Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the best motorsport events in Europe. Taking place in the depths of the British countryside, the basic premise is all kinds of different motors racing up a hill to get the best possible time.
But it is so much more than that.
There is no other event where you can get up close to so many cars and motorbikes. Ranging from pre-war relics to up-to-date technological machines, there is something to interest everyone and you can get inches away from them. Some of the older and privately owned cars allow you to touch, to feel, to really get up close and understand the machines. The current Formula 1 teams allow you as close as a roped off area, but that’s still a much better deal than you’d get at a race.
Aside from the actual machines, there’s also the matter of drivers. No one can deny that names such as Ralf Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Davidson are a draw to any Formula 1 fans. They make appearances, they sign autographs and if you’re lucky, they talk to the crowd. Again – where else can you get this close?
There are plenty of merchandise stands around the event, so if you’re looking for your favourite team’s t-shirt, or a baseball cap for your favourite driver, you’re bound to find it.
And then, there is all the other good stuff – the non-Formula 1 related things. The Red Arrows do their twenty minute demonstration. There are helicopter flights, Landrover experiences, rally car driving, karting tracks. You won’t be bored.
My partner and I went for all three days of the event (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and we still didn’t manage to fit in everything. We went up in a helicopter which was not the most enjoyable experience of my life, but worthwhile. I bought an official F1 coat. We took pictures of Lewis Hamilton and Ralf Schumacher.
The only downside to this event is that it is guaranteed to rain – it is Britain after all. Friday was okay weather, but on Saturday it absolutely poured down about halfway through the day. The Red Arrow display was delayed because of the weather. It cleared up enough to make the rest of the day enjoyable. Sunday was just pure rain. Umbrella’s were up for most of the day. It puts a slight downer on everything, and it probably might ruin it if you were only attending the one day. But if you can survive the rain, or even better, if it’s sunny, then Goodwood FOS is an event not to be missed.