15 July 2013
F1 stars out in force at Goodwood
F1 stars young and old remain in the thrall of Goodwood's Festival of Speed, as shown again on the weekend.
The 20th anniversary Goodwood Festival of Speed continued to showcase the best of F1 on both the human and mechanical sides, with top stars combining with cars from past and present to entertain another capacity crowd over the weekend.
While McLaren stole the show by using the event – which had Porsche's 911 as its featured centrepiece – to commemorate 50 years of its own racing history, the majority of the current F1 grid was present in one way or another.
McLaren ran its iconic MP4/4, the winner of 15 out of 16 races in 1988, alongside the MP4-13 which helped Mika Hakkinen claim the 1998 drivers' and constructors' championships, the MP4-23 which Lewis Hamilton steered to world championship glory in 2008 and the M23 in which Emerson Fittipaldi secured McLaren's first ever world championship, back in 1974.
The Woking marque also had the Can-Am championship-winning M8D, driven by Denny Hulme and Peter Revson, and McLaren F1 GTR, which claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, on show, while both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez took turns in the cockpit alongside test driver Oliver Turvey and McLaren Young Driver Development Programme members Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Button, amongst others, also got to sample the company's new P1 supercar in anger for the first time, admitting that, in sport mode, it felt a little hair-raising between the confining straw bales. The latest model was on show alongside special McLaren50 editions of both the 12C and 12C Spider models.
While not rivalling its engine partner in terms of sheer quantity, Mercedes did its best to continue the 'new and old' theme, with Nico Rosberg blasting up the hill on day three in both 2011's W02 F1 car and a 1954 W196.
“The fans here have been really enthusiastic and it was fun on the Hill, and going between two cars more than 50 years apart was an amazing experience,” the German commented, “Last year at Goodwood, I put my hood up and had a sneaky look around the Festival without anyone noticing – it's a special place and there's nothing like it anywhere in the world.”
F1 fans also had the chance to get up close to one of the Mercedes cars on the marque's stand, where it sat alongside the new S-Class, which took a bow ahead of its arrival in UK showrooms in October. The most powerful electric road car yet created, the SLS AMG Electric Drive Coupé, also made its UK debut at Goodwood.
An estimated 180,000 people, contributing to one of the most successful editions yet, were also treated to the sight of a Ferrari on the hill as Marc Gene piloted an F10 as part of a diverse array of classic and modern road and race cars from the Prancing Horse.
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