Phil Hill

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For other people named Phil Hill, see Phil Hill (disambiguation).
Phil Hill
Phil Hill + Jackie Stewart 1991 USA.jpg
Born (1927-04-20)April 20, 1927
Died August 28, 2008(2008-08-28) (aged 81)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 19581964, 1966
Teams Maserati, Ferrari, Cooper, Porsche, Automobili Turismo e Sport, Lotus, Eagle
Races 51 (48 starts)
Championships 1 (1961)
Wins 3
Podiums 16
Career points 94 (98)[1]
Pole positions 6
Fastest laps 6
First race 1958 French Grand Prix
First win 1960 Italian Grand Prix
Last win 1961 Italian Grand Prix
Last race 1966 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1953, 19551967
Teams Rees T. Makins
Scuderia Ferrari
Aston Martin
Ford Motor Company
Shelby-American Inc.
Chaparral Cars Inc.
Best finish 1st (1958, 1961, 1962)
Class wins 3 (1958, 1961, 1962)

Philip Toll Hill, Jr. (April 20, 1927 – August 28, 2008) was an American automobile racer and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (Mario Andretti, an American driver, won the World Drivers' Championship in 1978, but was not born in the United States). He also scored three wins at each of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races.

Hill was described as a "thoughtful, gentle man" and once said, "I'm in the wrong business. I don't want to beat anybody, I don't want to be the big hero. I'm a peace-loving man, basically."[2]

Career[edit]

Born in Miami, Florida, Hill was raised in Santa Monica, California, where he lived until his death. He studied business administration at the University of Southern California from 1945 to 1947, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Hill left early to pursue auto racing, working as a mechanic on other drivers' cars.[3] Hill began racing cars at an early age, going to England as a Jaguar trainee in 1949 and signing with Enzo Ferrari’s team in 1956. He made his debut in the French Grand Prix at Reims France in 1958 driving a Maserati. That same year, paired with Belgian teammate Olivier Gendebien, Hill became the first American-born winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans [4] with Hill driving most of the night in horrific rainy conditions. He and Gendebien would go on to win the famous endurance race again in 1961 and 1962.

Hill driving for Ferrari at the 1962 German Grand Prix.

Hill began driving full-time for the Ferrari Formula One team in 1959, earning three podium finishes and fourth place in the Driver's Championship. In 1960 he won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the first Grand Prix win for an American driver in nearly forty years, since Jimmy Murphy won the 1921 French Grand Prix. This also turned out to be the last win for a front-engined car in Formula 1. The following season, Hill won the Belgian Grand Prix and with two races left trailed only his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips in the season standings. A crash during the Italian Grand Prix killed von Trips and fifteen spectators. Hill won the race and clinched the championship but the triumph was bittersweet. Ferrari's decision not to travel to America for the season's final round deprived Hill of the opportunity to participate in his home race at Watkins Glen as the newly crowned World Champion. When he returned for the following season, his last with Ferrari, Hill said, "I no longer have as much need to race, to win. I don't have as much hunger anymore. I am no longer willing to risk killing myself."[2]

After leaving Ferrari at the end of 1962, he and fellow driver Giancarlo Baghetti started for the new team ATS created by ex-Ferrari engineers in the great walkout of 1961. In 1964 Hill continued in Formula One, driving for the Cooper Formula One Team before retiring from single seaters at the end of the season and limiting his future driving to sports car racing with Ford Motor Company and the Chaparral Cars of Jim Hall before retiring from racing altogether in 1967.

Phil Hill has the distinction of having won the first (a 3 lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG TC on July 24, 1949) and last races of his driving career, the final victory driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in England in 1967.

Hill also drove an experimental MG, EX-181, at Bonneville Salt Flats. The "Roaring Raindrop", had an ~85 cu. in. (1.5L) supercharged MGA Twin Cam engine, using 86% methanol with nitrobenzene, acetone, and sulphuric ether, for an output of 290 HP. In 1959 Phil Hill attained 257 MPH in this car, breaking the previous record of Stirling Moss in same car, Moss registering 246 MPH.

After racing[edit]

Following his retirement, Hill built up an award winning classic car restoration business in the 1970s called Hill & Vaughn with business partner Ken Vaughn, until they sold the partnership to Jordanian Raja Gargour and Vaughn went on to run a separate business on his own in 1984. Phil remained with Gargour at Hill & Vaughn until the sale of the business again in 1995.[5] Hill also worked as a television commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports.[6]

Hill had a long and distinguished association with Road & Track magazine. He wrote several articles for them, including road tests and retrospective articles on historic cars and races. He shared his "grand old man" status at R&T with '60s racing rival Paul Frère, who also died in 2008.

Hill, in his last years, devoted his time to his vintage car collection and judged at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance more often than any other individual; 2007 was the 40th time he had judged the event.[7]

Hill was married to Alma, and had three children: Derek, Vanessa and Jennifer.[8] Derek raced in International Formula 3000 in 2001, 2002 and 2003, but was forced to retire when Hill became ill with Parkinson's Disease.

After traveling to the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 2008, Hill was taken to a hospital, where he died after a short illness from complications of Parkinson's Disease in Salinas, California on August 28.[9]

Racing record[edit]

Formula One World 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 WDC Pts.[1]
1958 Joakim Bonnier Racing Team Maserati 250F Maserati L6 ARG MON NED 500 BEL FRA
7
GBR 10th 9
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Dino 156 Ferrari V6 GER
9
POR
DNA
Ferrari Dino 246 Ferrari V6 ITA
3
MOR
3
1959 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 246 Ferrari V6 MON
4
500 NED
6
FRA
2
GBR GER
3
POR
Ret
ITA
2
USA
Ret
4th 20
1960 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 246 Ferrari V6 ARG
8
MON
3
500 NED
Ret
BEL
4
FRA
12
GBR
7
POR
Ret
ITA
1
5th 16
Yeoman Credit Racing Team Cooper T51 Climax L4 USA
6
1961 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 MON
3
NED
2
BEL
1
FRA
9
GBR
2
GER
3
ITA
1
USA
DNA
1st 34 (38)
1962 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 NED
3
MON
2
BEL
3
FRA
DNA
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
ITA
11
6th 14
Porsche System Engineering Porsche 804 Porsche F8 USA
DNS
RSA
1963 Automobili Turismo e Sport ATS 100 ATS V8 MON BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
11
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
RSA NC 0
Ecurie Filipinetti Lotus 24 BRM V8 FRA
NC
GBR GER
1964 Cooper Car Company Cooper T73 Climax V8 MON
9
NED
8
BEL
Ret
FRA
7
GBR
6
GER
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
9
19th 1
Cooper T66 Climax V8 AUT
Ret
ITA
1966 Anglo American Racers Eagle T1G Climax L4 MON BEL FRA GBR NED GER ITA
DNQ
USA MEX NC 0

Non-Championship Formula One 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
1959 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 246 Ferrari V6 GLV AIN INT
3
OUL SIL
1960 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 246 Ferrari V6 GLV INT
5
SIL
4
LOM OUL
1961 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 LOM GLV PAU BRX VIE AIN SYR NAP LON SIL SOL
DNA
KAN DAN MOD FLG OUL LEW VAL RAN NAT RSA
1962 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 CAP BRX LOM LAV GLV PAU AIN
3
INT NAP MAL
DNA
CLP RMS SOL KAN MED DAN OUL MEX RAN NAT
1963 Automobili Turismo e Sport ATS 100 ATS V8 LOM GLV PAU IMO
DNA
INT
DNA
ROM
Ecurie Filipinetti Lotus 24 BRM V8 SYR
DNA
AIN SOL
Ret
KAN MED AUT OUL RAN
1964 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P578 BRM V8 DMT
4
Cooper Car Company Cooper T66 Climax V8 NWT
DNA
SYR AIN
Ret
INT
4
SOL MED RAN

Awards[edit]

Primary career victories :

Notes[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. ^ a b Daley, Robert (1963). The Cruel Sport.
  3. ^ Jim Peltz, Phil Hill dies at 81; only American-born driver to win Formula One title, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Weber, Bruce (2008-08-28). "Phil Hill, a Racing Legend at Odds With the Sport at Times, Is Dead at 81". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  5. ^ Glenn Vaughn - Restoration Services, Inc
  6. ^ 8W - Who? - Phil Hill
  7. ^ Posey, Sam (September 2011). "A Man Like No Other". Road & Track 63 (1): 92. 
  8. ^ "American racing legend Phil Hill has died". autosport.com. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  9. ^ Peltz, Jim (2008-08-28). "Phil Hill, 81; first U.S.-born driver to win Formula One title". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 

References[edit]

  • Daley, Robert. The Cruel Sport. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jack Brabham
Formula One World Champion
1961
Succeeded by
Graham Hill
Preceded by
Ron Flockhart
Ivor Bueb
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1958 with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Carroll Shelby
Roy Salvadori
Preceded by
Olivier Gendebien
Paul Frère
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1961 with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Olivier Gendebien
Phil Hill
Preceded by
Olivier Gendebien
Phil Hill
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1962 with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Ludovico Scarfiotti
Lorenzo Bandini