Whatever you think of Bernie Ecclestone, it’s safe to say that Formula 1 would not be the same without him. And after stepping down as ‘commander-in-chief’ of the sport earlier this year, his career will be celebrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
FoS usually celebrates a different brand of car each event, and this year is the first ever exception. There’s always an impressive sculpture of some sort, normally involving one or more cars. But don’t worry, there won’t be a giant, scary statue of Bernie in front of Goodwood House this time around.
Instead, there’ll be something called ‘The Five Stages of Ecclestone’, which will illustrate five eras of the man’s time in F1 with five legendary F1 cars.
Bernie started out as a racing driver, competing in 500cc cars through the late 1940s and early 1950s and entered the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, but he’s best known for his contribution off the track.
He bought out the Brabham F1 team in 1971, and soon took control of the commercial side of the sport. It’s now a global powerhouse, and it was Bernie’s contribution that helped its rise to become one of the most-watched and most prosperous sports, while courting a fair amount of controversy and criticism along the way.
Former World Champions, Brabham drivers and team owners will descend on the festival to celebrate his career.
Lord March, founder of the festival, says that it’s not a tribute, but rather a celebration of his career and the influence he’s had.