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On this day in 1994: Damon Hill wins British Grand Prix
Hill took advantage of Michael Schumacher’s run-in with officials.
On this day in 1994, Damon Hill claimed victory at the British Grand Prix – an achievement his two-time world champion father Graham had not managed during his own illustrious career.
Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at Damon and his triumph at Silverstone 26 years ago.
Following his father
Hill, who was two when his father first became Formula One champion in 1962 and eight when he added his second title, initially raced motorcycles before switching to four wheels and entering the sport himself in 1991 as a test driver for Williams. The next year he made his bow as he qualified for two races with an uncompetitive Brabham team, including the British Grand Prix – in which he finished last. He also continued to do test work for Williams, who then promoted him for the 1993 season as a replacement for outgoing world champion Nigel Mansell.
Victories on the board
Hill registered his maiden Grand Prix win in Hungary in August of the 1993 campaign and followed it with victory in each of the next two races en route to finishing third overall, with his team-mate Alain Prost taking the title and Ayrton Senna the runner-up. He had led the British Grand Prix only to retire due to engine failure. The start of the 1994 season brought tragedy, with Senna, who had replaced Prost at Williams, being killed in the third race in San Marino, and then another win for Hill, in the fifth in Spain. That was the only one that had not been won by Benetton’s Michael Schumacher heading into the eighth at Silverstone.
Home win after Schumacher controversy
While the race on July 10 ultimately saw Hill take the glory, it was Schumacher who arguably proved the centre of attention. Having overtaken pole-sitter Hill on the parade lap, the German was ordered to serve a stop-and-go penalty and subsequently shown a black flag, but kept going before eventually pulling into the pits on lap 27 to serve the punishment. Ending up crossing the line second, he was later disqualified for his antics and a two-race ban was imposed. Hill, meanwhile, received the winner’s trophy from Princess Diana after going one better than his late father’s best British Grand Prix efforts, the runner-up finishes of 1964 and 1965.
Champion two years later
Hill added four more wins that season but was pipped to the title by a point by Schumacher following a controversial collision between the pair during the finale in Australia. After coming second behind him again in 1995, Hill was then finally crowned F1 champion in 1996 to make it three titles for the family. He moved to Arrows for the following season, then had two years with Jordan before retiring. He recorded his best British Grand Prix finish since the 1994 victory in his final season, coming fifth.