This year, attendees of the Goodwood Festival of Speed won't be treated to a celebration of a particular marque or manufacturer. Instead, the 2017 Festival of Speed will honor the legendary and controversial Formula One figure Bernie Ecclestone.
Ecclestone was chosen as the central feature after decades of involvement in motorsport and a formative career. The featured sculpture will celebrate the racer turned F1 boss. Ecclestone is credited with bringing F1 to the masses through savvy business and a passion for racing. The legend himself will be present during the festival and plans to bring a host of world champion drivers, engineers, mechanics, and other influential figures that have helped him build the F1 empire.
Ecclestone began his career in the late 1940s and early 1950s racing both motorcycles and cars. He entered the Monaco Grand Prix in a Connaught in 1958. Following his racing days, he turned to team management in 1970 before purchasing the Brabham F1 team in 1971. There, he forged alliances with designer Gordon Murray and champion drivers, including Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Carlos Pace, and Nelson Piquet. He became involved in the administration of the sport during the 1970s and took over as F1 boss in the late 1970s. Ecclestone relinquished that role early this year, after nearly 40 years of service.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has defined five "ages" of Bernie Ecclestone: driver, manager, team owner, impresario, and legend of the sport. Cars from defined each era will be on display, though which vehicles will make the journey to the festival are yet to be named. Ecclestone's career hasn't been without a more than a little drama, but there's no denying the impact he has had on F1.
The celebration will be one of many incredible sights at the Festival of Speed. Modern supercars, historic legends, and other incredible machines flock to the event annually for three days of automotive bliss and a hillclimb event up Lord March's driveway that features all manner of amazing of automotive machinery. The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed is slated for June 29 to July 2 on the grounds of Goodwood House located just outside of Chichester, England. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.