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A snapshot of a perfect weekend - Photographing the best of the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Published by Lou

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to find myself standing back at one of my favourite places. The Formula 1 paddock at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is always buzzing with action, be it F1 cars returning from a run up the hill or enthusiastic fans all crowding round to get a glimpse of the drivers and their stunning cars.

As an aspiring Formula 1 photographer the paddock gives me one of the best opportunities to get up close to the cars and drivers without needing some sort of pass or accreditation. As a celebration of the end of my exams we spent a bit of extra money and I bought tickets for all three days, and my goodness it was worth it! What a perfect three days full of photography and motorsport we had.

There are so many reasons why I love Goodwood and why I keep coming back for more, hopefully these shots will go some way as to describing just why I can’t get enough of the glorious Festival.

The hill climb

Paul Stewart speeds up Goodwood Hill
Paul Stewart speeds up Goodwood HillCredit: F1 Lou

Goodwood Festival of Speed, as I'm sure you know, is based around a rather epic Hill Climb. On all three days the cars take to the track to try and set the fastest time, giving the fans a show and the chance to see some of the old beauties back in action once more. While the current Formula 1 cars aren't able to set times it doesn't stop them having a good time and the F1 run, both current and past cars, is always popular. For photographers without accreditation it can be difficult to find a place to stand with a clear view of the track, but if you're lucky the results speak for themselves.

Unique interviews

David Croft holds the microphone before interviewing Heikki, Clive Chapman, and Sir Stirling Moss.
Credit: F1 Lou

While Goodwood is amazing for getting close to the cars, it's also a brilliant way to hear some exclusive interviews with both past and present drivers. We were fortunate enough to hear a rather amazing half hour with Heikki, Clive Chapman and Sir Stirling Moss. Instead of David Croft interviewing the drivers and the audience just simply watching we were asking the questions too. A perfect Q & A. These type of events are common over the weekend and really help to bring the fans close to the action and drivers in our most loved teams.

Getting up close to current World Champions

Jenson signing autographs for the fans.
Credit: F1 Lou

Goodwood provides the fans with such a brilliant chance to get close to the drivers we watch each week on the TV, chat to them, get some great photos and autographs. Most drivers are extremely helpful and lovely to their fans and will try their best to sign as many autographs as they can. If you camp out at places such as the drivers club you're almost guaranteed to get at least a photo of your favourite star.

Super cars!

Close up on the Pagani Zonda F.
Credit: F1 Lou

It's not just Formula 1 cars you can get close to at Goodwood. There's an entire super car paddock to enjoy, which houses an impressive amount of Ferraris and even a Bugatti or two. However, for me, the chance to study the sleek stunning curves of the Pagani Zonda F is something I treasure. The most crazy looking super car I know, naked carbon fibre everywhere... what's not to love?

Getting amongst the action

The two Red Bull cars get pushed back into their awning.
Credit: F1 Lou

If you time it right, it's possible to catch the cars as they return from the hill climb. It's something you really must try to do as you can get within touching distance of them. We figured out a technique of waiting for the cars to pass us, taking photos and then running through the crowd to meet the cars just before they got into their awnings. Perfect for getting those interesting and different shots photographers are always looking for.

Getting closer than you ever thought you could.
Credit: F1 Lou

You can't get pictures like this at the British Grand Pix, not unless you're lucky enough to have a pit pass or photography accreditation!

I've only included a select few points here, but I hope they've started to give you a better feel for why Goodwood Festival of Speed really is an exclusive experience. If you're interested in seeing more of my images from that very memorable weekend, please take some time to have a look through my Flickr account. There are photos from Friday, Saturday and Sunday all up and ready for you to have a gander at. What's your favourite? Did anyone else go this year, do you have any photos of your weekend? Please share them with us in the comments!