Damon Hill

Damon Hill

Damon Hill is a former Formula One Grand Prix racing driver from Great Britain. He started his racing career on motorbikes in 1981 before moving onto single seater racing cars in 1985 at the age of 25, after some small successes. By 1989 he was racing in the International Formula 3000 championship, although he never won a race at that level.

At the start of his career, he would prepare his racing bikes himself before personally towing them to and from the races that he competed in, sleeping in a tent in between events. He joined Formula Ford racing in 1985 but didn't have too much success despite showing a lot of promise. He started racing in Formula Three, and, although he didn't produce many victories, his personality attracted the likes of Sir Francis Owen Garbett “Frank” Williams, the founder and team principal of the Williams Formula One racing team. Williams made Damon a Formula One driver, and has since said that it was because of his fierce determination and because he was a “tough b***ard”. Damon attributes these qualities to his parents, especially his father Graham Hill who was also a racing driver, and feels he needed them to endure and overcome the hardships of his racing career and life.

His first year in Formula One was not too successful. Driving a rather uncompetitive car on an improvised team, Hill only qualified twice in eight races. At the same time he was working a testing role with Williams, and a car that he helped to develop driven by Nigel Mansell won the 1992 driving title. This lead to Hill replacing Mansell in Formula One when Mansell left to race IndyCars in America.

in 1993 Damon's Formula One career really picked up. He won three races and finished third overall to his teammate Alain Prost who then retired. Prost's replacement was Ayrton Senna who was unfortunately killed in his third race with Williams, which then meant that Williams had to step in as the team leader which he did successfully, rebuilding morale and pushing the team forwards in the wake of the tragedy.

Damon's biggest rival was Michael Schumacher, and in the 1994 championship they collided during the final race. This has been a somewhat controversial moment in Formula One history as some people think that Schumacher crashed on purpose to eliminate the competition, allowing him to take the championship by a single point.

In 1996 he won the driving title after winning eight out of sixteen of the races. In 1998 he moved to the Jordan Racing team and won their first title. He finished his racing career in 1999 with Jordan. He currently works for the Sky Sports Formula One broadcasting team.

During his rollercoaster career for Formula One, Damon Hill has undeniably left a huge impact in the racing community and has been a role model for many drivers in the competition since. The Williams' name is well regarded thanks to his humble attitude and unrivalled contribution to the sport.



Drifting is a technique where the driver will intentionally oversteer the car to lose traction in the rear wheels or even all the tired, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of the corner. It occurs when the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the corner as the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle. The slip angle is when angle between a rolling wheel's direction ofd travel and the direction towards where it is pointing. This is also known as opposite lock or counter steering.

Drifting has become a competitive sports, first popular in Japan in the 70s and expanding worldwide ever since. The technique has become more popular as people have become more aware of it due to exposure in the media in films such as The Taste and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Initial D (which is a Japanese Anime series) and even in the 2006 Disney Pixar movie Cars during the race in the Desert. There also have been multiple computer games that have heavily featured the driving technique from as early as Sega Rally and Ridge Racer to more modern games such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport. It heavily features in the Need for Speed franchise and the Juiced franchise. One could also argue that the power sliding technique in the Mario Kart games is also a form of drifting.

Competitions are not so much just races between competitors, but also a judgement of their technique. Drivers are awarded for driving line, angle, speed, style and show factor which can include factors such as smoke, risky manoeuvres such as driving close to walls or designated clipping points and also the crowd's reaction. Judging usually only takes part on a very small section of the circuit on a series of interlocking corners that provide good viewing, and the rest of the track is almost irrelevant except for maintaining tire temperatures and setting up the vehicle for the first judged corner.

Cars set up for drifting are more often than not light weight rear wheel drive coupes and sedans operating on a large range of different power levels. Occasionally, four wheel drive vehicles have been modified so that they become rear wheel drive - a good example of this is the Suburu WRX which has featured in several drifting competitions. There are a lot of Japanese imported cars used in drifting competitions, although the trend these days is to use vehicles local to the country of the competition or the competitor.

To perform a drift you have to combine two primary driving techniques; clutching and braking. A common technique is when approaching a corner the driver will push in the clutch and drop to second gear before revving the engine to around 4500 rpm. As the clutch is then released there is a large surge in power to the wheels as the engine is spinning too quickly which makes the back wheels spin quickly and lose traction, swinging the back of the car into the turn. The driver can also use the emergency brake (also known as the handbrake) when entering a turn which causes the back wheels to lock up and lose traction. This can actually also be performed in a front wheel drive. To control the drift without spinning the car is the hardest part of the manoeuvre and requires a lot of practice to pull off using a combination of throttle and steering motions.

Driving economically

fuel station

Driving a car seems to be becoming one of the most expensive things to do these days, but there are a number of ways you can limit the amount you spend in doing so. Initially, when purchasing your car, you can look into things like fuel consumption, value for money, maintenance costs and which insurance bracket the vehicle lands in (depending on what country you intend to drive it in), however even after this there are methods to cut the cost of your daily commute. Depending on your vehicle and dedication, the following techniques could save you an average of 10% of your driving costs, and potentially up to 30% according to the AA.

You should always have your car checked regularly to ensure that your engine is performing to the top standards. By checking you are using the correct grade of oil and that your tyre pressure is sufficient, you will also get more miles to the gallon of fuel.

There's also preparation you can do your vehicle before you even turn it on. By cleaning out your car regularly and ensuring there is no extra weight that you will be pointlessly transporting, you will be saving on fuel. You can better streamline your car by removing roof racks and accessories to reduce the air resistance and drag created by your vehicle. You can de-ice your car in the winter with a scraper instead of heating up the car, although this is sometimes inefficient, and visibility and safety should always come first. Also, careful planning of your trip will ensure that you don't get lost and waste fuel trying to get to your destination.

Something else worth considering is the distance. If it's only a short trip into town, is it even worth using the car? Most vehicles use the most fuel when stopping and starting around cities and by taking a walk or using your bike instead you will not only be doing your wallet a favour, but also the environment.

When it comes to actually driving your car, there are a few techniques that reduce consumption. Ensure your ride is overall smooth and gentle - accelerate and brake gradually where possible. Carefully reading the road and staying alert is key to braking slowly and safely, and also a general good driving practice. Deceleration while in gear is much better than braking sharply.

If you can avoid stopping and starting by keeping your car moving at slow distance, this will cut your consumption dramatically. By slowing early for traffic lights or traffic build up you may eliminate the need to stop altogether.

Air conditioning and other electrics use a lot of fuel. When travelling slowly it is much more efficient to open the window, and even more efficient to remove those extra layers that your'e wearing. You can turn off the heating systems, radios and fans when you don't need them to make your fuel last longer.

By driving to the speed limit you will also reduce your consumption. The difference in fuel consumption between 60mp/h and 70 mp/h is on 9% on average, and up to a further 25% between 70 mp/h and 80 mp/h.

Whatever you do, ensure that you put your safety and safety of everybody around you before your economic savings, however by following some simple and easy changes to your driving routines, you can save yourself substantial amounts of cash.

Driving on sand

driving on sand

The vast majority of 4x4 vehicles don't often see the likes of the terrain they were built to withstand, but there is a whole world of technical driving, obstacles and mud to conquer for those willing to stretch their car's abilities beyond the school run. Every driving surface has different properties and should be tackled differently, and it helps to have a little knowledge before putting into practice. In countries such as New Zealand and Australia there are hundreds of kilometres of drivable beaches, and with offload driving escapes such as Fraser Island on offer, sand is a surface that, for some people, is not so far from home.

The first thing you should do once you have reached sand is to de-inflate your tyres a little, down to 15 or 20 psi, maybe even 10 psi for really soft surfaces. This will allow for extra grip on the softer surface. Once you are back onto hard ground, however, you must remember to re-inflate these at your first opportunity as the lack of air will have serious consequences on your cornering, braking and control abilities on the asphalt.

Sand can come in many shapes and forms, but perhaps the most difficult to tackle is when it is particularly soft. The problem is that the surface is so loose and so your wheels can struggle to gain a grip, and the more you push forwards the deeper they will dig into the ground, making it more more difficult to escape the more you try to help yourself. The first tip here is to lower you gear. If that doesn't work, and you're really stuck, it pays to have something like an old rug in the back which you can put under the wheels to provide some extra grip. Failing this, there may be some fallen tree branches around or something that nature has provided to put under your car to try to pull it out.

When driving on the beach there are a number of hazards to look out for. Firstly, salt water can cause very expensive damage to your car, and so try to avoid splashing in the shallows, and always keep an eye on the tide times and know of risk areas on your journey to avoid getting washed out to sea or stranded. Washouts on the beach are often well concealed and can cause major damage to your car, potentially even rolling it. Also, with a lack of road markings, make sure all of your intentions are clear to other drivers.

The best sand on the beach to drive on is the damp sand that is close to the ocean, without actually driving in the water. This is harder, more compact and closer to driving on the hard surfaces your car is most comfortable driving on.

On inland trails, it is a little more difficult. Often it will feel like your car is trying to steer itself, but the trick here is not to resist too much. Your wheels will almost always follow the tracks left by the previous driver, but always be aware that you need to be in control of the car and not let it be in control of you. Attack any particularly soft sections with a little bit of speed and confidence once assessing that it is safe to do so to avoid getting stuck.