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Why was Graham Hill dumped by Lotus?

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#1 Megatron

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Posted 25 September 2000 - 20:29

OK, so maybe he was getting up there in age and had a bad wreck at the end of 1969, but was that really the reason Hill was dumped?

Anybody with any info on the Hill/Lotus seperation, fill me in.


#2 Don Capps

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Posted 25 September 2000 - 20:50


Keep in mind that Hill suffered very, very serious injuries in the USGP and was supposed to be out for many months, if not a year, and perhaps even end his driving career. As simplistic as it sounds, that was a major factor in the decision. As with all things concerning Colin Chapman, nothing is ever easy or remotely simple, especially his handling of drivers.

Having said that, however, what makes you think Hill was "dumped?" Hill was already looking forward to the end of his career and realized that Rindt was -- justifiably in my opinion -- the franchise player for Team Lotus. It was time to move on and things took their course, although perhaps not as intended. Hill had already started looking for other opportunities earlier in 1969 and weighing his options when Fate intervened.

#3 Megatron

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Posted 25 September 2000 - 20:55

Thanks for the reply Don, as far as being "dumped" that was my assesment, but please consider that I was born in 1982, 13 years after he left Lotus! "Dumped" was my word for "let go, left, parted ways, etc".

#4 rainern

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Posted 25 September 2000 - 22:48

20 years older but when my GP-interest grew in the early 1970s he was only past his prime and the only personal memories was that he was a has-been who everybody was driving circles around. The question after every season was : " When will the old fool realize that enough is enough?"

I think Don is right about the accident and that poor Graham was not the same driver after that. He suffered a broken right knee and disloacted left knee and torn ligaments.
And after all he was already 40.

And maybe he was dumped as unceremoniously as his son Damon was many years later...


#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2000 - 03:33

Yet this same Hill was still in a first class car two years later... driving for Ronnie. I would have said that his period with Walker was a chance for him to fully recover...

#6 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 30 September 2000 - 13:35

Graham Hill won the International Trophy in 1971 over the much vaunted Pedro Rodriguez, in a Brabham BT34, and finished 4th I think, in the car at Paul Ricard. look at grid pictures of the time, and you will see that he was not far away from F2 hotshot Tim Schenken, and stayed with Wilson Fittipaldi the following year.
The Shadow he drove in 73 was a disgrace in anybodies hands, and the subsequent Lolas, like all post 1970 Lola F1 efforts were pieces of over weight junk.
Now I am not saying that he was setting the world alight, but he never got back into trully competitive equipment.
Regarding his departure from GLTL, Jochen Rindt wanted to be undisputed number one, and in a similar situation to that of Niki Lauda years later, Colin Chapman thought he had seen Graham's last race and made other plans.
if the Lotus 72 had been sorted earlier in the year, and RWRT had got theirs earlier, we might have seen Graham nearer the front of the grid.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2000 - 14:08

Schenken the hotshot F2 driver? Now the hotshot star of the CAMS garbage at circuits throughout Australia.... calling the shots about how others will race. The Lobster Claw was probably a pretty good car, and this was what I was referring to... I know GH did fairly well in it at times.