F1 WORLD CHAMPION DAMON HILL GIVES PENARTH BOOK-BUYERS THE INSIDE TRACK

amon Hill - giving his sell-out audience at the Glamorgan shire Golf Club the inside track on the ups and downs of his spectacular career

Formula One World Champion Damon Hill – giving his sell-out audience at the Glamorganshire Golf Club the inside track on the ups and downs of his spectacular career –  in conversation with sports journalist Victoria Turner

Formula One World Champion racing driver Damon Hill has been in Penarth today talking to enthusiasts at a special book launch organised by Griffin Books of Windsor Road and meeting local primary schoolchildren who’ve been working on a motor-racing project.

The event was an all ticket lunch held at the Glamorganshire Golf Club to launch Damon’s new autobiography “Watching the Wheels ” where the famous racing driver took part in a frank and revealing interview about  the highs and lows of his colourful career,  and in particular the on-track dramas  and behind the scenes intrigues of F1.

In an informal Question and Answer session Damon's self-effacing sense of humour captured the interest of the an appreciative audience

In an informal Question and Answer session Damon’s self-effacing sense of humour captured the rapt attention of an appreciative and knowledgeable audience

Damon is – so far – the only son of a F1 World Champion  to have become a World Champion in his own right.  His famous father, Graham Hill, died in a private aircraft crash when Damon was just 15 years old.

In his talk and in his book Damon gave the audience a revealing insight into a working life which began delivering as a motor bike messenger to stepping onto the winners’ rostrum as World Champion and receiving the accolade of becoming BBC Sports Personality of the year .

A sell-out audience at the launch of Damon Hill's biograph listened in rapt attention to his talk

A sell-out audience at the launch of Damon Hill’s biography listened in rapt attention to his talk

He told the audience about generosity of the late Beatle (and motor-racing enthusiast)   George Harrison who – in his early days – helped him financially to get started as a racing driver. When Damon had  established himself-  and wanted to repay the money – George Harrison wouldn’t accept it, and it was given instead to the charity “Halo” for children with Down’s Syndrome (Hills eldest son has Downs) .

There were frank insights into his now legendary on-track battles and collisions with  champion Michael Schumacher whose team – Damon said – would do anything to win . But sportingly he admitted that the collision in the Adelaide Grand Prix – the championship decider in 1994 – was his own fault, not Schumacher’s.

Schumacher and Hill - with just a point seperating them - tangle in Adelaide in 1994

Schumacher and Hill – with just a point separating them – tangle in Adelaide in 1994

He just saw what looked like an opportunity to overtake the German and then didn’t know Schumacher’s car was already mortally damaged and likely to fail at any minute. The crash meant neither driver finished,  and the title – by default – went to Schumacher.

There was another crash with Schumacher in the British Grand Prix of 1995 and Hill won the World Chamionship in 1996 but then found himself ousted from his Williams team – forcing him to go to a new team, Arrows, for 1997.

Damon also took the audience into his confidence about the bouts of depression he suffered when his career came to what many consider was a premature end, and also explained – as he does in his book – how he dealt with it – in a way which may well help others who also find themselves in similar circumstances  in whatever walk of life they may be.

Damon Hill signing autographs for Albert School's future Formula One stars

Damon Hill signing autographs for Albert School’s future Formula One stars at the Glamorganshire Golf Club today.

A group of children from Albert School in Penarth, who have been building model racing cars as part of a school project, also had the opportunity of meeting Damon at the Penarth event.

Albert Primary Schools ace motor racing development team with their Jaguar trophy - and World Champion Formula One racing driver Damon Hill

Albert Primary School’s ace motor racing development team with their Jaguar trophy – and World Champion Formula One racing driver Damon Hill

The F1 Primary Schools scheme is run by Jaguar every year  for primary school children to make model cars and race them as an extra-curricular activity.

Albert School pupils won a Jaguar award for their achievements so it’s just possible that perhaps the mantle might have been passed today to a future generation of Penarth F1 World Champions.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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2 Responses to F1 WORLD CHAMPION DAMON HILL GIVES PENARTH BOOK-BUYERS THE INSIDE TRACK

  1. Mario says:

    A brilliant afternoon…well done Mel Griffin for arranging such a fantastic event.

  2. Mgg says:

    Hear hear Mel does an excellent job

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