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About Damon Hill OBE
Damon Graham Devereux Hill OBE (born 17 September 1960) is a retired British racing driver from England. He is the son of the late Graham Hill, and is the only son of a world champion to win the title. His father died in an aeroplane crash when Hill was 15. He started racing on motorbikes in 1981 and after minor success, he moved on to single-seater racing cars and progressed steadily up the ranks to the International Formula 3000 championship by 1989, where, although often competitive, he never won a race.
Hill became a test driver for the Formula One title-winning Williams team in 1992. He was promoted to the Williams race team the following year after Riccardo Patrese's departure and took the first of his 22 victories at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix. During the mid 1990s, Hill was Michael Schumacher's main rival for the Formula One Drivers' Championship. The two clashed on and off the track. Their collision at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix gave Schumacher his first title by a single point. Hill became champion in 1996 but was dropped by Williams for the following season. He went on to drive for the less competitive Arrows and Jordan teams, and in 1998 gave Jordan its first win.
Hill retired from racing after the 1999 season. He has since launched several businesses and has made appearances playing the guitar with celebrity bands. In 2006, he became president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, succeeding Jackie Stewart. Hill stepped down from the position in 2011 and was succeeded by Derek Warwick. He presided over the securing of a 17-year contract for Silverstone to hold Formula One races, which enabled the circuit to see extensive renovation work.
Hill was born in Hampstead, London on 17 September 1960 to Graham and Bette Hill. Graham Hill was a racing driver in the international Formula One series. He won the world drivers' championship in 1962 and 1968 and became a well known personality in the United Kingdom. Graham Hill's career provided a comfortable living. By 1975 the family lived in a "25-room country mansion" in Hertfordshire and Damon attended the independent Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School. The death of his father in an aeroplane crash in 1975 left the 15-year-old Hill, his mother, and sisters Samantha and Brigitte in drastically reduced circumstances. Hill worked as a labourer and a motorcycle courier to support his further education.
Hill is married to Susan George ('Georgie' – born 29 April 1961) and they have four children:
- Oliver (born 4 March 1989),
- Joshua (born 9 January 1991)
- Tabitha (born 19 July 1995)
- Rosie (born 1 February 1998)
Oliver was born with Down's syndrome and Hill and Georgie are both patrons of the Down's Syndrome Association. In 2008, Damon also became the first patron of St. Joseph's Specialist School and College, a school for children with severe learning disabilities and autism in Cranleigh, Surrey. Joshua started racing in 2008, and as of 2011 is competing in the British Formula Renault Championship.