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Sunday, July 11, 1999 Published at 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK


Silverstone honours Hill

Hill thrilled the crowd during the incident-packed race

Damon Hill brought motor-racing fans to their feet as he completed the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in what could be his Formula One farewell.

The sell-out 100,000 crowd roared as the British former world champion finished fifth - a result that could make him change his mind about retirement.


[ image: Hill qualified in sixth place]
Hill qualified in sixth place
Hill, 38, had said he would call it a day at Silverstone, but later hinted that a good race on Sunday could persuade him to stay on until the end of the season.

After the race, he would not be drawn on whether he planned to retire immediately.

"I'm not going to decide today," he said. "We're going to have a few beers and think about it."

And when asked whether he would decide over the next few days, he joked: "I'm a little deaf actually. I can't hear you."


[ image: If he retires he will have more time to spend with wife Georgie]
If he retires he will have more time to spend with wife Georgie
However, Hill clearly enjoyed what will certainly be his last outing at Silverstone.

"A good race does a lot for your motivation," he said.

"It was very memorable and I'm glad I was able to put up a fight. The whole weekend's been absolutely brilliant and the fans have been fantastic."

The 1996 champion last won a Formula One race in Belgium last year.

The uncertainty over his future has left Jordan team boss Eddie Jordan bewildered.


[ image: Hill was world champion in 1996]
Hill was world champion in 1996
"After France we didn't know whether he was going to race Silverstone," he said. "Then I understood Silverstone would be his last race and we would have a big farewell.

"Then, the other night, he told me he wanted to see the season through. It's difficult because as a team we need a firm structure and to know where we are going."

Jordan has reportedly chosen 22-year-old German Nick Heidfeld to replace Hill for the rest of this season if he quits.

Wacky races

It is not clear what Hill, who lives in Dublin with his wife Georgie and four children, will do next.

When he announced his retirement, he said he had "fulfilled every ambition".

Recently, he has presented a Channel 5 television series called Wacky Races, which features races with objects such as armchairs.

Two of his other hobbies are surfing and playing the guitar.

He used to play in a punk rock band called Sex Hitler and the Hormones, and now jams with former Beatle George Harrison. He played on Def Leppard's latest album.





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