We hope that Damon Hill’s misfortunes have changed with his first championship point at the British GP. But without wishing to denigrate Damon, I believe his early-season form sets an historic precedent.
In the first six F1 races this year Hill, the World Champion, failed to finish. It appears that, leaving out years when a Champion did not compete the following season, having either retired, like Hawthorn in 1959, Stewart in 1974 and Prost in 1994 or, sadly, due to accident, no-one has had such a dismal record. After Hill, the next worst first five results for a reigning World Champion were Ascari’s two retirements in the Maserati in 1954, out of two starts, and Piquet’s fifth place for Brabham out of four starts in 1984.