Funny how your perspective can change, isn't it? This time 10 years ago Damon Hill was a true-blue British sporting hero. He was back-page news for the papers and felt the full force of pressure that comes with a nation's expectations.
It was something that, at times, when things were going badly, he resented.
Now he is witnessing the emergence of a new British hero, who looks certain to have the same impact on his country's collective conscience - and perhaps surpass Hill's fame and success.
It's early days for Lewis Hamilton, of course, and we must be very careful not to expect too much. But it is not just the British press and race fans who are excited by his obvious promise. Lewis is big news around the world - or at least the parts where Formula One has a foothold.
In an interview for this week's issue of Autosport magazine, Hill made it very clear to me that we should all give Hamilton the time and space to develop. We must be patient - both the press and the public.
Lewis Hamilton signs autographs © XPB/LAT
Quite right. But he also pointed out something that really fascinated me. Britain's last F1 world champion, having long moved out of the national limelight, has joined the rest of us.
Hill is no longer the driver batting away the distractions of fame and fortune in an effort to focus on the job in hand.
Damon is now part of the very establishment he sometimes resented. Like everyone involved in British motorsport, he is anticipating the knock-on effects of Hamilton's expected success. And it's a role reversal he's only too obviously aware of.
"Now, as the president of the BRDC I see the sport as a business and it is clearly good for us to have a British driver doing well because it should mean more people come to Silverstone," he says.
"But when I was a driver I had no interest in that. My priority was to score 10 points - or was it nine points in those days? I can't remember!"
So his head is with the rest of the world, but his heart is with Hamilton. Lewis doesn't care about his impact on the sport. As a sportsman, all he is worried about is his own form, the next test, the next race. And so he should.
Hill can appreciate that. He won't forget the highs and lows of those intense seven years when he was one of the most famous sportsmen in his country. For the guy in the middle of the hurricane, that is enough to deal with.
I asked him whether it got to the point where he found it hard to walk the streets. "It depended on where I was," he answered. "Normal things do become more complicated. But you have to be careful - you don't want to turn into Howard Hughes walking on tissue paper!"
Hill was always a grounded man, even when the hurricane was at its fiercest. Hamilton will do well to take note of his example.
The current break in the F1 race schedule has given Lewis the perfect opportunity to draw breath. And with McLaren's obsession with protecting him from any press intrusion, we in the media have been made to work hard to think of ways to keep the biggest story of the motor racing year fresh. Hence the calls to Nigel Mansell and Hill in the past week!
But at least those of us in the specialist press have been able to look elsewhere in the sport for juicy stories. And for a British magazine such as Autosport, Robbie Kerr's end-of-season run of success in A1GP has been a great diversion.
Spectators show their support for Robbie Kerr at Brands Hatch © XPB/LAT
Last weekend, Kerr enjoyed a little taste of what Hamilton will experience at the British GP in July. OK, so the crowd and media interest in A1GP is on a much smaller scale than F1, but for one weekend Robbie could bask in the spotlight at Brands Hatch. He was the main man.
And he lived up to expectations too, with a great pole position for Team GB and a crowd-pleasing sprint race win on Sunday morning. And his valiant defeat at the hands of Team Germany in the feature event had all the dramatic ingredients of better-known British sporting endeavours.
But now the A1GP season is over. As the Hamilton media circus winds up again ahead of the Spanish GP, Kerr will slip back into the shadows. He doesn't have a drive for the rest of the season.
What a contrast he faces from this week to last. And how harsh it is for a driver who has always battled against the (financial) odds to further his racing career.
I'm not suggesting for one moment that Robbie Kerr is the equal of Lewis Hamilton. They haven't raced against each other, for starters.
But one thing's for sure - Robbie deserves better than to be on the sidelines until A1GP starts up again in September (and even then he's not guaranteed to be back in the Team GB car).
The trouble is, he is facing harsh reality: motor racing often has little to do with deserving. Countless drivers have faced Kerr's plight over the years. You win races and championships - Kerr took the British F3 title back in 2002 - but it doesn't necessarily fast-track you to Formula One. That's life.
A good professional career in something should be Kerr's destiny, even if it isn't in F1. He'd do well in America, or in sportscars.
But will he ever be centre of attention again the way he was at Brands last weekend? Perhaps not.
Then again, his A1GP journey has given him experiences that many drivers never get near. What he's managed is a significant achievement in itself.
Meanwhile, on another level, Lewis Hamilton awaits the next instalment of his incredible story. And it's a story that is only just beginning.