Embassy Racing With Graham Hill, commonly abbreviated to Embassy Hill, was a short-lived Formula One team started by two-time Formula One World Champion Graham Hill. The team debuted in 1973 with a customer Shadow DN1 car, and began racing as a constructor with its own chassis in 1975. The team had limited success in three seasons of racing, but everything was cut short by the death of Hill, Tony Brise and some of the team's top personnel in the crash of a light aircraft in the autumn before the 1976 season. The team was sponsored by Imperial Tobacco's Embassy cigarette brand and ran under various names during its time.

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill
Full nameEmbassy Racing With Graham Hill
BaseUnited Kingdom
Founder(s)Graham Hill
Noted driversUnited Kingdom Graham Hill
United Kingdom Tony Brise
Australia Alan Jones
Germany Rolf Stommelen
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1973 Spanish Grand Prix
Races entered41
Race victories0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
Final entry1975 United States Grand Prix
Hill as a Formula One chassis constructor
Formula One World Championship career
EntrantsEmbassy Hill
First entry1975 Spanish Grand Prix
Last entry1975 United States Grand Prix
Races entered11
Race victories0
Constructors' Championships0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0

History edit

1972–73 edit

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill first came into being when Graham Hill decided to leave his previous team, Brabham, unhappy with the atmosphere there. He announced in late 1972[1] he was starting his own team, acting as owner and driver. Setting up shop in a warehouse based on an industrial estate in Hanworth, West London, Hill formed a small team of around 20 engineers and mechanics. Securing sponsorship from Embassy, Hill started operating a team with cars purchased from Shadow. Things did not go well that year: the team's best finish was ninth at Zolder, being the last finisher among 9 cars (the former World Champion also started 23rd of 23 cars that race).[2]

1974 edit

The chassis for 1974 were bought from Lola, and designated as the Lola T370. Graham Hill drove throughout the season and scored a point at the 1974 Swedish Grand Prix, but this was to be the team's only point that season. The second car was driven by Guy Edwards, and later Peter Gethin and Rolf Stommelen.

1975 edit

The T370 was still being used at the beginning of the 1975 season, until the team's new car was ready. The new car for 1975 was initially designated as the Lola T371,[3] but when designer Andy Smallman left Lola to work full-time for Embassy Hill it was renamed the Hill GH1.[4] Smallman's design drew heavily from the design of previous year's Lola cars.[1]

Unfortunately, the second race of the GH1 at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix[5] was marred by the collapse of Rolf Stommelen's rear wing mounting, which pitched his car into the crowd and killed four people. Stommelen was injured in the accident and did not return until the second half of the season. He had been leading the race comfortably before the crash.[6]

After failing to qualify at the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix, a race he had won five times, Hill no longer drove the cars himself, and his driving role was taken over by Tony Brise. Brise, considered a rising star,[7] finished sixth in the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix and qualified sixth for the 1975 Italian Grand Prix.

Alan Jones took over the second car for most of the races that Stommelen missed; Jones finished fifth place in the 1975 German Grand Prix.

François Migault and Vern Schuppan were also behind the wheel of the second Hill that year.

Hill GH2 edit

The GH2 was the first Formula One car that Andy Smallman designed from scratch specifically for Graham Hill's team, and it was intended for use in the 1976 World Championship season.[8] It was intended to replace the previous model, the Hill GH1, which had started life as the Lola T371. The GH2 used the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine, and featured a much smaller and streamlined chassis which resembled the Brabham BT44 and McLaren M23. Tony Brise began testing in the late summer of 1975 at Silverstone, and the times indicated the team could hope for a successful season. During the final test session at Paul Ricard in November 1975, the GH2 was performing well, being much faster than the GH1 and set up changes had made the car easy to drive. The test successful, the team packed up and flew back to England.[9]

After the deaths of Graham Hill, Tony Brise, Andy Smallman and Ray Brimble in November 1975, the GH2 project came to a halt. However, a GH2 was still built and is now in a British automobile museum.

End of the team edit

On the evening of 29 November 1975 Graham Hill was piloting an Embassy Hill Piper Aztec light aircraft from France to London. His passengers were team manager Ray Brimble, team driver Tony Brise, designer Andy Smallman and mechanics Terry Richards and Tony Alcock. They were returning from Circuit Paul Ricard where they had been testing the Hill GH2 car being prepared for 1976. They were due to land at Elstree Airfield before onward travel to London to attend a party. Shortly before 10pm the plane hit trees beside a golf course at Arkley in thick fog. In the ensuing crash and fire everyone on board was killed.[10][11] As the team now only consisted of Allan Turner, the deputy team manager, and two mechanics it was impossible to continue.[12][13] Most of the team's assets were purchased by Walter Wolf and merged with those of Hesketh Racing and Williams to form Wolf's new team.[14]

Complete Formula One results edit


Year Chassis Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points WCC
1973 Shadow
  Graham Hill Ret 9 Ret Ret 10 Ret NC 13 Ret 14 16 13
1974 Lola
  Graham Hill Ret 11 12 Ret 8 7 6 Ret 13 13 9 12 8 14 8
  Guy Edwards 11 Ret DNQ 12 8 7 Ret 15 DNS DNQ
  Peter Gethin Ret
  Rolf Stommelen Ret Ret 11 12
Lola T370   Graham Hill 10 12 DNQ DNQ
  Rolf Stommelen 13 14
Lola T371 7
GH1 Ret 16 Ret 3 11th
  Vern Schuppan Ret
  Alan Jones 13 16 10 5
  François Migault NC Ret
  Graham Hill DNQ
  Tony Brise Ret 6 7 7 15 Ret 15 Ret Ret

Formula One Non-Championship results edit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Driver 1 2 3
1973 Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 ROC INT
  Graham Hill Ret
1974 Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 PRE ROC INT
  Graham Hill NC Ret
  Guy Edwards 9
1975 Lola T371 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 ROC INT SUI
  Rolf Stommelen 9
GH1 12
  Graham Hill 11

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Embassy Hill". www.grandprix.com. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Hill & back". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Hill GH1 Cosworth". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  4. ^ Ewald, Klaus (2006). "Hill Ford GH2". research-racing.de. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  5. ^ "THE CHAMPIONS / More than Mister Monaco: Graham Hill – all-rounder extraordinary". Autosport. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
  6. ^ "Barcelona 1975: Scary doesn't make a start". ESPN.com. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  7. ^ Tremayne, David (August 2006). The Lost Generation. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 1-84425-205-1.
  8. ^ Tremayne, David (December 2000). "So little time". Motor Sport magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Death Of The Dream - 1976 Hill GH2 Ford". Carmrades. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  10. ^ BBC, This day in history-- 1975: Graham Hill killed in air crash.
  11. ^ Graham Hill, 46, Retired Racer, In Fatal Crash Piloting His Plane. UPI News Service. 1 December 1975 (Monday) New York Times archive
  12. ^ "Motor racing legend Graham Hill killed in a plane crash". The Guardian. London: Guardian Newspapers. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  13. ^ Bardon, P. "Report on the accident at Arkley Golf Course". AAIB Formal Reports. Air Accidents Investigations Branch. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Embassy Hill". RetroGP. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2020.