By Alan Henry
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Additional info for Damon Hil On Top of the World
The police were acting as the result of a court order obtained by a company called Pol Marketing which was claiming £30,000 said to be owing for the provision of the Brabham team’s corporate hospitality at the previous year’s French Grand Prix. The transporter was only released when the team agreed to leave the spare Brabham BT60B as hostage against payment of the debt. That meant that Hill and van de Poele faced the added pressure of knowing that if they damaged their race cars, no back-up chassis would be available.
Hill stormed through to third behind Schumacher’s Benetton and Prost, the Frenchman thereby clinching his fourth World Championship title. But the previous day Prost had announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of that season and, in the break which followed the Portuguese race and the Japanese Grand Prix, Williams confirmed that Ayrton Senna would in fact be partnering Hill in the team’s line¬up for 1994. Hill had mixed emotions about driving alongside somebody with the Brazilian’s forceful character: ‘The job of a racing driver is not confined to circulating around the track.
Hill survived being pitched into a spin by Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari under braking for electrifying the Loews hairpin, displaying great presence of mind as he kept the Renault engine from stalling and continued to finish second. Senna’s victory finally eclipsed Graham Hill’s record of five wins through the sunlit streets and Damon was quick to offer just the right words of praise for this momentous achievement: ‘It is 30 years since my father’s first victory here and I’m sure he would have been the first to congratulate Ayrton on breaking his record of five wins.
Damon Hil On Top of the World by Alan Henry