Damon Hill claims George Harrison’s Hindu monks’ blessing clinched him F1 title
Damon Hill has told how he finally won the Formula One world title after Beatles legend George Harrison organised a blessing by Hindu monks.
The British driver won his only world championship in 1996, when he finally got the better of bitter rival Michael Schumacher and Jacuqes Villeneuve, when he clinched the title in the final race of the season in Japan.
But rather than take all the credit for his success, Hill joked that he won because his pal Harrison arranged the blessing to help him get over the line.
The legendary rockstar, who died of cancer aged 58 in 2001, organised for the monks to chant the driver to victory while he also sent some burnt offerings to boost Hill's championship bid.
Hill, 60, said: "That's why I won. It worked didn't it? It must work.
"George was so into helping, he wanted to help people and make things turn out good.
“He did a bit of chanting for me. He sent me a video of the monks chanting and sent me the burnt offerings.
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“I think Johnny (Herbert) was even chanting for me a little bit."
Herbert, 56, and Hill, who have released a book together, spoke warmly of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and said his diminutive size was a regular source of amusement among the drivers in the paddock.
The businessman, who became a dad at the age of 89 in July, stands at just 5ft3in.
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Herbert said: "You could do that (mock his height). He had a sense of humour. I've always found him a gent.
"He's tough, but he had to be tough."
Hill added: “He can sometimes come across as quite callous and mean-spirited, but he’s got a great sense of humour.
“He’s a kind of genius, he was able to plate spin at the same time and catch them before the fall.”
Lights Out, Full Throttle by Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill is available now in hardback and ebook from all good bookshops.
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