F1 News, Views and Reviews

Phil Hill

Phil Hill, born 1927 in America was a popular F1 driver who won the world championship for Ferrari.

Hill was born in Miami, FL where he developed an interest in sportscars.  After completing a degree in Business Administration at USC, he moved to England where he completed an apprenticehsip with Jaguar Cars.  He signed for Ferrari in 1956.

In 1958 he made his Grand Prix debut with Maserati in France.  Afte this he became the first American driver to win the Le Mans 24h endurance race with Olivier Gendebien.  The pairing won the race again in 1961 and 1962.

In 1959 he began driving full time for Ferrari, and by 1960 he became a race winner, making him the first American to do so at the Italian GP. In 1961, Hill won the Belgian Grand Prix and trailed team mate Wolfgang von Trips by a handful of points.  Sadly von Trips was killed, and this paved the way for Hill to become the first champion from America.

After the following season, Hill decided he did not want to race Formula One anymore as it was becoming too dangerous and too many people were dying.  During the great engineering walkout of 1962, Hill signed to ATS.  A few years later he began to drive sportscars for Chaparral racing. 

After Formula One Hill began a successful sportscar renovation workshop, and also worked as a commentator for ABC.  He continued to care for his beautiful classic sportscar collection despite Parkinsons disease ravaging his body.  On August 28th, 2008 Hill died in a clinic in California.


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