GP