Williams co-founder Patrick Head says that Damon Hill’s shock departure from the British outfit on the finish of 1996 was triggered by the F1 world champion’s huge monetary calls for.
Hill had secured the world title with Williams in 1996 and was seeking to money within the achievement, suggested by his supervisor who carried out the contract negotiations with Frank Williams for 1997.
However the cavalier angle of Hill’s consultant at a gathering at Grove and the driving force’s colossal monetary calls for put a swift finish to the talks.
“He [Damon] had a behavior of taking over some pretty uncommon characters and he took on a type of supervisor referred to as Michael Breen,” recalled Head, reminiscing on the previous on F1’s newest Past the Grid podcast.
“As a substitute of Damon coming in himself, Michael got here in and he wasn’t probably the most charming of characters.
“He put his briefcase on Frank’s desk, and he was the type of character that if he may have put his boots up on Frank’s desk he would have executed so.
“He was an boastful piece of labor and he stated to Frank, ‘Damon is not going to take into account driving for you for something lower than a determine that was 5 occasions his 1995 wage’.
“Frank thought, and there was an ungainly silence, it will need to have been one or two minutes of full silence, and stated, ‘Michael, I recommend you’re taking your briefcase off my desk, the door is there. Please go away’.
“It is an amazing pity that Damon could not are available himself as a result of we may have truly talked to him.
“Frank stated, ‘We higher begin fascinated with different drivers’, and Frentzen was one of many different drivers. That they had this concept that Frank had signed Frentzen effectively earlier than that, nevertheless it wasn’t the case.”
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In hindsight, Head reckons that Williams and Hill have been fallacious to half methods, whatever the cash difficulty.
“It was a serious error and perhaps egos and issues received in the way in which,” Head added. “In ’95 he most likely ought to have received the World Championship.
“Numerous issues received in the way in which of him profitable the title, however when Damon got here again in 1996 he was as match or fitter than Michael. Damon had put proper any doable issues.
“I believe in ’95 Damon felt inferior to Michael however within the winter of 95/96 he had put all that proper, whether or not it was health or being gurued by someone.
“He got here again considering I’m pretty much as good as Schumacher and I can beat him. I believe it is crucial for a driver to really feel psychologically as robust as another competitor.”
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