Sports letter: A worthy contender

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The Independent Online
From Nicholas Brandon

Sir: The reporting of Damon Hill's collision with Michael Schumacher in the British Grand Prix has been a little wide of the mark. The facts, from someone who actually saw the incident, are that Schumacher ran very wide towards the bend and Hill, scenting blood and in full knowledge that he was in the faster car, was tempted to try to overtake. Probably having seen Hill trying this in his mirrors, Schumacher turned into the bend. The inevitable collision occurred.

Who stood to lose more from this incident? Not Schumacher, who came away from the race still 11 points ahead. Hill suffered in scoring no points, when in reality he should have picked up 10.

The more cynical may postulate that Schumacher, faced with the likelihood of Hill beating him, decided to lure him into making that challenge. With Hill committed, he simply turned into the corner already armed with the excuse of having the racing line. The fact that both drivers were reprimanded by the stewards is, in itself, an indication Hill was not fully to blame.

For my money, in Hill we have a driver who is more than worthy of being world champion. In Schumacher, you have a driver who seems unable to overtake for the lead without the aid of pit-stops, and who, just maybe, is incapable of accepting that, on occasions, he's second best.



London SW19

17 July