In this final instalment of my Goodwood round-up I’m going to cover some of the trackside action as well as some of the ‘names’ I bumped into over the day. I particularly like the video at the end.
There are several ways to do Goodwood. The organisers want you to spend a weekend ambling around in a relaxed ‘garden party’ atmosphere. This is very appealing and you can do that if you ‘re only there for a single day as I was but you would miss out on a lot, so I was moving quickly all day darting from place to place and revisiting areas based on the programme of events. Even so, I didn’t make it far up the hill and so missed the dedicated rally section completely.
I exited the paddock on the far side, going uphill, to see what was there. The answer: not much. A couple of WRC and GT trucks and the McLaren and (deafening) Red Bull Racing merchandise stands, both over-priced as always. I knew the modern F1 cars were not far off running again so they’d be in the paddock collecting area soon, so I headed there.
As always, click for the larger versions.
As I believe is required by motorsport law, I did get a shot of the McRae and Vatanan 555 Subarus before I left – note the Burns Peugeot also in shot. In the first paddock shot you can see Vergne and Bird talking (I held the camera up high to get this one, not knowing who was there as I couldn’t see!). The second shot is looking left from the same location but not much was going on, I’m not sure who the driver is.
Standing wasn’t very successful so I moved up and down the fence and the line of people, poking my head through and my camera up high trying to see who was there. I found Karun Chandhok again which was good, but apart from him there were few people around, so I headed to the entrance of the collection area. This was good because the cars were still being wheeled in, sometimes with drivers onboard and sometimes they walked with them.
Bruno Senna came walking by and signed several autographs but he disappeared before I got too close, then just as suddenly another chap appeared and he looked a lot like a guy who sells pizzas in my town, but taller. It took a moment to click that I knew who it was. Emmanuele Pirro. I’ve seen him here before with Audi and that’s always how I associate him, so it threw me a little when he got out of the 1969 Matra formerly driven by Jackie Stewart. Emmanuele stayed around the entrance area for a long while signing autographs, the wall of people prevented my approach – should I have chosen to approach, I’m not good at the whole approaching thing (what do you say?). I managed to get a snap of him once he’d gone into the fenced off area. I needed to get trackside before the cars ran so once the gate closed I was off like a shot, pushing my way past the biggest crowd of dawdlers you’ve ever seen.
Amazingly enough, as I was walking between paddock and the bridge and track, I heard a call every F1 fan is familiar with from TV coverage of the stars walking through a crowd. ‘Lewis, Lewis…’
Curiously, Lewis Hamilton was the only guy I saw the whole day who had a security presence with him. He didn’t sign anything but he did at least say ‘Hi’ as he walked past the small group of people there..
The reason for my haste was because the historic Grand Prix cars were running again and I wanted to see Mika Hakkinen. The area outside Goodwood House is always very busy and the track lined with people, 2 or 3 deep. This makes it hard to get an unobstructed vantage point when the more popular cars are running, I stayed for a nice little while though it did mean I couldn’t get many useable photos, a lot were duds so I gave up after a while.
This is a blurry Jackie Stewart in the Tyrrell, although I call it an ‘action shot’ showing his speed! The next one is of Mika Hakkinen in a 1954 Mercedes W196 (Goodwood is nothing if not eclectic). I suppose you can argue I should’ve edited that guy’s head out of shot, it does show the real atmosphere standing among the crowd though.
After these cars had run it was time for the modern cars to head from the paddock to the start line, but I realised this area wasn’t going to get any better for viewing so I moved to the secluded little area between the paddock and the bridge. It was good to see and hear the cars there even if that too was quite limited with the trees and the distance to the track. It wasn’t great for cars coming up the track from the start too, as the bridge was in the way. I shot a video of the cars leaving and dashed back to the opposite side of the paddock – near to the Subarus again – where there was a little out-of-the-way place to watch the cars up close, but I’d have to be fast.
You can see the videos I took from these spots in my Video Special. I saved one for now – here’s Lewis Hamilton again.
Quick as a flash, he’s gone. Don’t you just love that noise though?
There was another viewing area between me and the paddock and I wanted to get back to the paddock to see the cars come back, so I thought it would be good to view from that area for a while. It was packed when the modern F1s were running (I checked on the way up to this place) but now they’d gone, the crowd was thinning out.
I watched a few more cars go up the hill without taking photos as I wanted to enjoy the event’s atmosphere myself for a while. This was the ‘Top Ten Runoff’ in which drivers tried to set the fastest time of the day so this was one of the few times we would be guaranteed to see cars going as fast they dared along the narrow ribbon between the bales, I wasn’t going to waste it by taking photos! As you might expect at Goodwood, it was a varied bunch from a Ford Transit with Jaguar running gear through to the 1994 Benetton F1 car and all sorts in between. The fastest time of day went to Roger Mills in the 1976 Williams-Cosworth FW05 which was actually run in period by Walter Wolf, as Williams had sold his team in that year.
There was a break in the action after the runoff, although there wasn’t supposed to be – there were several cars waiting at the bottom of the hill, ready to go up. I’d guessed the reason a little while earlier – it had been a long time since any cars had returned from the top of the hill, surely the top paddock was now full? It is really just a small loop and isn’t very big at all. Unlike some hillclimbs Goodwood doesn’t have a dedicated return road, the cars run their way back along the course to the paddocks – this is good because the crowd gets to see them running again albeit not at speed but it does mean the action has to stop to allow them to return.
Something had gone wrong in this process because several batches of cars and bikes were now up top and had to come back. Sure enough, cue the most eclectic sight you will ever see in racing, and as a complete racing geek I am so pleased I was able to witness it, I loved every minute. While your focus should be on the track, keep an eye and ear on the big screen and commentary (may require repeat viewings).
Yes that really is Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Nick Heidfeld, Ken Block, rally cars, superbikes and more.. I was holding the camera slightly away from me so I could see all this with my eyes, it was brilliant, the sounds and smells too… Amazing.
I’d been texting people all day in the hope that we’d be able to meet but with over 100,000 people on site the mobile networks were being hammered. Eventually I managed to bump into Startledbunny as the last few of these cars were returning to the paddock, and shortly after that we found Chris, Lou and Lukeh although they quickly ran off to the media centre to try and find Ant Davidson, that left the two of us to head back trackside because I wanted to get a look at Senna in his uncle’s car again – you’ll have seen my somewhat disappointing video of that in a prior post.
At the end of the day the crowds were thinning, the stands were being packed away and the drivers were heading home. I met up with Lou, Lukeh and Chris again and Startledbunny had to head home, the four of us hung around outside the Drivers’ Club for a while to spot some drivers. We saw Matt Neal with a bag over his shoulder, in the distance we saw Lewis Hamilton and Jackie Stewart sneak around the back way to avoid the public (annoying!). Then a couple of great little events happened.
Finally, just as we were thinking of giving up and heading home, along came Heikki Kovalainen. The man was absolutely shattered after a hard day of signing hundreds of autographs, doing interviews (one of which was watched by the three people I was with), and driving both the classic F1 car and a Lotus road car up and down the hill. His buggy had stopped for some reason outside the drivers club, and this was the time to grab a quick photo – and in Lou’s case, actually persuade him to pose for a shot! It was the Finnish flag that did it.
Overall a fantastic day and an event I would recommend to anyone. With the right combination of luck and checking the programme to see what cars (and therefore drivers) will be where, you too can see the likes of Hamilton, Senna, Chandhok and Kovalainen with your own eyes for the first time, not to mention the actual cars. If you are overseas I would suggest this is the kind of event for which you can come over especially. If you are in the UK and have never been even for just the one day, you have no excuse. I’ll see you there in 2011.
If you want more from the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010, be sure to check out these fine posts and photos from elsewhere. No doubt I’ve missed something somewhere, feel free to link yours in the comments.
And you should absolutely definitely see this video taken by Bruno Senna from within his uncle’s car as he runs back down the hill to the paddock!
IWTMR at Goodwood 2010
This post is part of a series on the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, you can read my previous updates here:
All images and videos used in this post were taken by Patrick Wotton. You may use them if you assign the appropriate credit and link to this blog.