28 MAY 2016
Phil Hill made his Formula 1 debut in a rented Maserati at the 1958 German GP, the race
in which Ferrari’s team leader, Peter Collins, was killed. That forced Enzo to put Hill in a
Dino 246 for the Italian and Moroccan GPs. The American earned a podium in both races.
HILL’s FERRARI F1 YEARs
HIT RATE CHAMPIONsHIP
1958 1959 1960 1961 1962
Hill started 31 grands
prix for Ferrari between
1958-’ 62. His three GP
victories came on the
daunting Monza (twice)
and Spa tracks, and
were backed up by an
impressive 13 other
Ferrari was on the
back foot in 1959-’ 60,
making Hill’s fourth-and fifth-place points
finishes all the more
noteworthy. In ’ 61, he
made the most of the
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perfectionist blessed with a
photographer’s eye and a piano tuner’s
ear, Phil Hill neither broke a bone, nor
drew blood during motor racing’s most
dangerous and unforgiving age.
This modest man with much to boast
about wondered aloud if “He’d not been
trying hard enough.”
Neatly bookending with victories a
career of 18 years, he scored the final
victory for a front-engined grand prix car
and the first international win for a sports
But…he never hit the bricks at Indy.
Which perhaps explains – but certainly
doesn’t excuse – why he’s seldom
mentioned in the same breath as a
Mario Andretti, or a Dan Gurney.
Though he kept the same Santa Monica,
Calif., address throughout his life – although
he was born in Miami, Fla., in April 1927 –
Europe was where it was at for this Kappa
Sigma opera lover. But that’s not to say
he was afraid of getting his hands dirty.
He dropped business admin at USC in
favor of unpaid work as a mechanic’s
car carrying a high-mounted rear wing.
Hill was the first American to win the
24 Hours of Le Mans and, 55 years on
from the feat, he remains the only
American-born Formula 1 World Champion.
He finished second in a wild, wild, wild
Carrera Panamericana, broke the
sub-nine-minute barrier at the
Nürburgring, marked his farewell
open-wheel race – not that he knew it at
the time – by overtaking Jim Clark and
Jack Brabham, and set a fastest lap at
Le Mans, despite a swirling morning mist.
Hill let Mike Hawthorn
into second at the ’ 58
Morocco GP, giving his
Ferrari teammate the
title by a single point.
(MAIn) Phil Hill’s first
grand prix win came
in 1960 at Monza. It
was the last Formula 1
GP victory for a