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Graham Hill

Graham Hill

British racing driver
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Formula One driver Engineer Sailor Author Racing automobile driver
Countries United Kingdom
A.K.A. Norman Graham Hill
Gender male
Birth February 15, 1929 (Hampstead)
Death November 29, 1975 (Arkley)
Family
Children: Damon Hill
Graham Hill
The details
Biography

Norman Graham Hill (15 February 1929 – 29 November 1975) was a British racing driver and team owner from England, who was twice Formula One World Champion. He is the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport—the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. He also appeared on TV in the 1970s on a variety of non-sporting programmes including panel games. He liked painting in his spare time.

Hill and his son Damon were the first father and son pair to win Formula One World Championships. Hill's grandson Josh, Damon's son, also raced his way through the ranks until he retired from Formula Three in 2013 at the age of 22.

Hill and five other members of the Embassy Hill team died in 1975 when the aeroplane he was piloting from France crashed in fog at night on Arkley golf course while attempting to land at Elstree Airfield in north London.

Early life

Born in Hampstead, London, Hill attended Hendon Technical College and joined Smiths Instruments as an apprentice engineer. He was conscripted into the Royal Navy and served as an Engine Room Artificer (ERA) on the light cruiser HMS Swiftsure, rising to the rank of petty officer. After leaving the Navy he rejoined Smiths Instruments.

Racing career

Hill and Colin Chapman at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix.

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!" 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.

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.

Hill at the 1962 German Grand Prix

In 1967, back at Lotus, Hill helped to develop the Lotus 49 with the new Cosworth-V8 engine. After teammates 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."

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. 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.

Hill at the 1969 German Grand Prix

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, 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 (with a stuck-on moustache in Hill's style) on a silver platter, which runs around the floor making putt-putt noises of a race car engine.

Hill at the 1971 Race of Champions

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.

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:

  • the Indianapolis 500 (won by Hill in 1966), the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972) and the Monaco Grand Prix (1963–65, 1968, 1969), or
  • the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship (1962, 1968).

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

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 until being equalled by Jacques Laffite.

Family

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

Rowing

Hill at the 1974 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 his future wife 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 grandson Josh later adopted the same colours.

Death

Hill in 1975

Hill died on 29 November 1975 at the controls of his Piper PA-23 Aztec twin-engine light aircraft when it crashed near Arkley, Hertfordshire, while on a night approach to Elstree Airfield in thick fog. On board with him were five other members of the Embassy Hill team who all died: manager Ray Brimble, mechanics Tony Alcock and Terry Richards, driver Tony Brise, and designer Andy Smallman. The party was returning from a car-testing session at the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Hill's aircraft, originally registered in the US as N6645Y, had been removed from the FAA register and at the time of the accident was "unregistered and stateless", despite still displaying its original markings. Furthermore, Hill's American FAA pilot certification had expired, as had his instrument rating. His UK IMC rating, which would have permitted him to fly in the weather conditions that prevailed at the time, was also out of date and invalid. Hill was effectively uninsured. The investigation into the crash was ultimately inconclusive, but pilot error was deemed the most likely explanation.

Hill's funeral was held at St Albans Abbey, and he is buried at St Botolph's graveyard, Shenleybury in Shenley, Hertfordshire.

Legacy

After his death, Silverstone village, home to the track of the same name, named a road, Graham Hill, after him 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. In Bourne, Lincolnshire, where Hill's former team BRM is based, a road called Graham Hill Way is named in his honour. Also a nursery school in Lusevera, Italy, was named in his honour.

Career results

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(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 WDC Pts
1958 Team Lotus Lotus 12 Climax FPF 2.0 L4 ARG MON
Ret
NED
Ret
500 BEL
Ret
NC 0
Lotus 16 Climax FPF 2.2 L4 FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
6
MOR
16
Lotus 16 (F2) Climax FPF 1.5 L4 GER
Ret
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax FPF 2.5 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 P25 2.5 L4 ARG
Ret
15th 4
BRM P48 MON
7
500 NED
3
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA USA
Ret
1961 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P48/57 Climax FPF 1.5 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 P56 1.5 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 P56 1.5 V8 MON
1
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
GBR
3
GER
Ret
USA
1
MEX
4
RSA
3
2nd 29
BRM P61 BRM P60 1.5 V8 FRA
3
ITA
16
1964 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM P60 1.5 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 P60 1.5 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 P60 2.0 V8 MON
3
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
NED
2
GER
4
5th 17
BRM P83 BRM P75 3.0 H16 ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1967 Team Lotus Lotus 43 BRM P75 3.0 H16 RSA
Ret
7th 15
Lotus 33 BRM P60 2.1 V8 MON
2
Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
2
1st 48
Gold Leaf Team Lotus ESP
1
Lotus 49B 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 Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
6
ESP
4
13th 7
Brooke Bond Oxo Racing - Rob Walker MON
5
BEL
Ret
NED
NC
FRA
10
GBR
6
GER
Ret
AUT
Lotus 72C ITA
DNS
CAN
NC
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1971 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
9
21st 2
Brabham BT34 ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
NED
10
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
9
AUT
5
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
7
1972 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
RSA
6
15th 4
Brabham BT37 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 Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
10
BRA
12
RSA
DNQ
ESP NC 0
Hill GH1 MON
DNQ
BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA

Complete Formula One Non-Championship results

(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 Cooper Car Company Cooper T43 (F2) Climax FPF 1.5 L4 SYR PAU GLV NAP RMS CAE INT
13
MOD MOR
1958 Team Lotus Lotus 12 Climax FPF 2.0 L4 GLV
Ret
SYR INT
8
CAE
Lotus 12 (F2) Climax FPF 1.5 L4 AIN
7
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 GLV
Ret
AIN
11
INT
Ret
OUL
5
SIL
Ret
1960 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P48 BRM P25 2.5 L4 GLV
5
INT
3
SIL
2
LOM
Ret
OUL
3
1961 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P48/57 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 LOM GLV
2
PAU BRX VIE AIN
3
SYR
Ret
NAP LON SIL
13
SOL KAN DAN MOD
7
FLG OUL
Ret
LEW VAL RAN NAT RSA
1962 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM P56 1.5 V8 CAP BRX
DSQ
LOM
2
LAV GLV
1
PAU AIN
Ret
INT
1
NAP RMS
2
SOL OUL
2
MEX RAN
Ret
NAT
NC
R.R.C. Walker Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 MAL
3
CLP
Lotus 24 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 KAN
Ret
MED DAN
1963 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P57 BRM P56 1.5 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 P60 1.5 V8 DMT
Ret
NWT
Ret
SYR AIN
2
INT
2
SOL
Ret
MED
John Willment Automobiles Brabham BT11 BRM P56 1.5 V8 RAN
1
1965 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM P60 1.5 V8 ROC
Ret
SYR SMT
2
INT
Ret
MED RAN
1966 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P83 BRM P75 3.0 H16 RSA SYR INT OUL
Ret
1967 Team Lotus Lotus 48 (F2) Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 ROC SPR
8
OUL
3
Lotus 33 BRM P60 2.1 V8 INT
4
SYR
Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ESP
2
1968 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
Ret
INT
Ret
Lotus 49B OUL
Ret
1969 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
2
INT
7
MAD
Lotus 59B (F2) Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 OUL
Ret
1970 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 49C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
5
Brooke Bond Oxo Racing - Rob Walker INT
9
Lotus 72C OUL
Ret
1971 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT34 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG ROC
Ret
QUE
Ret
SPR INT
1
RIN OUL VIC
8
1972 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC BRA INT
7
OUL REP VIC
Ret
1973 Embassy Racing Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
Ret
INT
1974 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 PRE ROC
NC
INT
Ret
1975 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Hill GH1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC INT
11
SUI

Indianapolis 500 results

  • 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.
  • Hill's 1966 victory marked the first win by a rookie driver since Frank Lockhart's 1927 win and the last until Juan Pablo Montoya's visit to Victory Lane in 2000 (Montoya has also emulated Hill's feat of winning both the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix).
  • 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

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

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Driver Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1958 United Kingdom Team Lotus United Kingdom Cliff Allison Lotus XV-Climax S 2.0 3 DNF DNF
1959 United Kingdom Team Lotus Australia Derek Jolly Lotus XV-Climax S 2.0 119 DNF DNF
1960 West Germany Porsche KG Sweden Jo Bonnier Porsche 718/4 RS S 2.0 191 DNF DNF
1961 United States North American Racing Team United Kingdom Stirling Moss Ferrari 250 GT SWB GT3.0 121 DNF DNF
1962 United Kingdom David Brown Organisation United States Richie Ginther Aston Martin DP212 Exp 4.0 78 DNF DNF
1963 United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation United States Richie Ginther Rover-BRM ACO Prize 310 (8th)* (1st)*
1964 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires Sweden Jo Bonnier Ferrari 330P P 4.0 344 2nd 2nd
1965 United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Rover-BRM P 2.0 284 10th 2nd
1966 United Kingdom Alan Mann Racing Australia Brian Muir Ford GT Mk.II P 7.0 110 DNF DNF
1972 France Equipe Matra-Simca Shell France Henri Pescarolo Matra-Simca MS670 S
3.0
344 1st 1st
  • 1963 Rover-BRM ran for the ACO prize for a gas turbine car covering a minimum of 3600 km, not officially classified.

Credits

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 June 1975 he appeared alongside his son, Damon Hill, on the popular television programme Jim'll Fix It. His appearance was later rebroadcast as part of the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the programme in January 1995, with Damon presenting a new segment at the end.

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.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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References
http://forix.autosport.com/noteshow.php?l=0&x=3&r=19690010&i=3591
http://badgergp.com/2012/05/graham-hill-the-man-they-called-mister-monaco/
http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/hill_bio.htm
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=6952059&PIpi=2435908
http://www.indy500.com/stats/drivers.php?drivername=Graham%20Hill
http://intakeinfo.com/automotive/monaco-grand-prix-glitz-draws-rising-stars.html
http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie.aspx?m=503291&mp=c
http://thompson-motorsports.com/indy6302.html
http://www.usgpindy.com/news/story.php?story_id=1417
http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=N6645Y
http://isni.org/isni/000000005533026X
Early life Racing career Family Rowing Death Legacy Career results Credits
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