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'It was late last night when Hill's own Piper Aztec
'smashed into a screen of trees and burst into flames.
'The plane burnt out in minutes,
'but from the start, there was little doubt
'that Britain had lost one of its greatest racing personalities.
He was a regular bloke, with an irregular and extraordinary ability.
An absolute icon of that period.
He used to be in the middle of it all.
He was the man.
Graham was a giver.
Full of humour and style.
And he was a bloody good racing driver.
I'd never been to a motor race,
I'd never seen a motor race until the very first race I was in.
It had never been a lifelong ambition or anything.
So I was sitting on the start line,
you know, wondering what the blazes was gonna happen
and watching the flag, and somebody told me
that the engine revs had 6,000 revolutions per minute,
so I wound it up to 6,000 revs a minute
and sat there, looking at the starter.
He dropped the flag, I slipped my foot off the clutch
and went up the road like a rocket! And I was in the lead, wasn't I?
The popular image of the late Graham Hill
was that of a fun-loving, fast-driving,
quintessential Englishman with a keen sense of humour.
Inevitably, the full picture was more complex.
He was many things to many people.
For my whole life, I've met people who've said,
"Oh, I knew your dad, he was great."
I've never met anyone that said,
"Actually, this is the truth about your dad."
He was a bit of a rascal, whatever you want to call that.
He was just such a lot of fun.
And yet frightening when he was serious.
If things went wrong, he would get very, very angry indeed.
Oh, my God, he was impossible.
He was never punctual, ever, ever, ever.
-He just broke the...
He broke the rules, yeah. Exactly. He broke the rules.
Who really was this man that lived by his own set of rules?
What was he like to live and work with?
30 years on from his untimely death, those that knew him best
have decided to tell their side of his story.
A story which began in the suburbs of north London in 1929.
The son of a city stockbroker,
Graham's childhood contained few clues
that he would one day move amongst the most glamorous
and influential people in the world.
War broke out when he was 10, but the conflict had just ended
by the time he was old enough to enlist.
He spent his late teens as a technical apprentice
at Smiths Industries, making clocks, before King and country called.
When I first met Graham, he was doing his National Service
in the flagship of the home fleet, which was HMS Swiftsure,
and he was a petty officer, and he had to do two years,
and we met at a rowing club.
In addition to rowing, a passion for motorbikes provided some outlet
for his adventurous spirit.
But Graham was still searching for the ultimate thrill,
until one day, he found it.
I picked up a magazine that happened to be passing through the office
and I saw an advert which said,
"You can drive a racing car at Brands Hatch
"for five shillings a lap."
So I went down and had a quid's worth,
which entitled me to four laps, and it was those four laps
that the bug bit. It was then that I decided this is what I wanted to do.
So then I sort of chucked up my job
and I went as a sort of freelance mechanic,
working on people's cars for the sake of a drive.
I wouldn't accept money. I'd barter with them, saying,
"If I prepare your car for you, will you let me drive it?"
It was hard. It was very hard.
People didn't get into motor racing as they do now, with backing.
He was driving anything that anybody would offer him.
And he did a few races,
and one day, on his way back from Brands Hatch,
he got a lift with a chap who turned out to be Colin Chapman,
who built Lotus racing cars.
And he gave him a job as storeman in the Lotus engineering factory.
Then they said "Well, you can have a drive," and he was quite good at it,
so they signed him up.
But he had no money.
In those days, you couldn't commit yourself to a marriage
unless you had at least enough to pay for the reception,
which I paid for.
Graham threw everything he had into the sport,
gaining valuable experience and steadily climbing
the motor racing ladder.
The whole atmosphere just entranced him
and he was just completely hooked.
And so it went on.
And in 1958 at Monaco, he lined up in his first Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Well, a great start, and off I went.
And after 75 laps, I found myself in fourth place.
I thought, "This is great, Formula 1 racing's a piece of cake."
And then my back wheel fell off.
The trouble was, Colin could build a very light, very competitive car,
but he couldn't build one that would last a race,
and it simply fell to pieces.
And it fell to pieces race after race after race.
And Graham got increasingly disgruntled by that.
It was becoming harder and harder for him to contain his frustration.
Graham recorded some of his frustrations in a series of diaries,
now in the hands of his son, Damon.
This book is from 1959.
What he's recorded in this particular piece
is something to do with his relationship with Colin Chapman.
There appears to be a breakdown in the relationship
where he says something to the effect of,
"As the designer, I felt he should have been working on the cars
"to try and discover why they were so slow."
And he goes on to say, "I suggested to him
"that he had lost interest in Formula 1 racing.
"He assured me that he had not,
"and that he was very busy with the new factory."
Needless to say, my dad wasn't racing for Lotus the next year!
With clouds of discontent gathering over the Lotus factory,
Graham was offered a drive with rival team BRM.
It was a gamble, but he took it.
When I joined BRM, everyone was saying,
"Well, that's a mistake," you know, "He's joined a losing team."
It wasn't beating the foreign cars, Ferraris, Lancias and Maseratis,
it was being thoroughly trounced.
Graham adopted a hands-on approach to the task
of producing a car capable of winning races,
working closely with the team's chief designer, Tony Rudd.
It proved to be a formidable partnership.
Graham and Tony Rudd clicked immediately.
They worked very well together,
and they both had this same burning desire to win.
'The Grand Prix of Italy at Monza,
'counting in the World Driving Championship, a 310-mile race.
'Surprise of the racing season is the sensational advance of Graham Hill.'
'Driving a BRM, he was in the lead early in his race.
'Hardly challenged, Hill won easily.
'He's set for the World Championship.'
They were racers through and through, and they found their quarry,
which was the World Championship, and they bloody well won it.
We were so excited. I mean, he was beside himself,
and I was so thrilled and everybody was thrilled for him,
so it was a fantastic occasion.
These are cuttings when Graham won the World Championship
in South Africa, with the lovely BRMs.
Look at that.
They've been up in that wardrobe for years,
since I've been here, 13 years.
Amazing how we used to keep them... religiously.
Oh, look, this is outside our home at Mill Hill.
He looks so young.
But what are people's reactions to you?
I mean, you stop at a set of traffic lights, and you do this,
and they see it's Graham Hill there, or...
Well, it varies, it depends on what I've just done, but I mean...
But you can see, you're sitting there waiting
and then you see a lot of white things moving like this
and you look across, and everyone's going like this,
and then they all start going over the wheel...
Revving up, when the lights go green, there's great waves
and they wave you on like this.
It's...you know, I mean, I get thoroughly spoilt.
Graham was now a top contender on the Formula 1 grid.
But back at Team Lotus, former boss Colin Chapman
had found a talented new driver by the name of Jimmy Clark.
The early '60s bore witness to titanic battles between the two,
with Clark taking the Drivers' Championship twice,
and Graham runner-up three years in a row.
But there was one race on the calendar
where Graham was second to no-one.
Here, the tight, twisting Mediterranean street circuit
provided exactly the kind of challenge that Graham thrived on.
Graham simply outclassed all his rivals to win,
not just once, but three times in a row.
When he won for the third time, that really was a performance
that matches with the best of all the greats, going back through history.
As the Monaco public hailed their new hero,
few of them could appreciate the hard work of the mechanics
taking place behind the scenes.
It was hard work, there's no doubt about it.
I don't know if the mechanics these days work the hours we used to,
but if we were working late, Graham would come back
and check out, see what we were doing.
That's one way I think he got the better out of us,
through doing that.
He was very, very demanding,
and he could be very brief and abrupt with them.
On the other hand, he'd be the bloke to pitch up at the transporter
with a crate of beer.
He was one of us. I think he was happier in the carriages
than he was mixing with the royalty.
But he was hard, he was a hard man.
And on race morning, or immediately before a race, don't go near him.
Intense focus, incredibly short fuse.
As a young journo, he crushed me a couple of times before I learned.
Few could challenge Graham's authority,
either off or on the track.
But in 1965, the team signed up a pint-sized Scotsman
with big potential.
I could have gone to Cooper, I could have gone to Lotus,
but I chose to go to BRM
because I thought it would be a more thorough apprenticeship.
I thought I would get more testing.
I saw Graham as a good man to understudy.
Graham recognised the challenge was coming from Jackie.
He never really showed it, but I could sense it.
And Jackie was very quick.
I mean, it really was a bit irksome at times
to see this young whippersnapper from the Highlands
come and beat everybody, you know.
I explained to Graham
that because he was a bigger driver,
and they were small cars in those days, he had a bigger windscreen,
and Jackie's car would be quicker than Graham,
and Graham said, "Well, what are you gonna do about it?
"Chop me bloody head off?"
For a number one driver to suddenly be threatened
by the new little whippersnapper, if you like, a younger driver,
was a very difficult thing, I would have thought,
for anybody to deal with.
And Graham dealt with it fantastically.
But although they were intensely competitive,
they genuinely seemed to have had this remarkably friendly,
supportive relationship one to the other.
This is a very painful business for me,
to come here and present this award to Jackie.
I'm only too delighted to see that it's for one month!
But he thoroughly deserved it, he's had a fantastic season.
But for Christ's sake, lay off!
Graham wasn't above playing mind games, you know.
He'd hop out of his car on the starting grid
and wander across, and sniff around his rivals' cars on the grid.
Then he'd suddenly glance at a tyre,
and his eyes would go wide, and then he'd give a little knowing smile
and just make sure that the driver sitting in the car
had seen that knowing smile.
Then, without saying another word, he'd just walk back to his car
with an extra spring in his step.
But Graham understood there was a time and place for gamesmanship.
When team-mate Jackie Stewart crashed
during the 1966 Belgium Grand Prix, he came to the rescue.
He'd aquaplaned off, and he found, in the ditch, Jackie's car
with Jackie trapped inside it.
Graham saw me from inside his car.
He looked down and saw me in this drop-off area.
Could have continued, but didn't. He came to help me.
And Jackie was sitting, sort of half way up to his waist in fuel,
and he was trapped, he couldn't get out.
And it took them 25 minutes at least to get me out the car.
The steering wheel trapped me in the car.
They eventually found some way of taking the steering wheel off
and getting him out.
And Graham said, when they got him out, they took his overalls off
because they were soaked in petrol.
In those days, we were using high-octane aviation fuel,
and that is very corrosive, and it was burning my skin off.
So Graham took all my clothes off.
Literally, I was lying naked in the back of a farm truck.
And the story is, and it's a true story, nuns arrived
and found me naked in the back of this truck.
And you can imagine what the nuns were thinking.
Poor injured racing driver being taken advantage of
by devilish-looking racing driver with moustache.
In spite of being keen rivals, the bond and mutual respect
amongst drivers of that era was, in fact, remarkably high.
They were a close-knit fraternity, a unique band of brothers.
I mean, I love the other drivers, I was going to say intimately,
but that's not the right word I was looking for.
I know them quite well, and we're just good friends. But, er...
Graham, Jackie and Jimmy in particular became firm friends.
With their sharp suits and even sharper wit,
they were the Three Musketeers of Formula 1.
We just had fantastic times together.
And we all moved around together.
We either played golf together, or shot together,
or we partied together.
Graham was extroverted,
and he, therefore, was the kind of leader of the pack.
Yeah, Graham was always up to something.
Team owner John Coombs recalls one of Graham's more infamous antics
that went disastrously wrong.
A charity party,
and the entertainment was strippers.
And I'll never forget Graham getting up
and suddenly taking his trousers off.
And then decided to run down the table to the lady at the end.
What he intended to do when he got there, I don't know.
And he suddenly tipped over some glasses,
tripped up, and the glass broke,
and the stem of this long glass and goblet went right up his leg,
right into the calf of his leg, the muscle of his leg.
Of course, we had to take him to hospital and get this taken out.
It was sticking in like a dagger!
You know, you have to say, he got a reaction from people.
Otherwise he wouldn't have done it, and he knew that made people laugh
and it seemed to break the ice, or it broke something,
and that's what I think my dad loved.
I think he actually knew that here he was, with an opportunity
to crack a smile, and so he did more and more outrageous things.
Graham embraced the swinging '60s with a passion.
He found a kindred spirit in the sculptor David Wynne,
who recalls his friend having a keen eye for the ladies.
He had a keen eye for the ladies.
It's not only fair, it's dead on the mark.
I loved women, he loved women,
and he took much more liberties than I ever did.
If you put it that way!
The girls flocked round him, old gentlemen flocked round him,
the young boys flocked round him. He was the man.
There was David Niven and people like that,
and, you know, Errol Flynn, all these guys with moustaches
and who kind of had that sort of image.
And I think that my dad sort of slotted into this idea
of a kind of cad, kind of British person
who could be a charmer one minute,
the next minute, be standing on the table, dropping his pants.
No, not really, no.
It is a way of life, if you like, it's a profession,
and it's something I really enjoy doing,
it gives me a great kick out of life and it pays well.
You have to put this in, because, I mean, I'm able to afford
to go motor racing, cos I get paid very well for doing it,
so this puts the icing on the cake.
Graham was always intensely interested in making money.
And the biggest money in motor racing was in America.
'Racing's greatest day begins, the Indianapolis 500 Classic.
'Number 24, Graham Hill of London leads,
'number 19, Jim Clark of Scotland.
'The chequered flag ends it, Hill the winner, winning over 156,000.
'Hill takes the Classic 500 on his first try.'
Well, he wouldn't let me go there.
He said it wasn't a place for women.
To begin with, when he went there,
they didn't have doors on the toilets.
The cubicles had no doors on them.
Now, in Europe, there was a little dignity involved,
that you had a door to the loo.
Graham absolutely got obsessed by this.
He solved that one. There were doors on the toilets the next day.
He thought it was terribly rude,
and they thought it was terribly English.
Prize money from the Indy 500 enabled Graham to splash out
on his own twin-engine aircraft.
Yeah, he bought himself a plane.
I think Jackie Stewart was learning to fly.
Jimmy flew, and so Graham had to fly.
It cut down the travelling.
And he just loved the flying.
I wasn't too keen.
A packed international racing schedule
ensured Graham made much use of his new plane.
He was always on the move.
He was also, by now, the father to three children,
Brigitte, Damon and Samantha.
But the time they could spend together was all too rare.
How about the family?
How do they find your being away as often as you are?
Difficult to say, I think.
I think they're quite used to it, the young ones,
it's always been the same for them, so they don't know any different.
They probably assume everybody's daddy does the same thing.
I know they seem to be fairly pleased to see me.
I think it gives them a bit of relief when I do go away!
I think we were... I was aware of long absences,
I was aware of him not being there,
and I think that there were times
when you wanted him to be there.
And I remember Christmases, him flying off on Boxing Day
you know, it was Christmas Day, and then you're back onto the next.
But that's the way it was.
We were aware in the family that he had a mission,
that he was someone going somewhere,
so whenever we did anything together,
it was in almost a military operation.
And he was the commander, and we jumped when he said,
"Right", you know, "In the car," or, "In the plane."
He was very Victorian, actually, in that respect,
because he expected them to get up when he arrived home and say hello.
And children just don't do that sort of thing,
especially when they're engrossed in a television programme.
So we used to always say, "Ah, I hope he doesn't,
"that's not him, is it, coming down the drive?" You know?
One place Graham felt he was losing control was at BRM.
Their best days were now behind them and it was time to find a new team.
He surprised everyone by rejoining his old one, Team Lotus.
Colin Chapman had approached me
to see if I'd join his team, with Jimmy Clark.
And it was a hell of a decision to make,
having been with the team for seven years,
and there I was, going to move to another team,
somebody else's team, with another driver,
the regular number one.
Colin Chapman's number one priority was caring for Jimmy.
I don't think there was a problem,
it's just that Jimmy was the chosen one.
He was so talented, you see, and he was so...
Which was infuriating, actually, because it was so easy for him.
In theory, it seemed like the ultimate dream team.
Two World Champions, a brilliant designer,
and some quick, new machinery.
But it wasn't long before the old problems resurfaced.
Chapman's cars were fast, but still fragile.
'More bad luck for Hill,
'whose engine has gone beyond the point of no return.
'A season's run of ill fortune
'hasn't affected the patience and good humour of this popular driver.'
But when the camera stopped rolling and the crowd had dispersed,
patience and good humour were often in short supply.
If things went wrong, he would get very, very angry indeed,
and the atmosphere within that team and around him
could be absolutely foul, I think.
Graham's former race mechanics at Team Lotus
remember some of those testing times.
Graham was a great guy.
No mistake about that, you know?
Wonderful bloke to be with, terrific company, etc, etc, etc.
Put him in a car and he's bloody impossible...
because he kept records of everything he ever did
in every car he'd ever driven, you know?
You'd say, "What did you have here last year, Graham?"
and he could tell you the ride heights
and the spring rates, you know.
Lovely man, but he was a nightmare to work for during the race meeting.
-He could be difficult.
And I know I've got a bit of a reputation for being awkward,
so I'm told.
And I think this is because, you know, I expect,
I set very high standards for myself
and I expect other people to come up to that same standard.
So you're bound to be...
If you don't get what you want, you're bound to press for it
and although it might mean somebody else working that little bit harder,
they might think I'm being particular,
but I want everything to be exactly right,
and that's the way I drive and the way I expect things to be done.
On the whole, I think it pays off.
Graham's opinions on improving the car's performance
were not always welcomed by his designer, Colin Chapman.
Clashes were inevitable.
He'd been kingpin at BRM for years,
and he was used to getting his own way.
Now, when he came to us, we had a different way of working,
because the guy who set the cars up
was actually the old man, not the driver.
Brian would come along all smiles.
"How're we doing, lads?
"Now, what have we got on?" And he'd start to look at the car.
"What springs have you got on there?"
And you would end up changing the springs,
changing the roll bars, altering the ride heights.
Started practice with an unknown car, basically.
And then there's a shout from the pit counter.
"What the hell are you doing there?"
You know, "It's my car and you'll do what I tell you".
So things could get, you know, a little bit fraught
on that sort of basis.
When temperatures reached boiling point,
Graham had the perfect solution.
Throw a party.
When the race was over, Graham would enjoy life.
He loved parties. Great party man.
And gave some good parties.
When Graham arrived, the party was...the room was alive.
I think we had some of the best parties
that anyone ever gave at Mill Hill.
And we had all the racing drivers.
Jimmy used to bring a different girl every time, and things like that.
There's loads of pictures of people like Jim Clark
jumping up and down on trampolines in the back garden,
and the whole Formula 1 fraternity in our back garden,
jumping up and down on trampolines!
And there was a woman there.
She had a very thin, narrow, long, black dress on,
and she just ripped it up the sides, and did the limbo
under this sort of bamboo stick. It was wonderful.
The police turned up and they were invited into the party,
and before you knew it...
Two of the girls disappeared, and they'd gone with the policemen.
They ended up staggering out of the party many hours later,
and the next day, they had to come back
cos they'd forgotten their helmets and their truncheons!
Riotous times. There were some riotous times.
It was wonderful.
We had children and life was lovely, you know.
We had money, we had a house.
Things were very on the up and up,
and, you know, we were living in the sort of luxury
that we never dreamt that we would have.
You know, it was wonderful times. Wonderful times.
-There you are.
-Oh, there's me! Oh, gosh.
Oh, glamour puss.
-There's daddy. Gosh, look. Yeah.
# Guajira, Guantanamera
# Guajira, Guantanamera
# Yo soy un hombre sincero
# De donde crece la palma
# Yo soy un hombre sincero
# De donde crece la palma
# Y antes de morirme quiero
# Echar mis versos del alma
# Guajira, Guantanamera
# Guajira, Guantanamera... #
But Graham had been in the game long enough
to know that the sport he loved had a serious downside.
It was extremely dangerous.
I mean, you know, I get afraid and I think everybody gets afraid.
Everybody, any normal person does.
If you don't get afraid,
you've got no imagination and you won't last long.
And we saw so much of death, it was hideous.
There's no question that the danger element was felt.
As I grew up, I must have become gradually more and more aware
of the fact that he was doing something not only unusual
that people reacted to, but also that it was dangerous.
But then, in April '68, it happened to Jimmy Clark.
And that just didn't seem possible, because Jimmy was just the best.
And Graham said, if it can happen to Jimmy,
it makes you realise it can happen to any of us.
You know, it's a terrible time for any driver.
And it's very difficult to describe loss
and how it affects you, but you've just got to draw a blank across it.
Jimmy going and Graham taking the team over and replacing Jimmy
put unbelievable weight on Graham.
He literally picked those mechanics up, you know, by their trouser legs
and, "Come on, we've got to do something about this!"
And he was amazing, you know.
That's when the toughness came in, you know.
It's a character of the man, really amazing.
When he won the next race after Jimmy's death,
the Spanish Grand Prix, that was fantastic.
Come back and hit them where it hurts straight away.
It came down to the very last race in Mexico City.
And we raced...
and Graham won.
And that was when he won his 1968 Championship.
It was the right thing.
He was a very worthy and a very good World Champion for the sport.
And he was very much the people's champion.
Very much the people's champion.
Graham's second World Championship cemented his popularity
throughout the entire world.
But nowhere was he more revered than at Monte Carlo.
Going to Monte Carlo was like going home.
It really was.
Coming out of the Hotel de Paris
and walking down that hill to the pits,
people were throwing roses at Graham.
I was quite emotional about the fact that they loved him so much.
And they did, you know.
"Graham Hill!" You know.
And he used to wave away.
He just loved it.
And then, of course, the moment he got there with his car,
When he won there for the final time,
that was really, absolutely, the pinnacle of his career.
And that really was absolutely his stage, you know,
and he just sort of bestrode it like a colossus, quite honestly.
Graham Hill was Mr Monaco.
I mean, he won the Monaco Grand Prix five times
and it was kind of his patch.
The penniless part-time mechanic from north London
had indeed come a long way.
By the end of the '60s, you know, my father was a wealthy man,
and he was enjoying the spoils of success.
That shifted him into another arena.
You see, I think he was starting to find
that there was a Graham Hill that didn't need to race a car.
He used to do a lot of work for charity, a lot of work for charity.
And of course, there was always the dinner dances to go to.
And people enjoyed his company.
What I thought I'd do, I thought I'd bang on for a bit,
and then if you have any questions that you might like to ask,
I'll give a little opportunity to get them in.
But don't worry if you can't think of any,
because I've got several that I can ask myself
and I'd like to know the answers to anyway.
Graham was incredibly funny and had a great turn of words,
and had that po-face that suddenly would open up
and break into the most fantastic smile.
And he stood up, looked around,
and with his little smile he could put on, said, "Ladies and gentlemen,
"it gives me great pleasure..."
And sat down!
I find it very difficult to talk really seriously
for any length of time on any one subject
without slipping in something ridiculous.
I find I really can't do that.
It's as though I'm sending myself up, you know.
If I start to think, "Well, you pompous twit,
"banging on like this," and then, you know,
slip something in which breaks it down.
He broke up any sense of pomposity or...he just broke the ice.
-He broke the rules.
-Yeah, exactly, broke the rules.
Graham appeared to be living a charmed life,
but as a glorious decade of achievement drew to a close,
his luck finally ran out during the American Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
Car turned upside down, Graham got thrown halfway out
and his legs went the wrong way from his knees.
Just cracked his knees in the wrong direction. A hideous accident.
He could have lost his knees,
but they were absolutely brilliant there at the hospital.
They had to give him something like five pints of blood
before they could fly him back to England.
He was very ill.
Very seriously ill.
And when I arrived at the hospital,
there were all these girls in his ward, you know, in his room.
And television cameras. And I said, "What are these people doing here?"
We went and saw him in hospital and there was banners everywhere
wishing him well, and there was press,
and he almost seemed to be involved in some sort of carnival.
His name is Graham Hill, and here he is!
I'd like to say how sorry I am that I didn't dress for dinner.
I've got a cast right up to here, I don't know whether you can...
No, no, I don't want to look, no thanks!
Graham, are you going to be driving again?
Well, I expect to be, yes.
I mean, it was like, "Great, now I can show everyone
"how determined I am to get well again."
And that's exactly what he did.
Up here, in, and straighten.
Hard, and keep your toes up.
Now turn your toes down here, out,
and bend under the bed as hard as you can. Good.
Just coming up to 3.2 miles.
His aim, you see... he always had an aim,
and that was to race in March in South Africa.
Graham wasted no time in getting back to the things he loved,
and in typical style, was determined to fly,
even before he could walk.
He had, by then, started to shoot.
He'd go to a pheasant shoot, and he had a Land Rover.
And on the top of it he had put, like, a secretary's circulating seat,
so he could swing around if the pheasants were flying.
It must have been enormously painful, because, in those days, you know...
modern knee surgery is still one of the most painful things to have.
And he endured that and then went back to drive racing cars.
No, it's all right.
I think a mark of Graham's extraordinary enthusiasm
and extraordinary will to go racing
was the fact that he came back at all after that accident.
Yeah. Well, me...
-That heel rest isn't... isn't belted in.
-No, it's not.
Graham had by now been replaced at Team Lotus,
but an opportunity to race in 1970 was provided
by private entrant Rob Walker.
I didn't really want him to do it, but I couldn't stop him.
But it was very hard, very hard for all of us.
Motor racing regulations today
would never allow a driver in Graham's condition
to take part in a Grand Prix.
Nonetheless, he managed to bring his car home
in a point-scoring sixth place,
a performance that Graham himself ranked amongst his very best.
He couldn't get out of the car at the end of the race.
They had to lift him out of the car.
Incredible, wasn't it?
With the new decade came a new generation
of talented young drivers.
And a more familiar face had finally come of age.
With Jackie Stewart now is a former world motor racing champion,
his rival and colleague, Graham Hill.
Firstly, Jackie, I'd like to congratulate you
on your fantastic success this year.
You won six Grand Prix, which is, you know,
it's hogging it slightly. What do you...
How do you view...
I mean, there's...seven Grand Prix is the sort of record.
You're obviously hoping for this.
Where do you think you could have done it and it didn't happen?
I don't think that's a fair question.
Actually, what I think it did to him was make him realise
that he wasn't as young as he would like to be.
By whatever standards you apply,
Graham was over the hill by '71, '72.
I mean, the fat lady was beginning to sing, really.
A miserable two-year stint with the fledging Brabham team
did nothing to enhance his trophy collection.
And now, in his early 40s, questions concerning his retirement
began cropping up with increasing regularity.
Graham's response was clear.
He confounded his critics with a remarkable win at Le Mans,
becoming the only racing driver in history
to win the famous 24-Hour Race, the Indy 500
and the Formula 1 World Championship,
a feat that is unlikely ever to be equalled.
Back in the Formula 1 paddock, it meant nothing.
Hard-nosed team bosses were looking to the future,
and Graham was yesterday's man.
In fact, nobody was prepared to give him a drive
and pay him for doing it.
The only way Graham could stay in Formula 1,
it became apparent, was to operate his own car and his own team.
Graham was without doubt one of the most experienced drivers around.
But as far as managing a racing team was concerned,
he was venturing into new waters.
I did actually read about it. I must confess, I thought you were mad.
I mean, you know, we just wonder, really,
if you honestly have thought out just what a job you've taken on,
-because it is different, it's a hell of a challenge.
You've got to be in the front office and the back office,
stage director, driver and the whole shooting match.
Yes, I'm beginning to find out
the cost and the economics of motor racing.
That was incredible hard work and a great struggle,
and I wish that when he started doing it, that I had said to him,
but I didn't dare, "Don't do it."
You reckon there's no way we can get there
now we've had to dismantle the car and then take the engine off?
No. We've just got a lot of work to do.
And we need more time to do it.
-That's very disappointing, isn't it?
Graham's time was rapidly running out.
Each day in his life was an exercise in juggling his many roles.
Racing driver and team manager, husband and father.
He had an office at home,
and I feel that that's where he, if he was going to have a mood,
that's where he would shut the door and that's where he would do it.
No, I knew, I think when he was in the office and the door was shut,
-you left him there.
-He was working.
-He was working.
He would have been in the office,
which, we had a little office by the front door, and it was just stuffed
with pictures and papers, and so to see my dad,
you'd have to go into the office, and so I'd toddle in there,
and he'd be on the phone,
and I think my memory of him is that he was on the phone a lot!
He loved his motorbikes.
When he'd come home, I used to go out with the bikes
with daddy and Damon, and you could see that he was actually relaxed,
just standing up on his bike,
going up and down hills and just enjoying himself.
Yeah, I remember lots of joy with him...
which was lovely.
Such moments were short-lived.
All too soon, there was another problem to solve,
another deadline to meet, another race to run.
By the mid '70s, Formula 1 had changed.
There was more frustration and aggravation, perhaps,
than fun involved,
and the days when a team could be run by a former driver
were really fast ebbing away.
And when a racing driver, even a great racing driver,
gets to a situation in his career where he's driving an also-ran,
which, even with the best good fortune in the world,
you're not going to cut it.
And I think that arrived for Graham at Monaco '75,
when he, ironically, demeaningly, failed to qualify.
'It's a very, very disappointing game.
'It's a shatteringly disappointing game.
'You can really be doing well,
'and every time something lets you down,
'the car lets you down, something fails.
'And you just never seem as though you're going to win a race
'or get anywhere.'
It's always difficult to know when to stop, though.
He just didn't want to give it up.
And then, of course, he had to.
Couldn't race and run the team as well. Very hard.
He realised that the gung-ho, jolly japes,
jumping in a racing car and racing your mates thing,
he'd have to say goodbye to, and that was hard, I think, for him.
Well, I do miss it and I miss, as I say,
the physical sensation of controlling a racing car
through corners and down straights,
and I've missed the competitive stimulus that it gives also,
and also trying to do it better than somebody else.
And something I've done for so many years, almost all my adult life now,
and now I've got to look forwards,
and I've got to make myself another life, if you like.
And of course, I'm still running my own Formula 1 team.
And so, I'm still in motor racing.
I haven't cut the ties like that, you know, I'm still in there.
But in a different role altogether.
He'd thrown himself into this new project, race team,
which took up more of his time.
And I was getting to the age, I was 15, so I was just...
I'd been to a few races with the team and I was getting into it.
And I can remember him packing to go testing,
getting his kit together, and I'd go off to school.
That was the last time I saw him.
He was flying back from the Paul Ricard circuit
with his mechanics and his young driver with him.
And he crashed, tragically and fatally for everyone on board.
'At daylight, with fog persisting,
'the detailed investigation got underway.
'What is known is that, as the plane came in over the golf course
'toward Elstree Airfield, it was already too low.
'In dense fog, it clipped a group of trees,
'hit the ground and careered along the fairway to the 4th green.'
I was watching television with my sister, Samantha,
and a news flash came on the television.
Damon came through the kitchen door and said,
"Mummy, they say there's a plane crash at Elstree,
"and they think it's Daddy."
Just as I got there, the phone went.
And that's when I kind of knew this was not good.
And so that's really when our world was pretty smashed to bits.
At his funeral, which was at St Albans Abbey,
I don't think I've ever seen so many people.
There were so many people, and there were barriers,
and there were just people, you know, it was just a huge event.
And...you know, this was... this was our daddy, you know?
Couldn't quite get to grips with that.
To lose a friend like that,
and the character of Graham,
was just so shattering, unbelievable.
For me, that was the saddest day of motor racing.
30 years on from the accident, a small group of family and friends
have gathered outside the Hills' former home in north London.
The occasion is a special one, for Graham is about to be honoured
by the unveiling of an English Heritage blue plaque.
Well, I'd like to welcome you all on behalf of English Heritage,
This is, in fact, the first ever plaque to a racing driver
that we've unveiled, and actually one of the very few plaques
to a sporting personality,
so it really is a very special occasion today.
He's still very much in people's memory,
and I think that's wonderful. He hasn't disappeared.
He really did enjoy his life,
and I have a belief that racing drivers never die.
The spirit's too strong and they never go away,
and I still see Graham regularly, as I do a whole lot of friends,
and he's still the same.
Many people loved him, many people loved him.
And he had a quality, a humanity, I think,
which is the thing that makes sportspeople transcend whatever it is
that they've done, and I think my dad had that ability
to transcend just the mere fact of being a sportsperson.
Graham, you have one son, Damon.
Are we ever going to see another Hill in the sport?
Would you like to see Damon in goggles and helmet?
Frankly, I don't think I would, no.
I'm honestly sure that it makes me the only woman in motor racing
that has a World Champion husband and a World Champion son,
which is very special, isn't it?
Now, unfortunately, the man who polled the most votes this year
is a man who, for reasons you all know, cannot be with us tonight.
He's a man who established a record
that will never be equalled, I feel, in motor racing.
He won five Monaco Grand Prix. His name is Graham Hill and here he is.
Well, you seem to be having a fairly jolly time.
You're laughing a lot, I notice.
Anyway, I don't know what's going to happen to you lot after this,
but...the rest of the evening for you,
but I know what's going to happen to me.
I'm going to have a couple of little darlings come in and rub my bottom.
So, if you can beat that, good luck!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
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