For­mula 1: it’s a never-end­ing story

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

or where it should be go­ing. Was the Bard right? Is it all sound and fury, sig­ni­fy­ing noth­ing? Or was he wrong? Per­haps it signies us as an amaz­ing species? Per­haps it makes man­i­fest the in­cred­i­ble po­ten­tial, cre­ativ­ity and de­ter­mi­na­tion, in­ven­tive­ness, com­pet­i­tive­ness, tenac­ity and courage of hu­mans, like some ul­ti­mate cave paint­ing, leav­ing an in­deli­ble mark on our minds that says: we were here, we did this, we are alive. I be­lieve there are ed­i­fy­ing as­pects to our sport, if only we’d spend a lit­tle more time ad­ver­tis­ing them. But then it wouldn’t be F1.

My fa­ther had a phrase he’d of­ten turn against his oc­ca­sion­ally whing­ing kids: “No such thing as can’t.”

‘No such thing as can’t,’ is the motto of F1.

Surely there has never been a tribe of peo­ple who have been as un­stop­pable as F1 peo­ple? Okay. I ad­mit, 66 years is not the Ro­man Em­pire, but it is built on the same stuff, he­roes and myths. It ex­alts the most ex­cel­lent driv­ers of the past and hails the new cham­pi­ons. It has cre­ated its own mo­men­tum and is pro­pelled by its history into the fu­ture.

But if I may rewind the clock for a sec­ond, there is a story I would like to re-tell.

In the early 1950s, there was a man who was des­tined to be an or­di­nary man work­ing on a lathe for a com­pany in Eng­land. Then he read an ad­vert offering a few laps of Brands Hatch in a rac­ing car for a pound a lap. So he spent what lit­tle money he had and did it. Out of the blue. It was in those few laps that ‘the bug bit’ to use his phrase. What bug? Speed? Power? Adren­a­line? What­ever. He gave up the lathe and set his sights on get­ting more of ‘it’. That man was my fa­ther and to this day, Gra­ham Hill OBE, is the only driver to have won all three ma­jor mo­tor­sport ti­tles: the Indy 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours, and the F1 world cham­pi­onship. It is a feat un­likely to be beaten, un­less Jac­ques Villeneuve gets a de­cent seat at Le Mans, which is un­likely, but if he does, I’ll be there. You bet, Jac­ques!

The date of the last race of 2015, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is 29 Novem­ber; it marks an un­for­tu­nate an­niver­sary – one most likely to send a shiver down the spine of those af­fected by the accident 40 years ago that ended the lives of Gra­ham Hill and the key per­son­nel in his team: Ray Brim­ble, Tony Al­cock, Terry Richards, Andy Smallman and Tony Brise.

Burns had a good line to de­scribe it: ‘…grief an’ pain for promis’d joy’. The team were go­ing places. They might have been a McLaren or a Wil­liams of to­day. But life doesn’t al­ways work like that. There are no rules that obey the dreams of man, only innite pos­si­bil­i­ties. Gra­ham Hill’s team, Em­bassy Rac­ing, made in­stant history, but it is part of the whole story of F1 and that story, like the cos­mos, is be­ing born and de­stroyed all the time.

I tease Sir Jackie Ste­wart that he won three ti­tles and the Hills also have three, but that if we add my 22 wins to Dad’s 14, we have won more grands prix [Sir Jackie won 27]. But we are squab­bling over sec­ond place, since history, be­ing the do­main of the vic­tor, is be­ing writ­ten by Lewis Hamil­ton now, with three ti­tles and more wins and poles than all but the very spe­cial few. Who knows where his story is go­ing? You see, the story never ends and it doesn’t have a script. Won­der­ful, isn’t it?

Lewis Hamil­ton now has 43 For­mula 1 vic­to­ries to his name, putting him be­hind only Alain Prost and Michael Schu­macher

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