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I can honestly say Josh has the potential to get to the very top - Damon


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#1 gillesthegenius

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:27

I can honestly say Josh has the potential to get to the very top - Damon

I can honestly say Josh has the potential to get to the very top. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t believe it. He still has a lot to learn but he’s quite a formidable driver. As a racing driver, you either have it or you don’t, and he’s amazing to watch.


I havent had chance to actually watch this kid, but the prospect of, God willing, watching the son of my very first f1 hero racing at the highest level has got me excited...

Edited by D.M.N., 05 January 2013 - 14:33.
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#2 race addicted

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:31

I would be extremely surprised if Josh Hill reached the "very top" in motorsports.

#3 gillesthegenius

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:37

I would be extremely surprised if Josh Hill reached the "very top" in motorsports.


Why would that be? Given that he, like his father, was a late starter, dont you see him as a possible late bloomer?

#4 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:42

Hmmmm. I remember Nigel Mansell saying something similar about his 2 boys a few years ago. Brundle was more conservative about his sons efforts. Remember Ayrtons famous comments about Bruno? I'm sure there are other examples.

Of course parents (or uncles) big up their kids achievements. Its natural. I shalln't be holding my breath on this one, but who knows.

#5 BRG

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:59

Why would that be? Given that he, like his father, was a late starter, dont you see him as a possible late bloomer?

Not to mention grandfather Graham, who didn't pass his driving test until he was 24 yo.

But fathers are inevitably biased about their offspring and I think Damon may be a tad over optimistic.

#6 race addicted

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:23

Why would that be? Given that he, like his father, was a late starter, dont you see him as a possible late bloomer?


First of all, Damon is bound to biased whatever he's saying, and will always view his son with more forgiving eyes than the rest.
But, he's only been driving for three(?) seasons, and hasn't really made a mark, and I don't think he's driven any really competitive series. It's saying something when you've hardly heard of him.

#7 olliek88

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:38

Its unlikely but far from impossible, like others have stated he didn't start racing until much later than most and has shown some promise and 3rd in FRenault NEC isn't a bad result. He's still relatively early on in his career so lets wait and see how he does in the F3/GP3's before we start to form a solid opinion on him. Of course Damon is going to say good things about him, you don't seriously think he's going to be critical or negative about him. Martin Brundle was a little more realist about Alex though and got him to realise that Le Mans etc might be a more feasible option than F1.

Edited by olliek88, 05 January 2013 - 12:41.


#8 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:37

Checked him out on Wiki. British Ginetta, bit of Formula Ford, a series in New Zealand. He's not young...

Still, we all know how motorsport/F1 works, so I guess the question is; how much sponsorship cash does being a third generation Hill bring to the table? Graham was a legend but that was a long time ago, Damon I have a lot of respect for, but I don't see it being as lucrative as using, say, Senna as your surname.

I always take news stories like this with a pinch of salt. Did Damon phone up the press to say this, or was he asked in an interview? If was asked 'how is your sons racing career going?' he's hardly going to reply by saying 'He's shit'.

#9 tomjol

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:45

Why would that be? Given that he, like his father, was a late starter, dont you see him as a possible late bloomer?


Because things have changed in the two decades since Damon entered F1?

The competition today is enormous, and there are plenty of younger drivers who have better records. I'm sure Josh has formidable talent but, frankly, I think it's probably too late for him.

Edited by tomjol, 05 January 2013 - 13:45.


#10 goldenboy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:54

If was asked 'how is your sons racing career going?' he's hardly going to reply by saying 'He's shit'.

:lol:

#11 olliek88

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:21

Checked him out on Wiki. British Ginetta, bit of Formula Ford, a series in New Zealand. He's not young...

Still, we all know how motorsport/F1 works, so I guess the question is; how much sponsorship cash does being a third generation Hill bring to the table? Graham was a legend but that was a long time ago, Damon I have a lot of respect for, but I don't see it being as lucrative as using, say, Senna as your surname.

I always take news stories like this with a pinch of salt. Did Damon phone up the press to say this, or was he asked in an interview? If was asked 'how is your sons racing career going?' he's hardly going to reply by saying 'He's shit'.


Wiki is not the place to look up drivers, driverdb.com is the wiki of racing drivers, Josh's page - http://www.driverdb....ua-hill/career/

Edited by olliek88, 05 January 2013 - 14:22.


#12 Brandz07

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:31

He didn't do too badly in the NEC season, although if you look at what Vandoorne did in the series in the small number of races he did, that may put it into perspective?

#13 billm99uk

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:57

Josh has never appeared anything more than OKish to me. Mind you his Dad never really looked anything special until F1...

#14 dav115

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 16:29

He's done quite a bit of Club100 (UK 2-stroke arrive&drive karting series, i.e. equal karts for everyone) and AFAIK is decent but nothing special. You see him at the start of .

#15 HaydenFan

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 17:37

Has a better junior record than a few guys on the current F1 grid in the past few seasons, so depending on funds, he could go as far as he wants IMO. Might be like Conor Daly; can get to a certain point with the name, but climbing the ladder gets tough when even the name cannot get you the funds.

I don't recall Nigel ever saying much about his son's racing careers. They both started relatively late compared to the other drivers at their levels, and both just struggled.

#16 Fastcake

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:18

So Damon's got a big pile of cash for Josh then?

#17 ClubmanGT

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 20:47

I don't remember him setting the world on fire in the TRS races.

#18 Dolph

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 20:58

How did Damon get into F1 & Williams anyway? He didn't achieve much in junior series. Why was he chosen?

#19 Red17

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:05

Well, at least he should have no issues with fan support, everyone will hate him.
Good thing Damon raced before the internet came along. Probably the most underrated champion ever alongside Button.

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#20 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:30

How did Damon get into F1 & Williams anyway? He didn't achieve much in junior series. Why was he chosen?


Damon was quite fast in F3000, but he got the Williams drive because he was the test driver (and a good one, reputedly). How did he become the test driver? I don't know why he was chosen but Mark Blundell had the job before him but took an F1 seat (at Brabham?). It may have helped that Hill would evoke the glamour of his father's era of F1. He was one of the first of the second generation drivers of that era (Michael Andretti started F1 at the same time as Damon got a race seat at Williams, David Brabham a couple of years earlier)

Williams had Prost signed for 1993 and possibly expected to have Mansell too, but he went to Inycar. Patrese had signed for Benetton, believing that there was no drive available at Williams. I seem to recall that Mika Hakkinen was mentioned for the drive, but was locked into a Lotus contract. With first Prost and then Senna as the number one driver, Williams may not have been overly concerned about an experienced second driver.

Jean Alesi had earlier opted for Ferrari over Williams for 1991.

#21 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:31

Good thing Damon raced before the internet came along. Probably the most underrated champion ever alongside Button.


The internet existed in the 1990s, as did motorsport and F1 bulletin boards.

#22 aditya-now

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:35

I can honestly say Josh has the potential to get to the very top - Damon



I havent had chance to actually watch this kid, but the prospect of, God willing, watching the son of my very first f1 hero racing at the highest level has got me excited...


Josh could become the first 3rd generation WDC then....


#23 aditya-now

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:48

The internet existed in the 1990s, as did motorsport and F1 bulletin boards.


This very forum existed since the late 1990s,,.......and Atlas F1 started in 1995…. Before the Atlas F1 Bulletin board came into existence there has been a lively reader's comments section since 1996.

Those were the days of Paul Kaizar, Max Galvin, Marcel Schot and of course the mighty Biranit Goren....

#24 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:54

This very forum existed since the late 1990s,,.......and Atlas F1 started in 1995…. Before the Atlas F1 Bulletin board came into existence there has been a lively reader's comments section since 1996.

Those were the days of Paul Kaizar, Max Galvin, Marcel Schot and of course the mighty Biranit Goren....


I used to post on rec.autos.sport.f1 (think I got that right) in 1995, and Damon certainly came in for plenty of flak (as did others of the period)!

#25 olliek88

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 21:58

This very forum existed since the late 1990s,,.......and Atlas F1 started in 1995…. Before the Atlas F1 Bulletin board came into existence there has been a lively reader's comments section since 1996.

Those were the days of Paul Kaizar, Max Galvin, Marcel Schot and of course the mighty Biranit Goren....


Wow, reading the first link, clicked on "BAR none" article which revolves around possible drivers who could join JV at BAR, Greg Moore was mentioned. How tragic.

Edited by olliek88, 05 January 2013 - 21:59.


#26 Juan Kerr

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 22:33

First of all, Damon is bound to biased whatever he's saying, and will always view his son with more forgiving eyes than the rest.
But, he's only been driving for three(?) seasons, and hasn't really made a mark, and I don't think he's driven any really competitive series. It's saying something when you've hardly heard of him.

And F1 itself isn't biased towards someone like Josh?

#27 HaydenFan

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:06

Wow, reading the first link, clicked on "BAR none" article which revolves around possible drivers who could join JV at BAR, Greg Moore was mentioned. How tragic.


I remember reading of the nature that Greg Moore was linked to a McLaren seat as well (probably due to the Mercedes connection @ Forsythe).

#28 bourbon

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:13

Did he say to the very top of what? Maybe he just meant to the very top of his current series.

#29 Kingshark

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:46

If was asked 'how is your sons racing career going?' he's hardly going to reply by saying 'He's shit'.

The truth has been spoken.

#30 Wander

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:27

I was a big fan of Damon when he raced and I follow Josh's career with some interest, but the reality is that he will have to show a lot more in the smaller categories than his father did if he really wants to get to the top and that is going to be tough in the current environment and with the strength of competition today.

#31 Bruce

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:38

Golly! Damon thinks his son has the talent to go to the VERY TOP???

:rolleyes:

Not that I dislike Damon, but - c'mon.... objectivity?

#32 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:48

How did Damon get into F1 & Williams anyway? He didn't achieve much in junior series. Why was he chosen?


He'd been the team's test driver in 1992 and had evidently impressed them greatly. And with both their racing drivers leaving at the end of 1992 perhaps they wanted some technical continuity.

Hakkinen spent most of 1993 as Mclaren's test driver before a race seat opened up for him in a similar way. I think back then there was less expectation that doing well in junior series entitled you to a top F1 drive.

#33 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:49

I seem to recall that Mika Hakkinen was mentioned for the drive, but was locked into a Lotus contract.


I remember something like that too, but if he was locked into a Lotus contract for 1993, what was he doing driving for Mclaren?

Edited by Risil, 06 January 2013 - 12:50.


#34 garoidb

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:02

I remember something like that too, but if he was locked into a Lotus contract for 1993, what was he doing driving for Mclaren?


I don't remember the details, but I assume money was involved. Lotus were in bad financial trouble and Hakkinen's contract was one of their assets. They probably needed to cash it in. I suppose it depends on the timing, as Mika was initially a test driver and so there would not have been the need to get him signed well in advance of the season. Having said that, wasn't Senna on a race by race deal at the start of 1993. That could explain more motivation on the part of McLaren to sign Mika, versus Williams who had Prost for the full year.



#35 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:16

He'd been the team's test driver in 1992 and had evidently impressed them greatly. And with both their racing drivers leaving at the end of 1992 perhaps they wanted some technical continuity.

Hakkinen spent most of 1993 as Mclaren's test driver before a race seat opened up for him in a similar way. I think back then there was less expectation that doing well in junior series entitled you to a top F1 drive.


Prost was signed for 1993 and objected against having Senna as a team mate which was Williams original plan.

Williams then tried to sign Patrese but he had already said yes to Benetton and didn't want to go back on his word even if he preferred to stay with Williams. He had decided to go to Benetton as he was told Senna and Prost would come on board.. Williams tried to find a way to sign Patrese for a long time. Meanwhile Hill was offered a race deal by Ligier.

He took a chance and turned it down, feeling there was an outside chance he could get a chance to race for Williams. In the end that chance came and he was promoted to the race seat after it was clear Senna never would be allowed by Prost, and Patrese didn't want to break his promise to Benetton.

Thus Hills gamble paid off and he got his chance of a life time.

#36 nemtudom

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:23

I remembered reading an article about the Häkkinen & Williams negotiations a few years ago, so I did a bit of searching and found it:

http://atlasf1.autos...bra/graham.html

"Mika got his first chance to drive in F1 through Lotus but it soon became clear that Peter Collins was putting his money on Johnny Herbert, and in a small team that meant Mika would possibly be left out in the cold. According to Keke Rosberg, the situation at Lotus had reached a point where it was time for the Finn to make a career change if he was to advance in F1. Once the rumours began that Mika would be going to Williams, Lotus began a concerted effort to negate Mika's worth by pointing out his weaknesses to other teams. Later Collins admitted to Rosberg that this was merely a negotiating tactic as he tried to retain Mika at Lotus, not his true opinion of Hakkinen. Collins then claimed Hakkinen already had a contract with Lotus, although later it was ruled that rather than a contract, there was in effect an agreement that an agreement would be made. Everything was looking promising with the contract for Williams ready to be ratified and Mika set to drive alongside Alain Prost.

Then the bombshell dropped. Williams was late in registering the team's entry for the 1993 season, and was about to be left out of the running. The only way for Williams to be permitted to participate was by special agreement, which needed the consent of every team in the competition. Peter Collins, seeing a golden opportunity, refused his consent if Williams persisted in signing Hakkinen. Frank Williams was prepared to negotiate for the Finn but Collins announced that Mika was not for sale. Willams cancelled the contract. "

#37 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:32

Prost was signed for 1993 and objected against having Senna as a team mate which was Williams original plan.

Williams then tried to sign Patrese but he had already said yes to Benetton and didn't want to go back on his word even if he preferred to stay with Williams. He had decided to go to Benetton as he was told Senna and Prost would come on board.. Williams tried to find a way to sign Patrese for a long time. Meanwhile Hill was offered a race deal by Ligier.

He took a chance and turned it down, feeling there was an outside chance he could get a chance to race for Williams. In the end that chance came and he was promoted to the race seat after it was clear Senna never would be allowed by Prost, and Patrese didn't want to break his promise to Benetton.

Thus Hills gamble paid off and he got his chance of a life time.


:up: That Ligier team had a very strong year with Brundle and Blundell -- I can believe that Hill, having tested for Williams in 1991 and 1992, was rated by the paddock as highly as those two.

Perhaps one also has to consider the fact that back in the days of massive traction control interference, active suspension and automatic gearboxes, the best preparation for racing for the top 3-4 teams may have been driving for the top 3-4 teams.

Some weird shit went down that year though. Williams signing a veteran of two Grands Prix and F3000 non-star Damon Hill to drive their record-breaking F1 car, Mclaren finding themselves with a customer engine deal like a midfield team, Senna driving like a man possessed whenever the slightest bit of moisture appeared on track...

#38 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:34

Then the bombshell dropped. Williams was late in registering the team's entry for the 1993 season, and was about to be left out of the running. The only way for Williams to be permitted to participate was by special agreement, which needed the consent of every team in the competition. Peter Collins, seeing a golden opportunity, refused his consent if Williams persisted in signing Hakkinen. Frank Williams was prepared to negotiate for the Finn but Collins announced that Mika was not for sale. Willams cancelled the contract. "


So Mika wasn't for sale, then Collins sold his contract to Mclaren and hired Pedro Lamy instead?

#39 pacificquay

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:38

No, Zanardi.

Lamy came in after Zanardi's accident at Spa.

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#40 chrisblades85

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:47

Golly! Damon thinks his son has the talent to go to the VERY TOP???

:rolleyes:

Not that I dislike Damon, but - c'mon.... objectivity?


Yeah how dare a dad big his son up. :rolleyes:

#41 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:52

:up: That Ligier team had a very strong year with Brundle and Blundell -- I can believe that Hill, having tested for Williams in 1991 and 1992, was rated by the paddock as highly as those two.

Perhaps one also has to consider the fact that back in the days of massive traction control interference, active suspension and automatic gearboxes, the best preparation for racing for the top 3-4 teams may have been driving for the top 3-4 teams.

Some weird shit went down that year though. Williams signing a veteran of two Grands Prix and F3000 non-star Damon Hill to drive their record-breaking F1 car, Mclaren finding themselves with a customer engine deal like a midfield team, Senna driving like a man possessed whenever the slightest bit of moisture appeared on track...


And Senna on a race by race deal with McLaren, openly pissed about being refused to go to Williams and open about not wanting to race for McLaren. Even talked with Jordan about racing race by race, as well as with IndyCar-teams. All most likely to negotiate a record breaking salary from McLaren.

McLaren on a pay deal with lesser Fordengines before signing with Peugeot for 1994, and then signing with Mercedes for 1995. Interesting times indeed.

#42 garoidb

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:57

It is perfectly possible that Josh Hill has potentially the same, or even more, ultimate ability as his father, and that Damon would recognise that. Hence, his comment could be completely sincere. However, as has been discussed, Damon benefited from some unique, and lucky, opportunities that are not likely to fall Josh's way. Even getting the testing job, if they existed in the same form, would probably require some sponsorship now.

#43 dav115

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:10

With regards the Hakkinen/Hill thing there is a video floating around of a '93 preseason Williams test and in the video there is a conversation between Williams and Prost in the pits as to which one should get the drive. It sticks in my head because Prost speaks to Frank in English and Frank replies to Prost in fluent French! (it's subtitled though). Annoyingly I can't find it on youtube anymore, but maybe somebody else can.

#44 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:16

I'm not particularly interested in Josh Hill, but this thread is fascinating!! I had no idea that Williams had intended to have Hakkinen in the car in '93, or that they missed the entry to the season. Good stuff.

#45 olliek88

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:30

I think that Hakkinen story needs a whole thread to itself! The potential permutations are fascinating, who would Mclaren have got had Mika gone to Williams instead? Surely Mika would of won the '96/'97 WDCs, would Mika have been able to challenge Prost in '93? Would Shumi have gone to Mclaren instead of Ferrari?

#46 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:41

No, Zanardi.

Lamy came in after Zanardi's accident at Spa.


Ah. Somehow assumed that Zanardi was the sub driver for Lotus, like at Jordan in 1991.

#47 Longtimefan

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:26

Lets hope he takes after his talented and charismatic granddad than his dullard boring father ;)


#48 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:55

I think that Hakkinen story needs a whole thread to itself! The potential permutations are fascinating, who would Mclaren have got had Mika gone to Williams instead? Surely Mika would of won the '96/'97 WDCs, would Mika have been able to challenge Prost in '93? Would Shumi have gone to Mclaren instead of Ferrari?


I don't know what DCs circusmstances around that time were. Maybe Alesi could have been poached from Ferrari? Maybe an obscure driver from F3000 who never got a break in F1 could have been plucked from obscurity and would now be considered one of the greats of all time? Somewhere in an alternate reality perhaps...

Would Mika have been able to challenge Schumi in '95 in the Williams? Based on his form a few years later I think he would have been a big threat but... while always fast my impression of Mika at the time was it took a long time for him to get his races together. I remember him being banned for a few races. Grosjean should take heart.

I like Damon and all, but for me his 1995 season was a huge disapointment. I don't think Williams produced a bad car in 1995, I just don't think Damon was up to it.

#49 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:22

I don't know what DCs circusmstances around that time were. Maybe Alesi could have been poached from Ferrari? Maybe an obscure driver from F3000 who never got a break in F1 could have been plucked from obscurity and would now be considered one of the greats of all time? Somewhere in an alternate reality perhaps...

Would Mika have been able to challenge Schumi in '95 in the Williams? Based on his form a few years later I think he would have been a big threat but... while always fast my impression of Mika at the time was it took a long time for him to get his races together. I remember him being banned for a few races. Grosjean should take heart.

I like Damon and all, but for me his 1995 season was a huge disapointment. I don't think Williams produced a bad car in 1995, I just don't think Damon was up to it.


Alesi had famously agreed to a contract with Williams when he had a change of heart, broke the contract and went to Ferrari instead. Could he have been lured to go to McLaren? Doubtful but who would have thought Hill would become a WDC and get the race seat at the then utterly dominant F1-team in 1993 .... and yes, Damon was a disapointment in 1995 but then came 1996 so all good in the end for us Hill fans :)

Regarding Josh - what would anyone expect Damon to say? Of course he has a potential. That's not to say he is one of the biggest talents in junior single seater racing at the moment though.

But it would be nice to see the old classic helmet design climb the ladder - whether that is F1 or IndyCars or GT-racing or LMP1/2 or ALMS racing or touring car racing, it doesn't really matter. I just hope he gets to enjoy his racing.

#50 sopa

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 17:45

You could say about many young drivers that they have potential either to be at the very top or just pretty good drivers, but what counts is whether you have the money to make it.