F1 cars not to miss at the 2024 Festival of Speed

09th July 2024
Ethan Jupp

We are just days away from the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard getting underway, which means you pretty much have all the info you need to get the most out of it. Whether you’re there in person or watching on stream, you have the timetable, the drivers and riders, and of course the entry list. That last one means all the cars and bikes we’ll be seeing, with the exclusion of some surprises, is there to see. It takes some reading, so as always, we’ve picked out some highlights. Starting with the big hitters, the F1 cars. Because 2024 is a big year for F1 at the Festival of Speed.

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Red Bull RB16B

Indeed, this sort of proves our point, for the two star cars of one of the great modern F1 rivalries will be in action on the Hill. As part of our Red Bull Racing celebration, which brings together an unprecedented group of Red Bull F1 cars, the RB16B of the tumultuous 2021 season, will be in action. Better yet, the driver that it made a champion will be back in it, for the first time since Abu Dhabi 2021. That’s right, Max Verstappen will be on the Hill, driving the RB16B. What an utterly spectacular reunion that’s going to be…

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Mercedes-AMG F1 W12

We did say the two star cars, right? Indeed we did, for yes, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 will be on the Hill as well. No, Silverstone Grand Prix winner and F1 race win drought beater Lewis Hamilton will not be on hand to take the wheel but it’ll be spectacular nonetheless to see this car on the Hill, sharing a stretch of bitumen with its old rival once again.

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Red Bull RB1

Of course, we will be celebrating 20 years of Red Bull Racing at the 2024 Festival of Speed and as such, it’s going to be so incredibly cool to see the very first car on the Hill. Yes, the V10-engined RB1 will be singing the song of its people for all to enjoy. Rising from the ashes of the Jaguar team, Red Bull’s RB1 is technically the successor to the Jaguar R5 of 2004. Only it and the RB2 pre-date Adrian Newey’s appointment. As you’d expect, this is far from Red Bull at the peak of its powers, but it’s genesis. It’s also from that wild era when Red Bull courted Hollywood for a bit of extra cash, wearing a promo livery for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith at the Monaco Grand Prix, of all races. Yes, the very same race the Red Bull crew all dressed as Storm Troopers. It won’t be wearing the livery at Goodwood but it’ll at least sound like a TIE Fighter.

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BRM Type 15

As will this, in spite of having zero relation to Star Wars. What is perhaps one of the all-time great-sounding F1 cars ever made, is the BRM Type 15, otherwise known as the V16. This is Chassis IV, otherwise known as BRM’s latter-day nut-for-bolt recreation of the incredible model. With its mounted-on-the-wonk 1.5-litre 4,000-part V16 engine, revving to over 12,000rpm, it’ll easily be in the running for best-sounding car at this year’s Festival of Speed.

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Ligier JS11

If the BRM is the best-sounding car, the Ligier JS11 is in the running as one of the prettiest, certainly of the ground effect era from which it comes. It was properly quick in period, too, if not the most refined in terms of its performance. A multi race winner it might have been, but it was too inconsistent to mount a title challenge, with the raw downforce causing issues like flexing in the chassis and occasionally, actually breaking the suspension. Today it is thankfully a regular at Goodwood and other events, and always looks incredible on the move. Don’t miss it.

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Brabham BT46B

Of course, the king of the ground effect era was arguably the car that only ran one race. For it took the principal to such an extreme and harnessed so much performance, that its constructor withdrew it for fear of upsetting the applecart. Yes, we of course refer to the Brabham BT46B, the car that won the only race it entered; the car you know as the fan car. And yes, it’s going to be running on the Hill. The car got around rules regulating movable aerodynamic devices by using the fan primarily as a cooling device. The downforce it generated was mathematically proven to be a side effect and thus, the car was legal, by that year’s rulebook wording. Such a shame, that Bernie Ecclestone withdrew the car in order to protect his political ambitions. This has to be by some stretch Gordon Murray’s most audacious design.

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McLaren MP4/4

Though not a car for which Murray can take credit, the MP4/4 did dominate the 1988 season under his watch as McLaren design director. It’s arguably one of the greatest F1 cars of all time in terms of its success on track, with 15 of 16 races won and 15 of 16 pole positions scored over the course of the season. It’s a lesson in getting absolutely everything right, from the chassis, to the aerodynamics, to the engine, to the drivers – Prost and Senna, anyone? It was an almost embarrassingly dominant car, delivering Senna the first of his three world driver’s championships. See it on the Hill with Bruno Senna behind the wheel.

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Ferrari F2001

Speaking of embarrassingly dominant – Ferrari. At least, Ferrari in the 2000s. While Schumacher’s era of absolute dominance wasn’t at its height in 2001, the F2001, came out the gates for a new set of aero rules swinging. Schumacher ended up driving this car to a record 123-point haul and his fourth world championship, winning nine of the 20 races that season. Though its 3.0-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine wasn’t the most powerful on the grid, it was very reliable and obviously, sounded absolutely incredible, as it will when it’s unleashed up the Hill this weekend.

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Williams FW26

As will this, the Williams-BMW FW26. Yes, another V10 and no, we won’t apologise, though this car is possessed of curiosities beyond that BMW M V10. For yes, this is the ‘Walrus nose’ Williams, with its revolutionary splitter prongs mounted far either side of the nose cone itself, allowing more airflow under the car. In spite of the strange yet innovative design, the FW26 was far from the title-contending machines of just a few seasons before. Regardless, for fans of the white and blue BMW-powered era of Williams in the early 2000s, this will be one not to miss.

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Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’

Appearing at the Festival of Speed again this year will be the distinctive ‘Sharknose’ Ferrari of 1961. Though these cars were sadly destroyed in period, recent years have seen one dedicated collector recreate them with millimetric accuracy. For that we are all grateful. We can’t imagine what it must be like as someone who saw the cars racing in period, seeing these on the Hill. One will be back again for our 2024 edition.


Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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