Damon Hill will race in tomorrow's French Grand Prix after he, and four other non-qualifiers, were given a reprieve by the race stewards.

The Jordan driver - along with both Minardis and both Arrows - failed to make the 107 per cent time after a downpour made the Magny-Cours circuit almost undriveable, and his car suffered two exhaust fires. Although Hill only missed out by a mere 2/1000ths of a second, he remained at the mercy of the officials until all five drivers were re-instated as a concession to the conditions.

"Today illustrates the difficulties that I have been going through," Hill said, "and shows why I have announced that I am going to retire. Normally I enjoy driving in the wet, but not today. I must say that these were the worst conditions I have ever experienced in a qualifying session."

Hill's misfortune only adds to the suggestion that he may stand down from the Jordan team after his home grand prix at Silverstone in two weeks' time, despite insisting that he will see out the season.



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