Mumbai, January 7, 2014: The 11th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be run on January 19, 2014 will be graced by F1 World Champion Damon Hill. Promoters Procam International today announced Great Britain’s Damon Hill, 1996 World Champion and Michael Schumacher’s main rival for the Formula One Drivers’ Championship during the mid-90s as the International Event Ambassador of USD 360,000 prize money Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
Damon Hill, son of late Graham Hill, and the only son of a World Champion to win the title, has had 122 Grand Prix entries, 22 Grand Prix wins, 42 Podiums, 20 Pole positions and 19 Fastest laps in his F1 racing career.
Damon Graham Devereux Hill was born on September 17, 1960, two years before his father Graham won his first driver’s title, the second coming in 1968.
The death of his father in a plane crash in 1975 left the 15-year-old in drastically reduced circumstances and Damon worked as a labourer and motorcycle courier to support his further education.
Hill started his Grand Prix career during the 1991 season as a test driver with the championship-winning Williams team while still competing in the F3000 series.
In 1996 the Williams car was clearly the quickest in Formula One and Hill went on to win the title ahead of his rookie teammate Jacques Villeneuve, becoming the only son of a Formula One champion to win the championship himself. Taking eight wins and never qualifying off the front row, Hill enjoyed by far his most successful season. At Monaco, where his father had won five times in the 1960s, he led until his engine failed, curtailing his race and allowing Olivier Panis to take his only Formula One win. Near the end of the season, Villeneuve began to mount a title challenge and took pole in the Japanese Grand Prix, the final race of the year. However, Hill took the lead at the start and won both the race and the championship after the Canadian retired.
Hill equalled the record for starting all 16 races of the season from the front row, matching Ayrton Senna in 1989 and Alain Prost in 1993. Sebastian Vettel holds the record for the highest number of front row starts in a season, with 18 in 2011.
Damon Hill will be in Mumbai from Thursday, January 16 till event day and hopes to inspire the younger generation of Indian sportsmen to work hard for glory. Overcoming adversities from early in life, Damon Hill climbed the pinnacle of success, following up his exploits on the F1 tack with sound business acumen.
When Williams made Damon Hill a Formula One driver, despite his undistinguished racing record, Frank Williams said it was because he was “a tough bastard” and he admired his “fierce inner determination.”
During his visit to Mumbai Haile will meet with the sponsors and partners, the elite athletes, encourage the amateur athletes and later on spread the message worldwide about the event and the running movement in the country.
Damon Hill’s association with the event is in line with Procam International’s efforts to bring to India some the world’s most accomplished sportsmen to raise the profile of the sport of distance running. Some of the luminaries who have been event ambassadors in the past include names like haile Gebrselassie, Michael Johnson, Mike Powell, Linford Christie, Paul Tergat, Steve Ovett, Gail Devers, Dame Kelly Holmes, Dan O’Brien, Cathy Freeman, Kapil Dev and Vijay Amritraj to name a few.