It would have been great to get my 22nd victory, but we have shown all the field a clean pair of heels. This is a bloody good result and everyone should be pleased with it It’s nice to be at the front again You feel so much better about yourself. You know you’re getting noticed there.”I can look back at this weekend with a lot of satisfaction I never doubted my ability The team’s got to be happy and I’m happy for them. It’s a shame for him he didn’t get the win.”Hill, with only one point from his season before yesterday, served notice of his prospects with third place in qualifying. Once he had darted past the Ferrari of the championship leader, Michael Schumacher, on the 11th lap, he was able to pull away and build what seemed an insurmountable advantage.Ferrari, Williams and the rest were simply outclassed, and even the late, fiendish twist of fate could not persuade him he should be downcast.Hill said: “This is a day to celebrate.
Bridgestone tyres work particularly well and the Yamaha engine, its lack of horse power not exposed, completed the ideal package. The team were understandably frustrated at being denied their first Formula One win at the 299th attempt.But Hill found cause for celebration. His performance earned the admiration of the crowd and opposition alike Villeneuve said: “It’s amazing to see Damon up here He was flying. Hill had his maiden success here four years ago and his record over the past five seasons now reads: two wins and three second places. His smooth, technical application to the particular demands of this twisting track was evident again yesterday.Arrows, too, responded to the potential promised by these contours with a perfectly balanced car.
He made it to the line, but by then Jacques Villeneuve, in a Williams-Renault, had swallowed up his 34-second advantage to seize crucial extra points in the championship.Even the Canadian, however, acknowledged this had been Hill’s race. The Englishman, intent on returning to the title fray next season, presented the most emphatic reminder of his credentials on the circuit that has long been his domain. A combination of factors explain the apparently inexplicable. He had produced the most improbable performance of the season to dominate the race at the wheel of the often-ridiculed Arrows-Yamaha.
The win he deserved suddenly began to slip from his grasp three laps from the end.