While the whole country was celebrating their favourite moustache winning the historic British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a not-so-young 31 year old rookie made his first start for the equally historic (but now woefully bad) Brabham Formula One team during their final season. The Brit was classified last, four laps behind the leading Williams of Nigel Mansell, and there are photographs of the two driving together, two drivers at two completely different points in their careers. Mansell was close to clinching his long evasive World Champions and this not-so-young Brit, completely insignificant if not for his name, was probably doomed to obscurity like other champion’s sons like David Brabham and Michael Andretti until the very man that had exploited Frank Williams’ “let them race” attitude in the 1986 season, Alain Prost, stipulated “No Moustaches or Brazilians” in his contract, effectively ruling out Nigel Mansell and Prost’s rival Ayrton Senna unless they were to shave their moustache or change nationality respectively (impossibilities for both).
This left the door for the King of Monaco Graham Hill’s son, Damon, to take the second seat beside the Frenchman. From the start of 1993 to the end of 1996, over four seasons, Damon would go on to finish twice runner up and once victor of the World Driver’s Championship, two constructor’s titles and 21 race victories - a haul match only by then-double World Champion Michael Schumacher. For those four years, Damon found himself filling the shoes of two of biggest names in Formula history after the retirement and death of Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna respectively, and with the weight of the British public and the name of a double World Champion, some would simply crush under the weight of expectations. Damon took it all with good humour, did his bloody well darndest and after winning the world title was promptly shown the door because he wanted the pay rise he deserved. Nice doing, Frank.
Damon would get one last hoorah, though. On a rainy day at Spa Francorchamps in 1998, Damon would lead an unlikely 1-2 finish for seminal midfielders Jordan for their maiden victory. After a brief “career” playing in cover bands with other celebrities, Hill became head of the British Racing Driver’s Club and now spearheads the operations for the annual British Grand Prix at Silverstone. A race that he had won in 1994, which he dedicated to his father who had never won their home Grand Prix.
Alfa Romeo at the 1950 British Grand Prix
Forza Scuderia Alfa Romeo.