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Damon Hill steps down as BRDC President


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#1 Coops3

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:19

After five successful years, Damon Hill has stepped down as BRDC President:

http://news.bbc.co.u...one/9506802.stm

Round of applause for that man :clap:

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#2 blackmme

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:28

Seconded, what a super job he has done in the most trying of circumstances. We won't know for a few years how the financials will play out but Damon has done a superb job and done it in a very dignified way.

I can't wait for my families annual trip to Silverstone.

Thanks Damon, from a British F1 fan.

Regards Mike

#3 Bloggsworth

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:34

Thirded.

#4 broooz

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:52

A class man, as a driver and as a businessman. A gentleman. A great development driver and a deserving WDC.

#5 Tufty

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 15:04

Fourthded... or fifthded...

Either way, agreed!!

#6 Slyder

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 15:16

Kudos for Damon from a longtime fan. :)

#7 f1fan1998

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 16:29

Amazing how you all think he single handedly saved the british grand prix. His main role was to keep the members at bay and also use his influence to bargain for commercial power for Silverstone Holdings Ltd and in turn Silverstone circuits Ltd.

He did a good job of ensuring power was handed over to these two commercial arms of the group, but thereafter he took no part in negotiations of the british grand prix contract or indeed in the development of the pit and paddock buildings. By and large he is and always was a figurehead.

The two main people you should be congratulating are Richard Phillips (MD of SHL and SCL) and Neil England (Chairman of the board of SHL and effectively Richard's boss.) Richard and Neil both led the negotiations directly with Bernie, CVC and FOM and concluded the deal too.

Damon did a good job as a club president but unfortunately for those not in the know, he didn't do anymore.

#8 olliek88

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 16:32

Damon is hugely responsible for securing the long term future of the British GP and has done a outstanding job in improving Silverstone into a modern and efficient facility, he has down rather a lot for us F1 and motorsport fans in the UK during his time in office.

To Damon!, top bombing for the past 5 years! :up:

#9 Slartibartfast

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 16:45

A class man, as a driver and as a businessman. A gentleman. A great development driver and a deserving WDC.

Well put.

Amazing how you all think he single handedly saved the british grand prix. His main role was to keep the members at bay and also use his influence to bargain for commercial power for Silverstone Holdings Ltd and in turn Silverstone circuits Ltd.

He did a good job of ensuring power was handed over to these two commercial arms of the group, but thereafter he took no part in negotiations of the british grand prix contract or indeed in the development of the pit and paddock buildings. By and large he is and always was a figurehead.

The two main people you should be congratulating are Richard Phillips (MD of SHL and SCL) and Neil England (Chairman of the board of SHL and effectively Richard's boss.) Richard and Neil both led the negotiations directly with Bernie, CVC and FOM and concluded the deal too.

Damon did a good job as a club president but unfortunately for those not in the know, he didn't do anymore.

Or, to précis, Damon did his job well.

#10 Coops3

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 16:48

Amazing how you all think he single handedly saved the british grand prix.


Do we??!


#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 16:49

Well based on that description it didn't sound like much of a job list.

I have to say I'm inclined to agree. I was under the impression he'd stepped down a while ago...

#12 wdh

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 18:26

I think he's done an excellent job when a mainly honorific post became more than a bit executive.



#13 Nick Planas

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 22:35

Yes of course the other people deserve credit for the negotiations, but Hill created the right environment for it to happen. If he had no real influence, how is it that his predecessor(s) failed to save the British GP. He did exactly the job he was meant to do, and with quiet dignity. I've always rated him as a top driver, good sportsman, a highly intelligent bloke with his feet firmly on the ground, and a true gentleman.

Well done!


#14 oetzi

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 22:47

His main role was to keep the members at bay and also use his influence to bargain for commercial power for Silverstone Holdings Ltd and in turn Silverstone circuits Ltd.


And he did it very well.


#15 f1fan1998

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:13

And he did it very well.


Indeed he did!

#16 MarkLaw

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:38

Well he certainly did a great job for Silverstone and the British GP - a good figurehead is important - someone who knows when to step in and has a vision for the organisation.

#17 Talking Point

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 17:15

It never ceases to amaze me how people go on about Damon Hill being a 'gentleman' and 'such a nice bloke' etc. People often come across different on TV to how they are in real life. In reality, he is renowned for being miserable and moody. I've known a lot of people who've known (or still know) Damon in a professional capacity, and very few of them speak fondly of him.
Having said that, he's probably done a good job for Silverstone.

#18 BRG

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 17:29

In reality, he is renowned for being miserable and moody. I've known a lot of people who've known (or still know) Damon in a professional capacity, and very few of them speak fondly of him.

So just second-hand hearsay then?

#19 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 18:13

I saw him once in a very small group in his capacity as BRDC president, but it was an hour or two before he would be in his role as "World Champion and BRDC President Damon Hill." I'd always sort of liked/respected him as a human but in this case I was disappointed because somehow I expected an F1 champ and particularly a BRDC prez to be a little more outgoing. He was having a look around a motorsport photo library with his kid and the guy showing him around, and I was there sort of working talking to the guy I was getting photos from, and Damon wasn't introduced to either of us nor made any acknowledgement of us.

Which isn't a whinge or that I have my nose out of joint, I just thought for someone like that he'd be a bit more of a politician? Or maybe in it's own way it's kinda sweet because he doesn't think of himself that way. Aloof but unaware is probably how I'd describe it, but wasn't he like that as a driver too?

Anyways. Girl I dated had a great story about how he tried to chat up her sister when she(sister) was a model. With the 'hey I'm Damon Hill' thing. And she had no idea who he was and even when she found out didn't care. Which totally made me a fan of his all over again.



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#20 THE "driverider"

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 18:32

In his defence, he along with his family did go through a tough time when Graham was killed. I walked past him last year and aknowledged him but he kept his head down, but I see it as shyness rather than rudeness.

I applaud the man and fellow BRDC members, etc.

#21 Rob

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 19:59

In his defence, he along with his family did go through a tough time when Graham was killed.


Coping with the death of a family member is one thing, but they then lost the vast majority of the fortune after the accident. It turned out that the aircraft was unregistered and as such its certificate of airworthiness was void. Graham also didn't not hold the instrument rating to fly in low visibility. Most of Graham's estate went on paying compensation to the families of the passengers. Bette, Damon and the rest of the family ended up living in drastically reduced circumstances. Damon had to work as a manual labourer and a motorcycle courier in order to pay the bills.

#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 20:05

Well, so do most people really.

#23 Rob

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 20:07

Well, so do most people really.


Yes, but the point is that he had to work for everything, rather than having that cushy lifestyle one would expect comes with being the son of a very famous and successful man.

#24 BullHead

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 20:09

I think Damon has done an awful lot for British motorsport. I thank him.

#25 Talking Point

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 21:08

So just second-hand hearsay then?

Well no, I've met him 4 or 5 times myself to do with work. My opinion was the same. He's not an 'easy' person to deal with. It was when I expressed this opinion to others that I found out from them that their own experiences had been along similar lines. He's quiet, doesn't tend to greet people unless they greet him first (and even then all you might get it a glance of acknowledgement) and if you upset or annoy him then he can be downright rude and tell you to f*** off. He has never done that to me, but I've seen it happen.

I don't dislike him, I've no reason to. I'm just amused at how often I see fans express the opinion that he's such a wonderful bloke who's so friendly and wondeful. I would bet most these people have had either extremely limited or, more likely, no contact with him whatsoever.;)

#26 Rob

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 21:55

Well no, I've met him 4 or 5 times myself to do with work. My opinion was the same. He's not an 'easy' person to deal with. It was when I expressed this opinion to others that I found out from them that their own experiences had been along similar lines. He's quiet, doesn't tend to greet people unless they greet him first (and even then all you might get it a glance of acknowledgement) and if you upset or annoy him then he can be downright rude and tell you to f*** off. He has never done that to me, but I've seen it happen.


I'm hardly surprised that he'd tell you to eff off if you upset or annoyed him. If you upset or annoyed me, I might tell you to do the same! That doesn't mean he's not friendly, it just means he was pushed too far.

#27 Myrvold

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 23:16

And if he is a bit shy, well, then it isn't the easiest thing to greet people, I know :p

#28 weston

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 23:30

He did a tremendous job and built a great legacy for himself.

#29 Talking Point

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 08:19

I'm hardly surprised that he'd tell you to eff off if you upset or annoyed him. If you upset or annoyed me, I might tell you to do the same! That doesn't mean he's not friendly, it just means he was pushed too far.

He's easily annoyed/upset.

Honestly, of all the living ex-British drivers he's the least friendly by quite a distance.

#30 onemoresolo

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 08:59

He's easily annoyed/upset.

Honestly, of all the living ex-British drivers he's the least friendly by quite a distance.


He's still British as far as I'm aware?

#31 tifosiMac

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:23

He's easily annoyed/upset.

Honestly, of all the living ex-British drivers he's the least friendly by quite a distance.

I've met the guy and he was very pleasant in my experience. There have been a few instances where he would have rightly lost his cool during his F1 career, most notably when the championship was taken off him in the clumsy incident in 1994, but his bowed out with grace. The public questioning during 1996 where his contract wasn't being renewed etc etc. I'm well aware people are different away from the public eye but I don't believe Damon is a sulky bar steward over the slightest thing. A friend of mine work used to work for Honda in Brackley (now works for Force India) and he has said Ross Brawn is a nasty piece of work and although his guidance is respected, he's not nice to work with when the team is under pressure. Whether thats true or not I don't know but then again you can't believe everyone who has a story to tell. :)

#32 Suzy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:34

I've encountered Damon many times over a period of many years, in different circumstances, and always found him pleasant and a gentleman. Then again, people interpret behaviour in many different ways. He's a tough cookie but you'd expect that from people in motorsport who put their lives and reputations on the line week after week in different ways; but he has a soft and very good side too.



#33 f1fan1998

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:57

Suzy, what is it that you do at the SRC again? I forget.

#34 Suzy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 10:58

Suzy, what is it that you do at the SRC again? I forget.


That reads as a rather sarcastic response you know. I know I'm not as important as you and I have no desire to be important either. I'm a fan, assistant club photographer for them and a member of the Steering Group. However I also encounter Damon on a personal basis as we do have something in common involving our families. The latter, however, is private.

#35 Boing 2

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 13:46

We should start up a thread for people who have worked with well know F1 personell, see how close the reality is to the public image.

Probably a legal minefield though :D

#36 Talking Point

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 14:04

I've met the guy and he was very pleasant in my experience. There have been a few instances where he would have rightly lost his cool during his F1 career, most notably when the championship was taken off him in the clumsy incident in 1994, but his bowed out with grace. The public questioning during 1996 where his contract wasn't being renewed etc etc. I'm well aware people are different away from the public eye but I don't believe Damon is a sulky bar steward over the slightest thing. A friend of mine work used to work for Honda in Brackley (now works for Force India) and he has said Ross Brawn is a nasty piece of work and although his guidance is respected, he's not nice to work with when the team is under pressure. Whether thats true or not I don't know but then again you can't believe everyone who has a story to tell. :)

The 1994 incident was at least 50% his own fault. And let's be frank Schumacher was the best driver in 1994, it would've been the wrong result if anyone else had taken that year's world crown.

An example of Damon's moodiness is the way he responds to fans asking for his autograph. Yes we all know there's a load of folk who sell on eBay and that that annoys the celebs in question, but Damon is particularly awkward about it. He'll often refuse outright, or otherwise be less than pleasant about signing stuff. I'm sure it can be frustrating being asked by people all the time, but all the other old drivers go about it in a far more chilled out fashion than Hill. But that's just my own observations from seeing him at places like Goodwood. I'm going more by the things I've been told by his former colleagues. I have also heard that he can be great company and a good laugh to be with.

As for Ross Brawn, I've spoken with him a few times in relation to work and he's obviously a highly intelligent guy. I can imagine that he doesn't suffer fools gladly though.

#37 BRG

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 19:34

The 1994 incident was at least 50% his own fault. And let's be frank Schumacher was the best driver in 1994, it would've been the wrong result if anyone else had taken that year's world crown.

That's BS. One driver drove cleanly, one cheated.

#38 zold

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 19:40

Amazing how you all think he single handedly saved the british grand prix. His main role was to keep the members at bay and also use his influence to bargain for commercial power for Silverstone Holdings Ltd and in turn Silverstone circuits Ltd.

He did a good job of ensuring power was handed over to these two commercial arms of the group, but thereafter he took no part in negotiations of the british grand prix contract or indeed in the development of the pit and paddock buildings. By and large he is and always was a figurehead.

The two main people you should be congratulating are Richard Phillips (MD of SHL and SCL) and Neil England (Chairman of the board of SHL and effectively Richard's boss.) Richard and Neil both led the negotiations directly with Bernie, CVC and FOM and concluded the deal too.

Damon did a good job as a club president but unfortunately for those not in the know, he didn't do anymore.


us plebs like famous people though, so, well done Damon. Now focus on Josh!

#39 Talking Point

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 20:07

That's BS. One driver drove cleanly, one cheated.

I'm can't really stand Michael Schumacher to tell the truth, but in 1994 and 1995 he was quite obviously the best driver by a mile. Hill did an alright job under difficult circumstances in 1994, but the attempt to pass Michael from so far back was just plain dumb.

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#40 karlth

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 21:17

We should start up a thread for people who have worked with well know F1 personell, see how close the reality is to the public image.

Probably a legal minefield though :D


I've met him twice while Go-karting and he was very pleasant to talk to, humble and eloquent . He even offered me a piece of his chocolate. :lol:


#41 Rob

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 21:20

I'm can't really stand Michael Schumacher to tell the truth, but in 1994 and 1995 he was quite obviously the best driver by a mile. Hill did an alright job under difficult circumstances in 1994, but the attempt to pass Michael from so far back was just plain dumb.


Although if you watch the video, Schumacher is looking straight at the Williams from the moment he turns the wheel to the right. As clear a deliberate act as there ever has been.