Seven former F1 racers – a Formula 1 World Champion, a three-time Grand Prix winner, and four ‘coming men’ – will all make appearances in some different racing cockpit very soon.
Damon Hill, winner of the 1996 World Championship, has confirmed he’ll make his first ever return to racing in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup support event for the DTM round at Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time. It will be the Englishman’s first race outing since he retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 1999 season.
Hill will be joined by fellow ex-F1 racers Julian Bailey, Perry McCarthy, Martin Donnelly and David Brabham in the tin-top event, with McCarthy convincing his fellow drivers to join the fray and help raise funds for Hill’s Halow charity.
Hill – who competed regularly against fellow ‘rat pack’ racers McCarthy, Donnelly and Bailey during their early racing careers – admitted that he will no doubt be very “rusty” on his return to racing.
“Perry, Julian and I are coming out of retirement for this race,” he said. “we are sure to be pretty rusty. But it promises to be a great weekend for all friends and family to get together and a great way to draw attention to the aims and objectives of the charity. I am looking forward to it.”
Former Grand Prix winner and occasional FIA Steward Johnny Herbert has also announced that he will have three outings in the Italian Superstars International series, in which he competed last year.
The three-time race-winner has confirmed that he will compete in a Maserati Quattroporte for the Swiss Racing team, as team-mate to fellow ex-F1 runners Mika Salo and Christian Fittipaldi. His first outing will be at the championship’s round at Donington Park.
And former Jaguar and Williams F1 driver Antônio Pizzonia will also make a return to the cockpit at the upcoming American Le Mans Series 6-Hour event at Laguna Seca.
The Brazilian – who has more recently been racing in the Stock Car Brazil championship as well as exploring a career in triathlons – will get behind the wheel of an LMP2-class Nissan run by Conquest Racing, partnering Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier Hansson.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Conquest Endurance this weekend,” Pizzonia has said.
“It will be my first experience with this car and also with this type of racing but I have experience in many categories, which will be helpful in this situation.”