Bernie Ecclestone to be honoured at Goodwood Festival of Speed
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This year's Central Feature at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be used to celebrate the life of an individual for the first time this year, rather than the history of a carmaking brand.
Bernie Ecclestone and his 'extraordinary' life in motorsport will form the basis of the feature, which traditionally takes pride of place on the main lawn in front of Goodwood House.
The Central Feature changes each year, with a new design representing a different car manufacturer. It forms a focal point for the event, often involving a towering sculpture that visually dominates the estate.
Goodwood's decision to venerate Bernie Ecclestone will not go uncriticised. The former F1 boss was at times a controversial figure, both in terms of the way he ran the sport and the comments he made outside the paddock.
"This is not so much a tribute, but rather a Goodwood celebration of a racer who has had such a huge influence on the sport we all love," said Lord March, the Festival's founder.
"It’s wonderful that Bernie has agreed to spend the weekend at the Festival with many of the great names with whom he has worked during a life dedicated to racing. I’m also delighted that he will bring with him some great historic Grand Prix cars from his incredible collection."
The Festival will explore the 'Five Ages of Ecclestone', which are as follows.
- Driver – Ecclestone was a regular racer with 500cc Coopers in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Perhaps underlining the sheer length of his career in motorsport, he entered the Monaco Grand Prix in 1958 in a Connaught.
- Manager – Following his career as a driver, Ecclestone became a manager to Stuart Lewis-Evans and Jochen Rindt.
- Team owner – Ecclestone bought the Brabham F1 team in 1971, partnering with Gordon Murray and working with drivers such as Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet.
- Impresario – From the 1970s to the 2000s, Ecclestone's control of F1's commercial rights fuelled its ascent to prominence.
- Legend – Ecclestone's impact on F1 and the wider world of motorsport is impossible to ignore.