MOTOR RACING: Hill offers few clues as he returns to work

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The Independent Online
ANOTHER DAY, another turn of the Damon Hill saga. Now the former world champion is hinting that he may continue to race after the British Grand Prix.

Hill was back in his Jordan Mugen yesterday, testing ahead of the Silverstone race. He declared himself content with the car and his work, and insisted he had wanted all along to compete in his home event.

He was adamant he had not been influenced to race on by money, the pressure of sponsors, emotions or pride. He suggested, rather, that others had been eager to truncate his career. There remained uncertainties about the second half of the season, he said, but he was not necessarily going to bow out after Silverstone. "As we stand here, the British Grand Prix will be my last race," Hill said, "but if we manage to sort out the car..."

Hill appears to be leaving the door open despite his comments before and after the French Grand Prix last Sunday. The team owner, Eddie Jordan, reacted by summoning Jos Verstappen. It is apparent the Dutchman failed to convince the team he was up for the task and Jordan had a change of mind. Hill, for all his expressed doubts and poor form, suddenly looked a better option.

Hill said: "There has been a reasonable degree of, shall we say, shenanigans recently. I am really sorry for the confusion and that people have been misled or misinformed as to what the true story is, and sorry for creating, or there being created, a lot of fuss about this event. It has always been my intention to compete in the British Grand Prix. I am of sound mind and completely happy to be here. I have not shown myself to the best but I am looking for a way out and up - not a way to slip out of the back door.

"Rest assured, I am not doing the British Grand Prix for profit. I am giving every penny I make out of Hill's Sport Merchandising to charity. I wouldn't do the race if I thought I would suffer some sort of emotional trauma. I would hope that if that were the case someone would drag me out of the car.

"There are no bravado reasons. That would be the wrong reason for motor racing, to prove a macho point. It is not out of pride. And I'm not doing it for the sponsors. I want to do this for the right reasons, for myself."