15th February 1929 – 29th November 1975
Norman Graham Hill was one of the greatest drivers of his generation, and is known for being the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, an achievement which he defined as winning the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. Wins in the most prestigious races of all three of the major disciplines of motor racing cemented Hill's position as one of the most complete drivers in the history of the sport.
Born in Hampstead, London, Hill did not actually pass his driving test until the age of 24. After meeting Colin Chapman at a race meeting, Hill joined the fledgling Lotus team, first as a part timer, then as a full time mechanic and eventually, as a driver. By 1958 Lotus had decided to make the step up to Formula One, but their cars proved slow and unreliable.
Hill at BRM
After two years driving for Lotus, the ambitious Hill joined the Owen Racing Organisation in 1960, and would race the BRM team's cars for seven years, until the end of the 1966 season. Although his first two seasons with BRM were unsuccessful, he went on to win the World Championship in 1962, and was runner up in 1963, 1964, and 1965, before moving back to Lotus, where he again won the World Championship in 1968.
The seven years that Graham Hill spent at BRM were by far the most successful that the team had known, or would ever know. It brought BRM its only World Championship, and it brought the team ten of its seventeen Formula One victories.
Hill won at Monaco with such frequency in the 1960s that he became known as "Mr. Monaco", with victories in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969. Hill's victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1969 would be his last in Formula One.
Hill crashed later in 1969 at the United States Grand Prix and was seriously injured, breaking both his legs. Although he would recover and continue to race until 1975, his career would never again reach the same heights.
He set up his own team in 1973, operating under the name Embassy Hill. He continued to race, but after failing to qualify for the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix he retired from driving to concentrate on the day to day operations of the team.
Hill was also a well liked television personality in his own right. He was frequently seen on television screens in the 1970s in a non-sporting capacity, appearing on a variety of programmes including panel games.
Graham Hill died on 29th November 1975 at the controls of his Piper twin-engined light aircraft when it crashed near Arkley, while on a night approach to Elstree Airfield in thick fog. On board with him were five other members of the Embassy Hill team who all died.
Graham and his son Damon were the first father and son pair to win Formula One World Championships.