In this photo here, you can see Formula One legend Niki Lauda on one knee, hands pressed together as if in infinite gratitude, before former troll-king of F1, Bernie Ecclestone. It was part of an Ecclestone-honoring photo collage at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed and I just have so many questions.
First of all, I have trouble believing that this is a photo captured during a legitimate interaction between the two. I’d be more inclined to believe that it was a joke of some kind and it just happened to be caught on camera. If that’s the case, then what is it doing in an homage?
The homage, affixed to the inner walls of one of the hillclimb crossings, was part of the Festival’s Bernie Ecclestone Central Feature. Usually, the Central Feature celebrates one manufacturer. As this year is Ferrari’s 70th anniversary, you’d think it would be Ferrari.
It wasn’t. It was about Bernie and all of his contributions to F1. Predictably, his dumbass comments about women, how he was kind of shitty at being a chairman and his admiration for Hitler went completely unmentioned.
The massive statue outside of Goodwood House was actually pretty cool, but then they unfurled the big Bernie banners during the “Bernie Ecclestone Central Feature Moment” on Sunday and Bernie was standing on the balcony and waving to the crowd below and the whole thing suddenly took on a very dictator-y feel.
That’s what’s tripping me up about the Lauda photo. It’s just a larger piece in an installation that seems to be going out of its way to lick Bernie’s shoes. I wonder what kind of dirt he has on the Goodwood people in order swing such a massive tribute to himself.
I’d also like to point out that even with Lauda on his knee, he still comes up to Bernie’s chest. Like how Elijah Wood and Co. looked way tinier than Viggo Mortensen with the use of forced perspective in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.