Damon Hill has announced his intention to retire at the end of the 1999 season. This announcement being made so early in the season may indicate that he has plans to move to the US CART Championship. The Jordan driver, who won the Formula 1 ...
Damon Hill has announced his intention to retire at the end of the 1999 season. This announcement being made so early in the season may indicate that he has plans to move to the US CART Championship.
The Jordan driver, who won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1996, made the announcement following recent speculation regarding his future.
The 38-year-old, who has won 22 races throughout a seven-year F1 career, paid tribute to the sport that made him a household name throughout the world.
"F1 has afforded me many incredible opportunities, and I will cherish some fantastic memories," he said. "I have fulfilled my ambitions and consider myself very fortunate to have done so."
Hill, who was Jordan's first GP winner at Spa last season, also thanked his team, family and his fans. He said, "To my loyal fans, you were incredible throughout. An enormous thanks to you all."
Regarding his future Hill added, "My passion to be successful and to give my best to whatever I turn my hand to is diminished."
Hill drove his first race at Silverstone in 1992, driving a Brabham. In 1993, he joined Williams and won his first race in Hungary later that year. He was championship runner-up in 1994 and 1995, before winning the championship for Williams in 1996.
Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive of Jordan Grand Prix, paid the following tribute to Damon Hill following his decision to announce his retirement at the end of the 1999 season:
"This is a sad but typically brave and honest decision by one of Britain's great sporting heroes. Damon was a great World Champion and a wonderful ambassador for motorsport worldwide. His results will always show he was one of the sport’s great winners."
"It was an honour for me personally, for Benson & Hedges, for Mugen-Honda and the whole Jordan team that he achieved the first Grand Prix victory for a Jordan car in Belgium last year. All of us in and associated with the team are proud to have made a contribution to the unique Hill family Grand Prix legend."
"Damon brought to Benson & Hedges Jordan a level of professionalism, dedication and determination that enabled the team to emerge from its worst ever start to its best ever championship finish in 1998. In his whole career he has never shirked a challenge and together we will work doubly hard to ensure that he retires in the stylish, gentlemanly manner which has been the hallmark of his conduct from start to finish."