Having overseen one of the most important and successful periods in the history of both the British Racing Drivers' Club and Silverstone, Damon Hill has announced that he plans to stand down as BRDC president at the club's AGM in August.
The 1997 F1 world champion was appointed to the role in 2006 and, during his tenure, the BRDC has not only secured the long term future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone by striking a 17-year deal with Formula One Management, but has also overseen major developments to both the circuit and venue, including significant revisions to the Grand Prix layout in 2010 and the opening of the Silverstone Wing, the circuit's £27 million state-of-the-art pit and paddock complex last month.
Additionally, the BRDC has also secured the rights to host Britain's rounds of both the FIM MotoGP World Championship and Superbike World Championship, and launched the BRDC SuperStars programme to support young British racing talent, an initiative that Hill is passionate about.
“It has been a great privilege and honour to serve as BRDC president since 2006," Hill admitted, "As a club and business, we can be immensely proud of everything we have achieved for British motorsport over the past few years.
"The BRDC and Silverstone face a stable and exciting future, so the timing is right for me to hand over the reins and devote more time to my family, my own interests, and the racing career of our son, Josh. However, I remain a committed member of the BRDC and look forward to watching the club go from strength to strength.”
Under Hill's presidency, the BRDC has enjoyed better relations with F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, something that others have noted with appreciation.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the superb work that Damon has carried out since his appointment as BRDC president," club chairman Stuart Rolt said, "We owe him an immense debt of gratitude for the commitment and energy he has put into being the public face of the club, and therefore Silverstone, at times of uncertainty and then great optimism. We will miss his low key, no nonsense approach to life, and wish him all the best.”
BRDC members were made aware of Hill's decision to stand down in a notification of the impending AGM, while the board announced its unanimous support for existing director Derek Warwick as a candidate to take over the presidency.
“The board is delighted that Derek is willing to offer himself for election as BRDC president," Rolt continued, "In Derek, we have another hugely experienced, yet down to earth, genuine racer. In addition to his on-track success and recent work as a director of the BRDC, Derek has been heavily involved in the management of the BRDC SuperStars and he very much shares Damon's passion for supporting young British drivers.”