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The much-anticipated Saturday of the Goodwood Festival of Speed was cancelled over the weekend due to severely adverse weather forecasts.

The decision, made on Friday evening (14 July), was driven by the organisers’ commitment to prioritising the safety of all attendees at this annual highlight of the motorsport calendar.

With winds predicted to reach up to 60mph and the looming threat of thunderstorms, the risk of injury to spectators became too great to overlook.

The cancellation left many enthusiasts disappointed, as Saturday was set to feature the presence of current Formula 1 star Lando Norris, who was scheduled to drive up the hill in an old McLaren.

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Also expected to make appearances were Mika Hakkinen and Sebastian Vettel, who still attended the event on Sunday, while Norris’s absence was filled by Oscar Piastri attending the event.

“It is with deep regret that we have taken the decision that the Goodwood Festival of Speed will not go ahead tomorrow (Saturday 15 July 2023),” stated the organizers.

“After consulting meteorologists, health and safety experts, and other key stakeholders, we have taken the decision to close the event site due to a severe wind warning in the Goodwood area.”

The statement continued, emphasising the organisers’ dedication to on-site safety: “On-site safety is our highest priority, and the forecasted high winds will pose a serious risk to various temporary structures across the site. We politely ask that you do not travel to Goodwood or attempt to access the site.”

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Recognising the significance of the decision, the organisers expressed their deep sadness regarding the first-ever cancellation of the event on a Saturday since its inception 30 years ago.

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“This decision has not been made lightly, and His Grace, The Duke of Richmond, along with the whole Festival of Speed team, are deeply saddened that we will not run the event on Saturday for the first time in its 30-year history.”

Despite the setback, the organisers reassured fans that the event would resume as planned on Sunday, allowing attendees to still experience the thrilling atmosphere and showcase of motorsport excellence.

As the Goodwood Festival of Speed mourns the cancellation of Saturday’s events due to safety concerns, enthusiasts and participants eagerly anticipate Sunday’s continuation, hoping for improved weather conditions that will allow them to enjoy the full splendour of this prestigious motorsport gathering.