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Summary

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

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A Champion and a Gentleman

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.

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URGENT EDITING REQUIRED

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.

7 people found this helpful

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Needs an editor, badly.

So.... I had high hopes for this book however I was left dissapointed
Firstly the book has a very strange structure in that it spends the first 4+ hours with Damon laboriously recounting his childhood in a detail that would only interest a family member.
2. The writing is bloated and repitive. There are sentences which are followed with sentences repeating the same point or recollection - it's frustrating and further wastes the time of the listener.
3. I respect and appreciate Damon's battles with mental health and his frankess about the effect his father's death had on him and his struggles throughout his life. However I began to feel like I was Damon's therapist rather than his audience...the endless initial section of the book around his childhood and death of his father reaches a point where the listener begins to considering jumping ahead to the section of his career when he was a racing driver, not a grief stricken despatch rider who couldn't sustain relationships very well.
4. The narrator is perfectly serviceable in terms of narration, he is not good or bad but merely adequate. The issue with the narration is that no effort has been made to get the names of locations and persons correct, the narrator blunders through pronunciation without a care - leaving the audience annoyed and frustrated. It felt cheap and rushed.

In conclusion avoid this unless you want to hear a turgid and introspective tale which becomes self indulgent and boring very quickly. Even the tales regarding his time in F1 feel cold and uninteresting. Damon sites his lack of charisma as effecting his career in F1, unfortunately as an author his problem remains. I refunded my purchase.
I would highly recommend Hill's new book with Johnny Herbert in which he comes across as much less introspective and inward looking.

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Don't be put off by the sluggish start!

When I started listening to this book I was a little concerned it might not live up to expectations, but once you get into it you'll find it is a very compelling listen.

I think it really benefitted from Damon having time to really assess his life to date before writing it.

A wonderful window into the remarkable story of attaining world championship success against all the odds.

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  • JG
  • 13-01-21

Expected a bit more on the races

Although this was an enjoyable book I was left wanting a bit more about the actual racing, that is after all why most of us bought the book. He spends a lot of time talking about his father and their relationship and then glosses over whole years of his F1 career in just a few minutes. Seems to be more of a self healing exercise rather than a book aimed at fans.

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brilliant

I just keep listening to this, time and time again, fantastic story! absolutley insightfull! 100%

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Watching The Wheels

Fascinating insight behind the scenes of Damon's career, highly recommended. A must for Formula One fans

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great listen

Very good insight to Damons life.
the tears laughter and cheers for are F1 Champion.
only problem about chapter 20 Narrator ends the book ....

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Brilliant!

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.

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Amazing - beyond my expectations

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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 28-04-21

simplemente espectacular!

gran narrativa, detalles interesantes, lado humano de la f1 gracias Damon por contar tu historia