Damon Hill today held a press conference to explain why he has decided to quit Formula One.


The Jordan driver shocked parts of the F1 world last week when he announced he was to retire at the end of the year, and took time out of his French GP preparations to talk to the media about his reasons.


"I didn't jump to this conclusion," he said, "I had been in two minds for a while and it is no good, if you are a Formula One driver, being in two minds about anything. I knew I could not go on, and do my best, if I was not enjoying it any more. It is time to stop when that happens.


"I have enjoyed my time in Formula One, but there comes a time for everyone - and I think the time has come for me - when the enjoyment factor has decreased enough to affect my performance."


Hill went on to say that he had begun to realise how much he was missing his family due to grand prix commitments, and that the amount of work he was having to do in testing was becoming too much.


"The testing tipped the balance," he admitted, "I want to do better in my duties as a father than I have been able to do while racing in Formula One."


Asked about the rumour that he may decide to quit before the season had finished, Hill confessed that it had crossed his mind, but only briefly. Nevertheless, he refused to rule out the possibility that this may be the way things turn out.


"I still want to go out with a bang," he said, "It would be a great way to finish with a win in Suzuka, but I don't want to damage Jordan's prospects this year."


In good humour to the end of a press conference he arrived over an hour late for, he pointed out that this season may still hold a surprise or two.


"If I drive like that - the way I have just now to get here - Eddie [Jordan] is certain of getting third place in the constructors' championship this year!"

 

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