Phil Hill

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Phil Hill
File:Phil Hill + Jackie Stewart 1991 USA.jpg
Hill (left) and Jackie Stewart at the 1991 United States Grand Prix
FIA Super Licence Flag of the United States United States
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1958 Formula One season - 1964 Formula One season, 1966 Formula One season
TeamsMaserati, Ferrari, Cooper Car Company, Porsche, Automobili Turismo e Sport, Team Lotus, Anglo American Racers
Races51 (48 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions1 (1961 Formula One season)
Career points94 (98)[1]
Pole position6
Fastest lap6
First race1958 French Grand Prix
First win1960 Italian Grand Prix
Last win1961 Italian Grand Prix
Last race1966 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans-1967 24 Hours of Le Mans
TeamsRees T. Makins
Scuderia Ferrari
Aston Martin
Ford Motor Company
Carroll Shelby International
Chaparral Cars
Best finish1st (1958 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans)
Class wins3 (1958 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans)

Philip Toll Hill, Jr., (April 20, 1927August 28, 2008) was a United States automobile racer and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. Hill was described as a "thoughtful, gentle man" and once said, "I'm in the wrong business. I don't want to beat anybody, I don't want to be the big hero. I'm a peace-loving man, basically.[2]



Born in Miami, Florida, Hill was raised in Santa Monica, California, where he lived until his death. He studied Business administration at the University of Southern California in 1945-47 but left early to pursue auto racing, working as a mechanic on other drivers' cars.[3] Hill began racing cars at an early age, going to England as a Jaguar (car) trainee in 1949 and signing with Enzo Ferrari’s team in 1956. He made his debut in the 1958 French Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux France in 1958 driving a Maserati. That same year, paired with Belgium teammate Olivier Gendebien, Hill became the first American-born winner of the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans [4] with Hill driving most of the night in horrific rainy conditions. He and Gendebien would go on to win the famous endurance race again in 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Hill driving for Ferrari at the 1962 German Grand Prix.

Hill began driving full-time for the Ferrari Formula One team in 1959, earning three podium finishes and fourth place in the Driver's Championship. In 1960 he won the 1960 Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the first Grand Prix win for an American driver. The 1961 Formula One season, Hill won the 1961 Belgian Grand Prix and with two races left trailed only his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips in the season standings. Tragically, a crash during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix killed von Trips and fifteen spectators. Hill won the race and clinched the championship but the triumph was bittersweet. Ferrari's decision not to travel to America for the 1961 United States Grand Prix deprived Hill of the opportunity to participate in his home race at Watkins Glen International as the newly-crowned World Champion. When he returned for 1962 Formula One season, his last with Ferrari, Hill said, "I no longer have as much need to race, to win. I don't have as much hunger anymore. I am no longer willing to risk killing myself."[2]

After leaving Ferrari at the end of 1962 in the great walkout of engineers, he and fellow driver Giancarlo Baghetti started for their new team Automobili Turismo e Sport. Hill continued in Formula One for a few more years until he switched to Sports car racing with Ford Motor Company and the Chaparral Cars of Jim Hall (race car driver).

Phil Hill has the distinction of having won the first (a 3 lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG T-type on July 24 1949) and last races of his driving career, the final victory driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in England in 1967.

Following his retirement, Hill built up an award winning Classic car restoration business in the 1970s called Hill & Vaughn with business partner Ken Vaughn, until they sold the partnership to Jordanian Raja Gargour and Vaughn went on run a separate business on his own in 1984. Phil remained with Gargour at Hill & Vaughn until the sale of the business again in 1995.[5] Hill also worked as a television commentator for American Broadcasting Company's Wide World of Sports (US TV series)[6]

Hill had a long and distinguished association with Road & Track magazine. He wrote several articles for them, including road tests and retrospective articles on historic cars and races. He shared his "grand old man" status at R&T with '60s racing rival Paul Frère, who also died in 2008.

Hill, in his last years, devoted his time to his vintage car collection and judged at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance more often than any other individual; 2007 was the 40th time he had judged the event. [7]

Hill was married to Alma, and had three children: Derek, Vanessa and Jennifer.[8] Derek raced in International Formula 3000 in 2001 International Formula 3000 season, 2002 Formula 3000 season and 2003 Formula 3000 season, but was forced to retire when Hill became ill with Parkinson's Disease.

After traveling to the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 2008, Hill was taken to a hospital, where he died after a short illness from complications of Parkinson's Disease in Salinas, California on August 28th.[9]

Formula One World Championship results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Pts.[1]
1958 Formula One season Jo Bonnier Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 1958 Argentine Grand Prix
1958 Monaco Grand Prix
1958 Dutch Grand Prix
1958 Indianapolis 500
1958 Belgian Grand Prix
1958 French Grand Prix
1958 British Grand Prix
10th 9
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari Dino 156 Ferrari V6 engine 1958 German Grand Prix
1958 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ferrari Ferrari Dino 246 Ferrari V6 engine 1958 Italian Grand Prix
1958 Moroccan Grand Prix
1959 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 256 Ferrari V6 engine 1959 Monaco Grand Prix
1959 Indianapolis 500
1959 Dutch Grand Prix
1959 French Grand Prix
1959 British Grand Prix
1959 German Grand Prix
1959 Portuguese Grand Prix
1959 Italian Grand Prix
1959 United States Grand Prix
4th 20
1960 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 256 Ferrari V6 engine 1960 Argentine Grand Prix
1960 Monaco Grand Prix
1960 Indianapolis 500
1960 Dutch Grand Prix
1960 Belgian Grand Prix
1960 French Grand Prix
1960 British Grand Prix
1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
1960 Italian Grand Prix
5th 16
British Racing Partnership Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Coventry Climax Straight-4 1960 United States Grand Prix
1961 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 engine 1961 Monaco Grand Prix
1961 Dutch Grand Prix
1961 Belgian Grand Prix
1961 French Grand Prix
1961 British Grand Prix
1961 German Grand Prix
1961 Italian Grand Prix
1961 United States Grand Prix
1st 34 (38)
1962 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 engine 1962 Dutch Grand Prix
1962 Monaco Grand Prix
1962 Belgian Grand Prix
1962 French Grand Prix
1962 British Grand Prix
1962 German Grand Prix
1962 Italian Grand Prix
6th 14
Porsche in motorsport Porsche Porsche 804 Porsche Flat-8 1962 United States Grand Prix
1962 South African Grand Prix
1963 Formula One season Automobili Turismo e Sport Automobili Turismo e Sport ATS 100 Automobili Turismo e Sport V8 engine 1963 Monaco Grand Prix
1963 Belgian Grand Prix
1963 Dutch Grand Prix
1963 Italian Grand Prix
1963 United States Grand Prix
1963 Mexican Grand Prix
1963 South African Grand Prix
NC 0
Ecurie Filipinetti Team Lotus Lotus 24 British Racing Motors V8 engine 1963 Monaco Grand Prix
1963 French Grand Prix
1963 British Grand Prix
1963 German Grand Prix
1964 Formula One season Cooper Car Company Cooper Car Company Cooper T73 Coventry Climax V8 engine 1964 Monaco Grand Prix
1964 Dutch Grand Prix
1964 Belgian Grand Prix
1964 French Grand Prix
1964 British Grand Prix
1964 German Grand Prix
1964 United States Grand Prix
1964 Mexican Grand Prix
19th 1
Cooper Car Company Cooper T66 Coventry Climax V8 engine 1964 Austrian Grand Prix
1964 Italian Grand Prix
1966 Formula One season Anglo American Racers Anglo American Racers Eagle Mk1 Coventry Climax Straight-4 1966 Monaco Grand Prix
1966 Belgian Grand Prix
1966 French Grand Prix
1966 British Grand Prix
1966 Dutch Grand Prix
1966 German Grand Prix
1966 Italian Grand Prix
1966 United States Grand Prix
1966 Mexican Grand Prix
NC 0


  • In 1991, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
  • He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America as the sole sports cars driver in the inaugural 1989 class.

Primary career victories :

  • 24 Hours of Le Mans (3) : 1958, 1961, 1962
  • 12 Hours of Sebring (3) : 1958, 1959, 1961
  • 1000km Buenos Aires (2) : 1958, 1960
  • 1000km Nürburgring (2) : 1962, 1966
  • F1 Italian Grand Prix (2) : 1960, 1961
  • F1 Belgian Grand Prix (1) : 1961


  1. 1.0 1.1 Up until 1990 Formula One season, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see List of Formula One World Championship pointscoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Daley, Robert (1963). The Cruel Sport.
  3. Jim Peltz, Phil Hill dies at 81; only American-born driver to win Formula One title, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008.
  4. "Phil Hill, a Racing Legend at Odds With the Sport at Times, Is Dead at 81". New York Times. 2008-08-28. Retrieved on 2008-09-13. 
  5. Glenn Vaughn - Restoration Services, Inc
  6. 8W - Who? - Phil Hill
  7. Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance : People
  8. "American racing legend Phil Hill has died". 2008-08-28. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. 
  9. "Phil Hill, 81; first U.S.-born driver to win Formula One title". Los Angeles Times. 2008-08-28.,0,6287854.story?track=rss. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. 


  • Daley, Robert. The Cruel Sport. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jack Brabham
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1961 Formula One season
Succeeded by
Graham Hill
Preceded by
Ron Flockhart (auto racing)
Ivor Bueb
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1958 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Carroll Shelby
Roy Salvadori
Preceded by
Olivier Gendebien
Paul Frère
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1961 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Olivier Gendebien
Phil Hill
Preceded by
Olivier Gendebien
Phil Hill
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1962 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Ludovico Scarfiotti
Lorenzo Bandini
Personal tools