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Damon Hill's departure from Williams in 1996


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#101 PayasYouRace

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 20:04

Damon did struggle with the extra groove in the front tyres in 1999 though IIRC. Would he have found a work around if he'd been more motivated? Maybe.



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#102 Emery0323

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 20:42

 I do know that E.J thought Hill lost a step by 1999.

In 1999, Damon Hill was turning 39 years old, quite long in the tooth for F1 drivers.  The chief title contenders, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Irvine, Frentzen  et al., were all about 5-10 years younger than he was.


Edited by Emery0323, 21 January 2014 - 20:44.


#103 sennafan24

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 20:47

In 1999, Damon Hill was turning 39 years old, quite long in the tooth for F1 drivers.  The chief title contenders, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Irvine, Frentzen  et al., were all about 5-10 years younger than he was.

Yes, good point.

 

Its easy to forget with Damon being a late starter, he was 31/32 when he was a rookie!



#104 jeffbee

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 13:10

There was talk at the time that BMW were coming on board and that they wanted a German driver in the team.  As JV was on a multi-year contract and Damon's 1995 season had been disappointing I imagine that Frank and Patrick reasoned that the most logical course of action was to sign up Frentzen and part company with DH.  Bearing in mind JV had been able to challenge DH on several occasions the team probably thought they were like for like and the multi year contract clinched it.  I seem to recall the deal with Frentzen had been done by mid-season, when it was still possible for the championship to fall from Damon's grasp.

 

It was clearly a mistake because Frentzen didn't gel within the team and although JV won the WDC, he made heavy weather of it.  If DH had been there I believe he would have made short work of the championship.

 

I also believe that Damon Hill is the best Prime Minister we've never had!



#105 gold333

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:58

Hopefully you are not implying that I ever suggested that Senna was a coward, this was self evidently never the case, you don't drive like he did if you are concerned about your safety.


That doesn't really do justice to him.

http://youtu.be/BQv3JAbJZF4

From 01:56m

#106 Spinnekop

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 20:16

Without sifting through a mountain of paper I'm fairly sure that during 1992 Martin Brundle found himself denied access to Schumacher's lap data (as requested by Schumacher presumably with the team's approval or was it the other way round?) if I recall correctly and it is not unreasonable to assume that this might have contributed to Brundle's apparent inability to match his team mate's pace.

 

The fact is that some drivers had/have an inbuilt advantage in equipment and priority at the expense of their team mates and were favoured, sometimes not for the obvious reasons. In some cases potentially challenging new signings were blocked by the lead driver, as per Senna at Lotus when Warwick was a possible team mate back in 1986. He even threatened to leave Lotus and go to Brabham if Warwick was employed.

 

There are other examples but my point is that things are not always as they seem or for the reasons given.

 

 

:up:

 

Hill is quite underrated in general. In 1993 which was pretty much his rookie year (he only competed in the race twice in 1992) he did pretty well against Prost. In 1995 which is considered a weak year he still beat D.C, 1996 he beat J.V pretty cleanly, and he had a few memorable drivers for Arrows and Jordan in his later years. I would say he had peaked by 1998/1999, but he was a tad underrated by some.

 

1996 was probably his best year, I watched Monaco a few months back and he was bombing it round before his mechanical failure, miles ahead on the pack. Best car? Yes, but still impressive anyhow.

 

After Senna died, I cna only think of Schumi and Mika whom I would say were better than him from 1994-2000.

Whole heartedly agree. The above two posts are not directly related but in a way raise/highlight many peoples perceptions of mid 90's F1(particularly those that didn't really follow the sport in depth at the tiime)

 

1. Very many detract MS's performance during the 90's using the argument that his competition was of an inferior standard to other eras. They are doing a great injustice to the likes of Damon, Mka Salo and Hakkinen, Martin Brundle, Nelson Piquet(MS beat him as rookie against an in practice multiple WC who beat Senna and Prost in his peak) et al who were not poor drivers at all and would have been considered worthy WC's even legends without the ever present elephant in the room of MS who likely would have won another 3 titles in the 90's if he moved to McLaren or ust stayed at Benetton.

 

 They also inadvertandly imply Senna, Prost, Mansell weren't actually the greats they really were (and they were greats, no doubt about it) as all the previous mentioned drivers gave them a run for their money as team mates more often than any team mate of MS's(ok excluding NR :well: ), even though they too were definitely driver 2 in each case.

 

 In fact the argument could be made there were more talented drivers on average on the grid during the 90's than the 80's (2 seconds quickly think of driver's names that spring to mind as really talented from the 80's- Senna, Prost and erm... Mansell? determined yes not great, Nelson Piquet? Um won many a WC so was at the vey least consistent.

 

2. As far as I understand it was Herbert who was denied access to MS's testing telementary. May well be that Brundle was also restricted in terms of access. So what! :mad:  Hmmmm....... If you stayed at work till 11pm every night putting in extra work to make sure the product you produce is as good as it can be while your colleague does just enough and then goes to the pub for happy hour at 5pm (analogy an exageration but I doubt anyone put in as much extra effort to be fully prepared before or since) every day no way would I be happy to let them get a free ride off my hard work. Just the company doing well is benefitting them already (ie team being more succesful).



#107 garoidb

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 23:02

Whole heartedly agree. The above two posts are not directly related but in a way raise/highlight many peoples perceptions of mid 90's F1(particularly those that didn't really follow the sport in depth at the tiime)

 

1. Very many detract MS's performance during the 90's using the argument that his competition was of an inferior standard to other eras. They are doing a great injustice to the likes of Damon, Mka Salo and Hakkinen, Martin Brundle, Nelson Piquet(MS beat him as rookie against an in practice multiple WC who beat Senna and Prost in his peak) et al who were not poor drivers at all and would have been considered worthy WC's even legends without the ever present elephant in the room of MS who likely would have won another 3 titles in the 90's if he moved to McLaren or ust stayed at Benetton.

 

 

Not sure why you are saying that MS beat Nelson Piquet.



#108 sennafan24

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 23:29

Not sure why you are saying that MS beat Nelson Piquet.

In their very brief spell as teammates in 1991. A rookie Schumi was outscored by Piquet by a mighty half a point over the 5 races they competed as teammates. The final score was 4.5-4 in favor of Piquet.

 

However over the 5 races, Schumi did finish beat Piquet 2-1 in races finished ahead when both finished, and also out-qualified Piquet 4-1. So, it would be safe to say that Schumi did outperform Piquet over those 5 races

 

Piquet was ancient at this point, and Schumi was a rookie, so it is not like either were competing at their peaks. 


Edited by sennafan24, 20 February 2014 - 23:29.


#109 garoidb

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 23:37

In their very brief spell as teammates in 1991. A rookie Schumi was outscored by Piquet by a mighty half a point over the 5 races they competed as teammates. The final score was 4.5-4 in favor of Piquet.

 

However over the 5 races, Schumi did finish beat Piquet 2-1 in races finished ahead when both finished, and also out-qualified Piquet 4-1. So, it would be safe to say that Schumi did outperform Piquet over those 5 races

 

Piquet was ancient at this point, and Schumi was a rookie, so it is not like either were competing at their peaks. 

 

Yup. Piquet came out ahead. 



#110 Spinnekop

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 00:53

MS was faster almost straight away as a complete rookie without race simulators to learn tracks, less automated systems on the car as well as less telemetry see your mistakes and adjust your driving. 

 

NP may have been at the end of his career but not totally past it( 1 win in '91 6th in WDC, 2 wins 3rd in WDC '90) and vastly more experienced. 4-1 in qualifying and 2-1 in races both finished, yes MS did beat him.

 

If they remained team mates he probably would have beaten him convincingly in '92 and Piquet was a very good driver. 


Edited by Spinnekop, 21 February 2014 - 01:05.


#111 sennafan24

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 00:58

Yup. Piquet came out ahead. 

In terms of points, yes he did. In terms of performance, I would say no.

 

Points totals do not always equate to a fair reflection of driver performance. I forgot to add that Schumi also had a mechanical DNF in Japan, when I believe he was just ahead of Piquet. But Schumi did make an unforced error in Australia in the rain, which is where Nelson picked up the 1.5 points that made the difference.

 

Skinnekop - My opinion is that the field Schumi ruled in during the 90's had more depth than the grid pre-1994, but less top level drivers. In 1993, the top end of the grid included Senna, Schumi, Prost who are all time greats, Mansell and Piquet who make all time top 20 lists, and Berger and Alesi who I have seen ranked in the top 30-40 of all time drivers in some lists. 

 

Hill gets a rough deal in terms of where people rate him. I would say the grids from 1995-2000 had 1 all time great in Schumi, two top 20-30 of all time drivers in Mika and Hill (I should stress I have seen Mika ranked around 10-15 in some credible lists), and a lot of guys who gave the grid more depth like HHF, D.C, J.V and Rubens (J.V could also rank as a 20-30 all time driver, and I have seen Rubens ranked in the top 50)

 

To bring the thread back to Hill. He gets very underrated. On the strength of the 1993 season and the 1996 season , he deserves to be included in the top drivers of the 90's. Hill was not in the elite, but I would define him as a "top driver" for his era.


Edited by sennafan24, 21 February 2014 - 01:16.


#112 Spinnekop

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:09

Very good point there, many 90's drivers are under rated and under appreciated as their datum point was MS being the only stand out driver with Hill probably greatest victim of all. Hill and many other drivers performances are blindly unnoticed due to the "they were & it was better back then(in the 80's, in the 70's)" syndrome.

 

Compare how close the grids of the 90's (eg top5-6 teams/10-12 drivers) in terms of pace and relative competivity(normal for only 1s covering top 10 in qualifying, only half the field lapped end of race) were compared to the 80's (not unusual for 2 seconds covering the top 6 quali and the guy finishing 6th to have been lapped 3 times) there was and still has been a continual increase in talent and ability which isn't readily apparent.


Edited by Spinnekop, 21 February 2014 - 02:27.


#113 garoidb

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 18:48

In terms of points, yes he did. In terms of performance, I would say no.

 

Points totals do not always equate to a fair reflection of driver performance. I forgot to add that Schumi also had a mechanical DNF in Japan, when I believe he was just ahead of Piquet. But Schumi did make an unforced error in Australia in the rain, which is where Nelson picked up the 1.5 points that made the difference.

 

Piquet was actually in second place in that race (his last) when they stopped it, and then put him back to fourth on countback.

 

Anyway, all I am saying is that Spinnekop can't just casually say that MS beat Piquet as if it was an indisputable fact. I'm not getting any further into it in this thread. I'm on the same side of the Damon Hill argument as him; Damon is under-rated in my opinion.



#114 LittleChris

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 21:08


2. As far as I understand it was Herbert who was denied access to MS's testing telementary. May well be that Brundle was also restricted in terms of access. So what! :mad:  Hmmmm....... If you stayed at work till 11pm every night putting in extra work to make sure the product you produce is as good as it can be while your colleague does just enough and then goes to the pub for happy hour at 5pm (analogy an exageration but I doubt anyone put in as much extra effort to be fully prepared before or since) every day no way would I be happy to let them get a free ride off my hard work. Just the company doing well is benefitting them already (ie team being more succesful).

 

I thought the issue was that whilst Herbert wasn't allowed to see Schumachers telemetry, Schumacher WAS allowed to see Herberts ?



#115 Spinnekop

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:54

Piquet was actually in second place in that race (his last) when they stopped it, and then put him back to fourth on countback.

 

Anyway, all I am saying is that Spinnekop can't just casually say that MS beat Piquet as if it was an indisputable fact. I'm not getting any further into it in this thread. I'm on the same side of the Damon Hill argument as him; Damon is under-rated in my opinion.

Sorry didn't mean to offend :| .. Perhaps I expressed myself unclearly leading to us misunderstanding each other. I was using how well MS performed in his first season as a supporting example to my argument of how he overshadowed the rest of the grid in the nineties. I wasn't casually writing off NP, MS did perform exeptionally well for a rookie and 7 wdc's later he kind of did outperform everyone at the end of the day.



#116 sennafan24

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 16:49

I thought the issue was that whilst Herbert wasn't allowed to see Schumachers telemetry, Schumacher WAS allowed to see Herberts ?

That is true, but Herbert does not blame Schumi for that, he believes it was more Flavio's doing. In addition, Herbert said that Schumi was allowed more testing time, as when Herbert asked The Flav for a testing session, it was denied.

 

Sour Grapes? I would normally say yes, as the accusations that Schumi was favored at Ferrari have been debunked somewhat by Irvine. However, I very much doubt Herbert is the sort of guy to make things up, just my opinion.



#117 kayemod

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 17:33

That is true, but Herbert does not blame Schumi for that, he believes it was more Flavio's doing. In addition, Herbert said that Schumi was allowed more testing time, as when Herbert asked The Flav for a testing session, it was denied.

 

Sour Grapes? I would normally say yes, as the accusations that Schumi was favored at Ferrari have been debunked somewhat by Irvine. However, I very much doubt Herbert is the sort of guy to make things up, just my opinion.

 

Either Herbert or Brundle had to drive Schumacher's Benetton in testing once when MS couldn't be there. Whichever it was, and I think it was Herbert, said that it felt like a different car, a huge improvement on his supposedly identical usual mount. It was probably around the time of those launch and traction control allegations, so maybe there was even more to it than just that, surely there must still be a lot of people still around who know the full story, surprising that none of them have revealed what really went on all those years ago.



#118 sennafan24

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 17:53

Either Herbert or Brundle had to drive Schumacher's Benetton in testing once when MS couldn't be there. Whichever it was, and I think it was Herbert, said that it felt like a different car, a huge improvement on his supposedly identical usual mount. It was probably around the time of those launch and traction control allegations, so maybe there was even more to it than just that, surely there must still be a lot of people still around who know the full story, surprising that none of them have revealed what really went on all those years ago.

I thought that story had been mentioned in this thread, so I checked back, and it was you who posted it saying you thought it was Brundle.

 

You wrote

 

"It could have been Herbert, but I think it was Brundle. He once had a go in Schumacher's car, and said it felt on a different level, almost half as fast again. Probably because of the illegal traction control, and who knows what besides... So not exactly a level playing field, maybe refusing the number twos access to Schumacher's data was an attempt to try to disguise his car's illegality."

 

I have read a similar story elsewhere, and Jos has had a lot to say on the matter. Like I said, Herbert is a man who seems to have a good character, so I cannot dismiss these allegations right away.

 

I doubt we will ever find out the full truth, bit like the Senna crash   ;)



#119 kayemod

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 18:03

I thought that story had been mentioned in this thread, so I checked back, and it was you who posted it saying you thought it was Brundle.

 

 

Yes you're right, and I know I've read it somewhere or other. The story isn't in Brundle's book, so I'm beginning to think it must have been Herbert, but I know I've seen it. I've also seen a report from a trackside observer who said that the two cars could be seen to behave very differently, there's obviously a bit of a talent gulf between Schumacher and either of the other two, but from reports I read at the time, there seems to be more to it than that.



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#120 mfd

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 23:05

It was Herbert & in the regular MS chassis (who wasn't around to drive it). I think it was at Magny Cours but the point was he was quicker. Result no more sharing



#121 sennafan24

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 23:59

It was Herbert & in the regular MS chassis (who wasn't around to drive it). I think it was at Magny Cours but the point was he was quicker. Result no more sharing

Thanks for clearing that up for us  :up:



#122 mfd

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 00:09

No problem, happy to add something!



#123 Nemo1965

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:30

Regarding Herbert not getting access to Schumachers data: that is very strange, because that year, in 1995, the BBC let an expert (Jonathan Palmer, as I remember) explain the difference between Schumacher and Herbert... with telemetry and all.

 

I have looked for the video on youtube but could not find it. It is discussed in this old thread. 

 

My point is: I find it hard to believe that Benetton refused to share telemetry between Schumacher and Herbert... and then later, joyfully, sent the whole whatzagaboom to the BBC...



#124 Ibsey

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 14:03

Regarding Herbert not getting access to Schumachers data: that is very strange, because that year, in 1995, the BBC let an expert (Jonathan Palmer, as I remember) explain the difference between Schumacher and Herbert... with telemetry and all.

 

I have looked for the video on youtube but could not find it. It is discussed in this old thread. 

 

My point is: I find it hard to believe that Benetton refused to share telemetry between Schumacher and Herbert... and then later, joyfully, sent the whole whatzagaboom to the BBC...

 

 

 

 

see 1:39 onwards.



#125 MoebiusPT

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 15:27

Frentzen was one of the choices by Williams for 1994, after Senna died in Imola. But he chose not to leave Sauber after the accident of Wendlinger in Monaco. 

 

Frank, as a gentleman team owner had a lot of respect for that decision, as Sauber had been left in a dificult situation as Williams in the race before.

 

Source: Francisco Santos, F1 Year Book 1994 and 1996, one of the most respected Portuguese and Brazilian F1 reporters, covering F1 since the late 60's.



#126 sennafan24

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 15:38

Regarding Herbert not getting access to Schumachers data: that is very strange, because that year, in 1995, the BBC let an expert (Jonathan Palmer, as I remember) explain the difference between Schumacher and Herbert... with telemetry and all.

 

I have looked for the video on youtube but could not find it. It is discussed in this old thread. 

 

My point is: I find it hard to believe that Benetton refused to share telemetry between Schumacher and Herbert... and then later, joyfully, sent the whole whatzagaboom to the BBC....

 

When was the BBC footage aired? If it was after the 1995 season, then Herbert was out of the team, and so was Schumacher, so there would be nothing to gain or lose for either watching the footage. If the footage was shared with the world after the 1995 season, then it would have no bearing on the fact that Herbert did not have access at the time so could not benefit from it.

 

I should stress, I do not think anyone would dispute Schumi is a better driver than Herbert on merit, and no one is pointing the finger at Schumi directly (the Flav is the one who gets the blame).