Listen to the extraordinary story of America's first F1 champion Phil Hill, 60 years on from his title triumph
Exactly sixty years ago, Phil Hill became the first American to win the Formula 1 World Championship after triumphing for Ferrari in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. But that moment of monumental personal achievement was extraordinarily bittersweet, because at that very same race team mate and title rival Wolfgang von Trips lost his life, along with scores of spectators, in a devastating crash.
As F1 heads back to Monza this week, F1 podcast Beyond The Grid pays homage to Phil Hill – who sadly died in 2008 – via his son Derek Hill’s fantastic recollections. He tells host Tom Clarkson how his father coped with both the greatest victory of his life and the dreadful loss of a friend a rival.
He also describes in vivid detail his father’s beginnings as a mechanic and hot rod enthusiast in California, and how that led, via sportscar racing in the US, to an invitation to race in Europe for Enzo Ferrari. With fascinating insights into his father’s unique character, struggles with self-esteem and driving style, this is Phil Hill’s extraordinary F1 story...