The year 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Damon Hill's coronation as Formula One world champion. For the first time ever, he tells the story of his journey through the last golden era of the sport, when he took on the greats, including Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, and emerged victorious as world champion in 1996, stepping out of the shadow of his legendary father, Graham Hill.
Away from the grid, Watching the Wheels: My Autobiography is an astonishingly candid account of what it was like to grow up as the son of one of the country's most famous racing drivers. It also tells the unflinching story of dealing with the grief and chaos that followed his father's tragically early death in an aircraft accident in 1975, when Damon was 15 years old.
Formula One drivers have always been aware of their mortality, and the rush that comes with the danger of racing was as intoxicating for Hill as it had been for his father's generation, until he came face-to-face with catastrophe when his teammate, Ayrton Senna, was killed in 1994. Hill was faced with swirling emotions in light of the death of Senna, which was a defining moment for his generation of drivers, and for the first time ever Hill talks candidly about the impact that Senna had on his life, even as he watched his own son step into motor racing.
Courageously honest and hugely rewarding, Watching the Wheels is a return to the last golden era of F1 racing, whose image still burns ferociously for those who love the sport for what it reveals about human skill in the face of or near certain death.
©2016 Damon Hill (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
This is a brilliant book.
However 3 hours and 33 minutes left it is interrupted by several retakes of audio. The narrator says sorry a few times before re reading sections. PLEASE look at this before too many people download this book.
As a fan of Damon's back in the glory days of F1 it was humbling to be allowed to enjoy such a frank honest appraisal of his time in F1. It was fascinating to learn of his struggles in formula 1 within the context of the mental challenges he has been put through. From the years leading up to his father's tragic accident right the way through to his tough (and from the outside, confusing) final year at Jordan, this book is fascinating for its motoring and human insights.
OK, I wouldn't normally read books about people. Books for me are fiction; escaping from reality. However, this book changed my view. The honesty, and intelligence with which it is written is extraordinary. I have. Nothing to say, but please read this!!! (What let's it down however, is the messy editing of the recording; leaving the middle part of the book confusing due to studio error I imagine; as an X broadcaster myself. I'm sure you will never read this Damon, but thank you!
So sorry to say I actually can't finish this book. I've got to around one third of the way though and couldn't continue so maybe it gets better. The content is good it's just so boring that it's not entertaining. I am a fan of racing and grew up watching Damon hill so I wanted to like this. Lewis Hamilton's book is much much worse though so at least that's something. If you want to listen a really good F1 book read Mark Webber's one!
A really interesting and inspiring insight into Damons life experiences, mind and the world of Formula One. After reading this I respect his achievements even more, a true champion! Damon, thank you for sharing.
Enjoyed that greatly and brought back memories of a time when I enjoyed F1 as well as a great behind the scenes look at F1. Now to figure out what the tree was...
I've always liked Damon, and my favourite period of F1 is the build up and climax of his World Championship challenge in 1996. He came across to me as a nice guy on an upward trajectory to fame, fortune and happiness. Hill is the son of a twice world champion, and I figured that must have helped. In some respects it did, but in many it had a very negative effect. In a fascinating book, that only serves to increase my liking for Damon Hill, it becomes clear that November 29th 1975, the day Graham Hill died, defined much of what was to follow. Just how that plays out is fascinating.
While most of the material is naturally focussed on motor racing, and formula 1 in particular, his domestic life and it's accompanying trials and successes lead to what feels like a rounded picture. If there is anything disappointing for me, it's that the audio version wasn't read by Damon himself, although Paul Panting does a perfectly good job. As others have mentioned, recording outtakes have found their way into the released copy. It may be fixed by now. In any event, it's no big deal - just amusing.
Wonderful insight to what I have always thought a very private man . Had the chance to say hello to Damon at Brands in the DTM paddock a few years back .
Thank you Damon
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