The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a festival open to all racing fans that takes place during a weekend break in between the Formula 1 races. The festival not only showcases old school Formula 1 cars but also different types of races that range from motorcycles to road cars. Many current and retired Formula 1 drivers along with fans take this weekend opportunity to fully enjoy the experience of all things racing.
The festival weekend started off slightly different this year due to the weather, but nonetheless the festival was able to continue throughout the weekend. On the Friday of the festival, the winner of the LeMans 24 hours race is able to showcase their winning cars in front of all of the spectators. There is then a qualifying shootout that happens in order to set the place for Sunday’s main event. One of the festival's most outstanding features is the central display that is made to go with the theme of the year’s festival. This year’s theme celebrated Porsche’s 75 years as a sports car company.
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The festival is known for hosting its hill climb race, in which different teams are able to set a time for the fastest time in a 1.17 mile track. Before new safety regulations came into play, old F1 cars were able to race on the track. This year's hill climb shootout winner was Marvin Kirchhöfer who set a time of forty-five point thirty-four seconds in a McLaren Solus GT. Another popular event held at the festival is the Forest Rally Stage. The race includes the many eras of sports cars as they compete in a race through the forest.
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Since the festival takes place in between Formula 1 races, many current and retired drivers take this as an opportunity to still be in touch with their need for speed during a small break. This year there were many drivers that showed up to take a turn behind the wheel and fuel the drive for the many spectators that attended. Among the retired drivers that showed up was recently retired Sebastian Vettel, who drove some of his own F1 cars that all run on sustainable fuel. Vettel has always been a strong advocate for sustainable energy and the many ways that we can help our planet. Another retired driver that was able to drive was former McLaren driver Jenson Button who drove for Williams that weekend. Lastly, to celebrate McLaren’s 60th anniversary was Mika Häkkinen who drove his 1999 McLaren MP4/14 and Emerson Fittipaldi who was reunited with his championship car, the McLaren M23.
Not only did some of Formula 1’s legends show up to play at Goodwood but so did Formula 1’s future stars. Mick Schumacher, who is the reserve driver for the Mercedes team, was able to showcase his father’s old Mercedes W02. Mercedes and the Schumacher surname have been in an undeniable duo since the team was the one Michael Schumacher signed when he decided to come out of retirement. It was only fitting that Mick was not only able to drive his father’s old car but also wear a similar helmet as him.
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The festival is a good way for racing fans to enjoy all things fast during their race deprived weekend. It is a great opportunity to not only meet other fans of racing as well but as a way to feel connected to the sport due to the history that it presents.