Phil Hill

 
Phil Hill is the only driver to have won the first (a 3-lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG TC on July 24, 1949) and last race of his career, driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 Brands Hatch in England in 1967. |  In 1970, Hill started a classic car restoration business Hill & Vaughn with his business partner Ken Vaughn. |  He worked as a television commentator with ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

FACTFILE

Name: Phil Hill
DOB: Apr 20 1927
Place Of Birth: Miami, Florida
Nationality: American
Most Races For: Ferrari - 31
No. Of Races: 48
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  • PROFILE
  • MILESTONES
PROFILE
Phil Hill

Philip Toll Hill, also fondly known as Phil Hill, once famously said, "I'm in the wrong business. I don't want to beat anybody, I don't want to be the big hero. I'm a peace-loving man, basically.” Coming from a Formula One World Champion, who has made many drivers look like slugs on the circuit, it seems a little obscure. But Hill’s image as a “thoughtful gentleman” in the F1 paddock holds testimony to the kind of character he was – aggressive, competitive, successful, yet approachable.

The only American driver to have won a Formula One Championship, Hill was born on April 20, 1927, in Miami, Florida. The University of Southern California can proudly boast of this champion as its pupil but he chose to spend time with cars more than his business administration books and after 1947, just two years into the course, he decided to be a mechanic for other race drivers’ cars. It was only inevitable that he would start racing and in 1949 he was training with Jaguar in England. With a clean hand at mechanical work and a formal training in driving, Hill got all his bases covered to be an eligible driver for Enzo Ferrari’s team in 1956.

Hill made his F1 debut in a Maserati in 1958. Although he raced only five times in the season, his two finishes on podium at the end of the season justified his presence at this level of racing. In the next season, Hill changed gears and pushed his Ferrari 256 to be on podium three times and fourth in the Drivers’ Championship. In 1960, though he could not replicate his previous scores, he forged his first F1 victory at the Italian Grand Prix. This was also the first win by an American driver in F1.

In 1961, Hill was just trailing behind his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips to get his hands on the title. He had already won the Belgian Grand Prix and had six podium finishes when he won the Italian GP that year. But this victory was scarred by Trips’ death in a crash at Italy which also claimed 15 other lives in the stands. Winning the World Championship title with that race may have been the best in moment Hill’s career but it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

After racing to podium finishes twice in the ‘63 season, Hill headed out of Ferrari to join Porsche System Engineering, but could not race at all. Hill raced for various other teams like the ATS, Cooper Car Company, Anglo American Racers and Ecurie Filipinetti till 1966 but he admittedly said that he had lost the hunger to race. He last raced for the Anglo American Racers in 1966 in Italy.

Carrying and aura of a grand old American racer, Hill was a true gentleman who lost his life to Parkinson’s disease on August 28, 2008. His aristocratic smoothness in speech, maybe, was derived from the humble character he was, on and off the track.

-Anup Pareek

MILESTONE

  • YEARS
  • TEAMS
  • ENGINES
  • GPs
  • CIRCUITS
STATISTICS
YEARS
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
1958Ferrari, Maserati10th400219
1959Ferrari4th7003120
1960Ferrari, Cooper5th9112216
1961Ferrari1st7256238
1962Ferrari6th6003014
1963Lotus, A.T.S-600000
1964Cooper19th900001
Total 483616698

Phil Hill - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAM-MATES)

Phil Hill - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Phil Hill is the only driver to have won the first (a 3-lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG TC on July 24, 1949) and last race of his career, driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 Brands Hatch in England in 1967.
  • In 1970, Hill started a classic car restoration business Hill & Vaughn with his business partner Ken Vaughn.
  • He worked as a television commentator with ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

QUOTES ON PHIL HILL

"I no longer have as much need to race, to win. I don't have as much hunger anymore. I am no longer willing to risk killing myself."
-Phil Hill, after his teammate Wolfgang von Trips’ death at the Italian Grand Prix in 1962.



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