Phil Hill, the first American to win the Formula 1 world driving championship, has died at the age of 81. Hill cemented his legend by winning countless races in dominating fashion. Besides being the first American to win a Formula-1 race, he also was the first to be F1 champion. Only Mario Andretti shares that distinction. Hill was also the first American to conquer the 24hrs of Le Mans. He enjoyed a long and storied career during the most dangerous era of motorsports, all without suffering a single serious injury.
Hill passed away on Thursday morning in Monterey, California. He had been hospitalized following the Pebble Beach weekend. Hill had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some years, but had insisted on attending Monterey this year because his long-time racing friend Dan Gurney was being honored at The Quail. Phil Hill will be remembered as a legend. His accomplishments set a pattern of winning that spanned a half century career. A true champion.
Phil, you will be missed.