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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:32 pm 
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Beleriand_K wrote:
In my Top 170 ranking of the most successful drivers Damon Hill rank no. 11. I've published the updated ranking a few times, and ranking Damon Hill that high always results in criticism. "Ok, he became a WDC, but that was only because of his car" is the usually argument.

I always wonder why Damon Hill has so little recognition. Was he really a mediocre driver, just being in the right place at the right time? No, I don't think so. His track record is impressive, and his results against very competitive teammates proved, that what he achieved wasn't just because he was equipped with a good car.

I agree that it is debatable whether Damon Hill should rank higher than Alonso, Lauda etc, but I do believe that his results should earn him a lot more respect, than he is getting.

Damon Hills results is well known with 22 wins, a WDC and two runner-up titles during his 122 races from 1992 to 1999. He achieved this despite racing for inferior teams during four of those eight season.

But what is even more interesting, and less obvious, is his results against his teammates during 1993-1998. I exclude the initial 1992 season with a few races for a dying Brabham team and his last season for Jordan in 1999, where he only scored 7 points against Frentzens 54 points. I think that difference says more about the state of mind of Damon Hill, who announced his retirement in the middle of the season, but still completed the season.

For the period 1993-1998 Damon Hills point scoring compared with his teammates looks like this:

1993: Prost 99 - Hill 69
1994: Hill 7 - Senna 0 (3 races)
1994: Hill 22 - Mansell 13 (4 races)
1994: Hill 62 - Coulthard 13 (8 races)
1995: Hill 69 - Coulthard 49
1996: Hill 97 - Villeneuve 78
1997: Hill 7 - Deniz 2
1998: Hill 20 - Schumacher (Ralf) 14

So during six of his eight seasons in F1 Damon Hill outscored every single teammate apart from Alain Prost. Including Senna, Mansell and Villeneuve, who won five WDC-titles. I think this calls for a lot of respect.

Disregarding 1999 on the basis that Hill wasn't at his best yet counting 1994 against a 41 year old Nigel Mansell who had just come out of retirement and barely fit in the car seems a little like clutching at straws to me. The only real fair comparisons here are vs Coulthard and Villeneuve, both of whose careers I believe were also flattered by having a very good car, Ralf Schumacher, who would have outscored Damon in 1998 but for some team orders in Spa, and Prost who you could argue a truly top-class driver would have beaten in 1993 on the basis that he was 38 (incidentally the same age Damon was in 1999) and had been out of the sport for a year. That's of course disregarding Diniz who was hardly a benchmark for a top driver.

I think Damon's reputation is fair.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:17 pm 
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UnlikeUday wrote:
Has any other driver had a '0' on his car?

Jody Scheckter, 1973, Mclaren M23, had "0" in two last races of 1973.

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Taken from Pinterest, passionea300allora.it

He is probably the only driver to have zero twice in his carrier, as he had it also on his Trojan F5000 T101, the very same year.
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Taken from: http://www.oldracingcars.com/

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:26 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Blake wrote:
slide wrote:
don't forget 94 where he was robbed after being crashed into from a damaged car that was finished but did it to win the wdc , and so I consider that title to be damons , not scumacher's


You can consider it to be whatever you wish, but the facts are, it is not Damon's.

Also, one must also assign a portion of the guilt (yes, I know that is not popular) for that accident to Damon. He would have been wise to wait to make the move, given Schumi's car's condition. Nor do you know for sure that Schumi intentionally "did it to win the wdc".


How could he when he didn't know Schumacher's car condition? He didn't see him hit the barrier. As far as Damon was concerned that was his one chance.

That "accident" was entirely Schumacher's fault.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:31 pm 
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slide wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Blake wrote:
slide wrote:
don't forget 94 where he was robbed after being crashed into from a damaged car that was finished but did it to win the wdc , and so I consider that title to be damons , not scumacher's


You can consider it to be whatever you wish, but the facts are, it is not Damon's.

Also, one must also assign a portion of the guilt (yes, I know that is not popular) for that accident to Damon. He would have been wise to wait to make the move, given Schumi's car's condition. Nor do you know for sure that Schumi intentionally "did it to win the wdc".


How could he when he didn't know Schumacher's car condition? He didn't see him hit the barrier. As far as Damon was concerned that was his one chance.

That "accident" was entirely Schumacher's fault.


here here

Yeah I felt bad for Damon that day. He was robbed. At least they didn't let Michael get away with it in 97'...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:27 pm 
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justbeingmiko wrote:
Is this debate still occurring? *tongue in cheek*

Damon was a good driver, and certainly better than his detractors claim.

There is more than enough evidence from people that knew him, his skills and worked in the F1 world that rate him very highly. Senna did, Prost did, Patrick Head did, to name a few. Here's the crux. None of them thought of Damon as a legend. Indeed, not even Damon classes himself as a legend!!

But that doesn't mean he was a journey man - the world of fans and sports seems to be too linear. You are either a legend or a failure! There is such a wide range in between. Damon was a very good driver, one who had a great car but delivered exceptional results when it mattered (1996), drove the occasional race that defied even the legends (Suzuka 94, Spa 98, Hungary 97). So he is worthy of recognition from all fans of the sport. To suggest he was anything other than a world class driver is disingenuous.

I do have to pass comment on the whole 98 threatening to take Ralf off - what absolute rubbish. It is well documented that he told Jordan to get Ralf to hold position, as to race in those conditions could jeopardize a 1/2 finish. That is NOT threatening to take Ralf off, not even close. It is thinking of the team, of a remarkable result and of being infinitely sensible in horrendous conditions (I was there, it was terrifyingly wet).

I would dispute that I have heard Damon say that he basically gave Jordan an ultimatum.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:03 am 
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pokerman wrote:
Like he didn't intentionally try to do the same to Villenueve in an almost carbon copy style for which he got penalised, again with the title on the line, like he didn't intentionally park his car in Monaco qualifying to protect his pole position for which again he got penalised?

Schumacher has form for this also with Hill he knew he had damaged his car, Hill didn't know this, it was Schumacher's boxing version of rope a dope, he left the door open for Hill to go through with the fullest intention of closing that door when Hill got there.


A whole lot of opinion here, but not much fact. I didn't address '97, pokerman, because I too suspect it was intentional, to call it a carbon copy of '04 is inaccurate. That said, you can't say for sure that the Monaco parking was intentional, nor can you prove that Schumi did the "rope a dope" as you call it. Opinion, even if popular, is nothing more than one's opinion.


To answer the question of the OP... no, Damon is not better than his reputation, and to have him as high as #11 in any kind of ranking of F1 drivers over time, I believe is a bit ludicrous.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:43 am 
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Blake wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Like he didn't intentionally try to do the same to Villenueve in an almost carbon copy style for which he got penalised, again with the title on the line, like he didn't intentionally park his car in Monaco qualifying to protect his pole position for which again he got penalised?

Schumacher has form for this also with Hill he knew he had damaged his car, Hill didn't know this, it was Schumacher's boxing version of rope a dope, he left the door open for Hill to go through with the fullest intention of closing that door when Hill got there.

A whole lot of opinion here, but not much fact. I didn't address '97, pokerman, because I too suspect it was intentional, to call it a carbon copy of '04 is inaccurate. That said, you can't say for sure that the Monaco parking was intentional, nor can you prove that Schumi did the "rope a dope" as you call it. Opinion, even if popular, is nothing more than one's opinion.

My personal take on it is that '94 was a heat of the moment - but intentional - decision to take Damon out when he realized he wasn't going to finish and saw an opportunity, whereas '97 was more premeditated in that he knew it would work and was probably considering it ahead of time. Sort of Prost '89 vs. Senna '90, if you will; Prost turned in on Senna, but only when he realized he was about to lose the race - Senna hit Prost because he'd already decided he was going to do so.

And in fact I blame both incidents for why Schumacher did it; how can you blame him fully, when he learned in his early years that great champions could win titles by hitting each other? Neither Prost or Senna lost their title for it (although in my opinion it's an outrage that Senna didn't), so why wouldn't he consider it as a last resort? If Senna had had his title stripped in 1990 for hitting Prost intentionally, I'm confident Schumacher would never have tried it. The FIA has to take at least some of the blame.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:21 am 
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j man wrote:
Disregarding 1999 on the basis that Hill wasn't at his best yet counting 1994 against a 41 year old Nigel Mansell who had just come out of retirement and barely fit in the car seems a little like clutching at straws to me. The only real fair comparisons here are vs Coulthard and Villeneuve, both of whose careers I believe were also flattered by having a very good car, Ralf Schumacher, who would have outscored Damon in 1998 but for some team orders in Spa, and Prost who you could argue a truly top-class driver would have beaten in 1993 on the basis that he was 38 (incidentally the same age Damon was in 1999) and had been out of the sport for a year. That's of course disregarding Diniz who was hardly a benchmark for a top driver.

I think Damon's reputation is fair.


Sorry for off-topic but how was Jacques' career "flattered" by having a very good car? He had his first two seasons at the dominant Williams-Renault and then nothing. Unlike Coulthard who also debuted at the dominant Williams-Renault but was in the Newey-designed McLaren-Mercedes from 1998-2004 and was seldom able to mount a challenge to Hakkinen and Raikkonen.

It's funny that Hakkinen couldn't win a race until that fateful Jerez 1997 although he was hampered by his car prior to that. Meanwhile Coulthard already had 3 wins to his name going into that race, 2 of which already at McLaren in 1997.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:24 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
slide wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Blake wrote:
slide wrote:
don't forget 94 where he was robbed after being crashed into from a damaged car that was finished but did it to win the wdc , and so I consider that title to be damons , not scumacher's


You can consider it to be whatever you wish, but the facts are, it is not Damon's.

Also, one must also assign a portion of the guilt (yes, I know that is not popular) for that accident to Damon. He would have been wise to wait to make the move, given Schumi's car's condition. Nor do you know for sure that Schumi intentionally "did it to win the wdc".


How could he when he didn't know Schumacher's car condition? He didn't see him hit the barrier. As far as Damon was concerned that was his one chance.

That "accident" was entirely Schumacher's fault.


here here

Yeah I felt bad for Damon that day. He was robbed. At least they didn't let Michael get away with it in 97'...




How did Schumacher escape a penalty is beyond me?

Hill could've been a double world champ.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Pole2Win wrote:
j man wrote:
Disregarding 1999 on the basis that Hill wasn't at his best yet counting 1994 against a 41 year old Nigel Mansell who had just come out of retirement and barely fit in the car seems a little like clutching at straws to me. The only real fair comparisons here are vs Coulthard and Villeneuve, both of whose careers I believe were also flattered by having a very good car, Ralf Schumacher, who would have outscored Damon in 1998 but for some team orders in Spa, and Prost who you could argue a truly top-class driver would have beaten in 1993 on the basis that he was 38 (incidentally the same age Damon was in 1999) and had been out of the sport for a year. That's of course disregarding Diniz who was hardly a benchmark for a top driver.

I think Damon's reputation is fair.


Sorry for off-topic but how was Jacques' career "flattered" by having a very good car? He had his first two seasons at the dominant Williams-Renault and then nothing. Unlike Coulthard who also debuted at the dominant Williams-Renault but was in the Newey-designed McLaren-Mercedes from 1998-2004 and was seldom able to mount a challenge to Hakkinen and Raikkonen.

It's funny that Hakkinen couldn't win a race until that fateful Jerez 1997 although he was hampered by his car prior to that. Meanwhile Coulthard already had 3 wins to his name going into that race, 2 of which already at McLaren in 1997.

Jacques' reputation was built on those two seasons at Williams and in my eyes he did nothing spectacular in any of the subsequent years. If you'd looked solely at his form from 98 onwards he would never have gotten the Sauber drive at the end of his career.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:56 pm 
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UnlikeUday wrote:

The ever-alert watchdogs of FOM have already got to the video. Just in time, too - I was about to watch it, and just imagine the damage it might have done to F1's brand if I had! 8O

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:03 am 
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He wasn't an all time great, but like all the drivers in his era, If you remove Schumacher he was arguably the best or second best driver over 1994-1998. Prost, Mansell, Piquet and Senna all left the sport within 18 months.

Schumacher was the stand out of the remaining drivers, with probably Hakkinen second. After that Damon was as good as anybody in that era. 3rd best on the grid. Rosberg won the WDC this year and he is what the 5th or 6th best driver on the grid. I think he is under rated and if Schumacher wasn't around he would have probably won 3 WDCs.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Exediron wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:

The ever-alert watchdogs of FOM have already got to the video. Just in time, too - I was about to watch it, and just imagine the damage it might have done to F1's brand if I had! 8O


? Video's still there, just got to click through to YT itself.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:17 pm 
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mds wrote:
Exediron wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:

The ever-alert watchdogs of FOM have already got to the video. Just in time, too - I was about to watch it, and just imagine the damage it might have done to F1's brand if I had! 8O


? Video's still there, just got to click through to YT itself.


Indeed, one can watch it. As I watched it, it sure seems that Damon knew of Schumi's shunt, and could have, and should have waited to try to make the pass.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:49 pm 
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Blake wrote:
Indeed, one can watch it. As I watched it, it sure seems that Damon knew of Schumi's shunt, and could have, and should have waited to try to make the pass.


Your argument doesn't work because, if Damon should have waited to overtake Schumacher after the German hitting the wall, then you concede that Schumacher's car definitely sustained significant damage from the hit, enough to slow him down considerably. If his car sustained such amount of damage (possibly terminal), he did not have any business staying on the racing line, let alone defending his position, as his race was effectively over and he'd lose the title if Damon finished at least 5th.

I remember Jacques Villeneuve going into the grass to overtake Damon at Hungary 1997, and Damon did try to defend his position despite his car's failure, but quickly withdrew from the fight because it was meaningless. Also, the only reason Hill stayed out was because his car started to fail only at the very end of the race... Schumacher's move at Australia 1994 was during lap 35 of 81, not even halfway through the race.

To me it makes no difference whether Damon knew of Schumacher's situation because:

1) If Schumacher's car was damaged, Schumacher shouldn't have tried to defend his position, as it was useless... unless he wanted to cause an incident, of course. The collision was at Turn 6, early in the lap. Even if Schumacher's car had not sustained terminal damage, he would effectively be out of title contention barring some incident with Damon or mechanical failure (the latter of which was not uncommon in the 90s) because he'd lose too much time heading back to the pits.

2) If Schumacher's car was still in good condition, that was Damon's greatest chance of overtaking him. It's silly to suggest that he waste it to suit a different narrative. If damage was small, there was no "waiting" to be done, as Schumacher would just shrug it off and stay ahead.

Hill's misfortune was that the opportunity to make the move arose at a place where Schumacher could turn an attempt at taking him down into something inconspicuous, much like how Senna tried to overtake Prost at the Suzuka chicane in 1989... I'd pay gold for a recording of Benetton's radio chat during the moments preceding the crash. :lol:

Schumacher's undoing was trying to do it again to Villeneuve in 1997, to the point the Canadian has claimed he went for the overtake fully expecting Schumacher to do such a move. Whether that's actually true is up to debate, but evidence backs him up, as Jerez is a Hungaroring-style track where overtaking is notoriously difficult, and his line through the corner was such that he would've overshot it and been stuck in the gravel trap if the crash didn't occur (you can see this because Villeneuve severely locks his left front wheel immediately after the cars collide).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:25 pm 
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I just wonder what could have been if Damon started F1 at a younger age for instance at the age of 23 and not 33.

Yes, he may not have had the greatest competition in terms of teammates head to head wise, but considering 21 wins in a three year span? That was and is phenomenal even to this day between 93 and I include 97 because if it was not for that dreadful equipment at Arrows, he could even be a two-time WDC instead of just his one from '96. Damon was THAT good in that time span, I think of other drivers comparable in other disciplines like a Bobby Labonte from 98-00 in NASCAR winning his championship in 2000 who within those three years was untouchable in Joe Gibbs Racing cars.

Damon really I think is even better than what his reputation says, I rated him that highly. If Senna lived, would Hill's stats be as good as they are? Or would he be even underrated at a number two driver? Its all very interesting to think of IMHO.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:18 am 
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Blake wrote:
mds wrote:
Exediron wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:

The ever-alert watchdogs of FOM have already got to the video. Just in time, too - I was about to watch it, and just imagine the damage it might have done to F1's brand if I had! 8O


? Video's still there, just got to click through to YT itself.


Indeed, one can watch it. As I watched it, it sure seems that Damon knew of Schumi's shunt, and could have, and should have waited to try to make the pass.

I sense that Hill's mistake was the he went behind Michael first, and only than tried to overtake when they were already in braking zone. Had he kept the right part of the circuit, he would pass Michael in such a way that he would not even notice. But, it was already 22 years ago and it's easy to be smart now.

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