Belgian GP post-race Damon Hill interview

>From the BBC : Interview with Damon Hill by Murray Walker DH When it started to rain I decided we had to go for wet tyres and eventually I caught him up, he was still on slicks and we had this great race, very close dicing, and at...

>From the BBC : Interview with Damon Hill by Murray Walker

DH When it started to rain I decided we had to go for wet tyres and eventually I caught him up, he was still on slicks and we had this great race, very close dicing, and at times I thought a little bit... I mean, I don't mind getting close to a car and I don't mind touching another car if I feel that it is genuinely people are trying their best to avoid hitting each other but when I think that that's not being done then I get a little annoyed about it. That's what I thought was going on a bit. The spectators and everyone who watch motor racing are entitled to see a close, exciting race and I think that we had that, we had a very exciting race. I'm all for that. Today we had a great exciting race, but there have to rules about to what extent you can drive like that. There has to be a guideline and it's not for me to say. I read the rule book and I interpret it in one way and the FIA stewards, it's their job to look at what goes on the track and make their minds up. There is a line at which, I believe, you shouldn't go over. I felt that at some points he went over that line a little bit.

MW Now that sounds like a protest situation and there is a story going round that there is a protest in fact being made against Michael Schumacher. Is this to do with you or to do with the team?

DH I can't comment because I know nothing about it. All I can say is, I've said how I feel about the matter to the press and also to Michael at first hand so he knows I'm not talking about things behind his back, I've told him to his face and we'll leave it at that. It's out of my hands completely, I'm a racing driver and I enter the race and I accept whatever goes on and we abide by the rules of the sport. If that's the way it's going to be from now on then I'll understand that.

MW I have to embassedly tell you that when you were talking to Michael after the race I said there we are that proves they're really good chums after all. Was it in fact not that sort of a conversation?

DH Not surprisingly Murray, you were wrong but you can be forgiven for that. No, it wasn't a congratulatory chat and I see no reason why I should hide that from anyone. I've said publicly I thought for anyone to win race from 16th place on the grid is a tremendous achievement, hats off to the guy, he won it and I can't complain about that, but I have my own views about the rest of it.

MW You made a lot of the race before and you made a lot of the race right at the end when you were catching Martin Brundle. Did you ever have any doubt that you were going to catch him and get past, that was the tricky bit?

DH Well it was close because I knew at what rate I was catching him and I knew how many laps there were. He could have made it very difficult for me to pass but I managed to slip past and we had a good race for a little while. He conceded the line and I went through but he wasn't happy about that but I don't feel sorry for him.

MW I've said this before and I'll say it again. Keep smiling, the nation is still behind you

DH I'm pleased to hear it. Thank you very much Murray.

Also from the BBC :

The Williams team issued a protest, however race stewards later rejected it and the result of the Belgian Grand Prix stands. Williams claimed that race winner Michael Schumacher had banged wheels unfairly with Damon Hill and questioned the legality of his driving.

-- David Goodwin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Martin Brundle , Damon Hill
Teams Williams