Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Goodwood 2006 (Part 3) - A tale of two seasons - The British weather always provides some extra entertainment

Published by Christine

This article was originally posted on a personal website and is published here for posterity.

It should be noted that the commentators had promised that the weather would begin to clear up at 10am. We didn't really think it would, the sky was completely grey and it was in turns bucketing it down with rain, and whipping around us with wind. However, at five past ten, the rain stopped. The clouds started to clear. By the time we were stood with our camera ready, waiting for the first of the F1 drivers to reach the top of the hill, the sun had actually emerged.

First there was the small matter of a lot of motorcyclists. We're not really well up in the world of motorbikes and their riders, but Mr C did spot some guy who did something with Ewan MacGregor.

Charley Boorman

We actually weren't sure it was him or if he was famous but snapped a couple of pictures anyway. Turns out, Mr C was right.

It was really interesting to watch the preparations for the F1 cars. You wouldn't think that driving to the top of a hill, hopping out to shake some hands, do a couple of interviews and then hop back in to drive down again would be at all complicated. However, minivans full of Formula 1 team mechanics arrived in their droves. Of course, stopping a F1 car at the top of a hill is easy peasy. Starting it up again requires plenty of people and some interesting equipment.

There were Honda, Renault, Williams and BMW mechanics all standing around, chatting, shaking hands and swapping Goodwood stories. Ferrari had sent up a mechanic to sort out their car, but this guy was stood all by himself.

Ferrari personnel

Nobody likes Ferrari. In hindsight, this photo makes me want to cry - he is so lonely.

Anyway, Nico Rosberg drove up in Ye Olde Williams, Jackie Stewart's car, quickly followed by the man himself, in Nico's latest Williams. He stalled right at the top, bless him, but at least it wasn't halfway up. Several other stars followed, ITV commentator Martin Brundle in his old Benetton F1 car, Christian Klien and returning ex-world champion (and Schumacher-beating) Mika Häkkinen. Several test drivers also went up, Zonta in the Toyota, Gene in the Ferrari, and Anthony Davidson in the Honda.

Fisichella drove up again. He either likes the hill or loves to drive, because as we were gracefully making our exit, hours later, he was just about to go up for the third time.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Out of all of those people, only Rosberg came over to sign autographs. A large crowd of cold, wet people had gathered, waiting to see their idols, people that they watch on the television every fortnight of the Formula 1 season. We had all travelled from miles around to see them, and only Rosberg could be bothered to sign anything.

Nico Rosberg

I do not care how much he looks like Jason Donovan, he is not my favourite driver. Anthony Davidson couldn't even be bothered to get out of his car. Or maybe he didn't have time, but by this point I was quite bitter about the whole thing. Signatures don't really mean anything to me, I would much rather get a good photograph of someone, but to a lot of people, getting an autograph is the highlight of the day.

After we watched the cars all zoom off back down the hill to their paddock, we started making our way slowly down behind them. At this point, Mr C actually took his coat and his jumper off proclaiming that he was hot. I wasn't at all sure about this turn of events, but decided that I would see what happened with the weather in the next ten minutes before taking off my own coat.

Because we had pretty much seen what we wanted to see in terms of cars in action, we headed back to the paddock to see what famous people were floating around. The radio had informed us that a certain Honda star was going to be at the VIP hospitality tent, signing things and doing a Q&A. We hurried down there but were much too late. We did, however, see Anthony Davidson, the guy I had come to hate because he couldn't get out of his car and talk to the fans. I soon realised why. The guy looks about thirteen years old.

Anthony Davidson

I am beginning to think that the reason he didn't get out of his car was that he actually didn't want anyone to see that he's actually only thirteen.

Going back to the paddock, the sun was really beginning to shine, I could actually see blue sky, and we were beginning to wish for sunglasses. Who can predict that at the beginning of the day you would be wrapped up in scarves bitching about the freezing rain, and by the afternoon, you would be wishing for suncream?

That elderly gentleman that we conversed with at the beginning of the day? He had brought his sunglasses and we laughed at him. If we had bumped into him again he would have said: "Look who's laughing now."