How Lewis Hamilton turns Brad Pitt into a real Formula 1 driver

Over the weekend, in addition to a certain Brad Pittalmost half a million fans filled the Silverstone track at the British Grand Prix. Bye Max Verstappen won his sixth victory in a row, ahead of the resurgent Lando Norris it’s in Lewis HamiltonOn the screens appeared an optimistic, bordering on useless call: “Please do not invade the runway.”

Against the appeal, an attack was unleashed the like of which has not been seen since. Nigel Mansell he won his home Grand Prix in 1992. The atmosphere was more tense than I had ever experienced at a dozen British Grands Prix. Fans here, like their Italian or Brazilian equivalents, live their love of Formula One with great passion, and data just collected shows that a third of the spectators at Silverstone are new to the sport.

Documentary television series from Netflix called Drive to survive he is credited with resurgence in F1’s popularity, so much so that the racers have attracted attention previously given to pop idols or Hollywood stars. However, at Silverstone there was also a true idol of the masses in the form of that golden creature, whose name was Brad Pitt.

He is the main character of the movie. Apple TV dedicated to F1, still unnamed, which combines the productive power Jerry Bruckheimer under the able guidance Joseph Kosinsky. This is a duet that, after last year’s billion-dollar success at the box office, Top Shooter: Maverickdecided to do what no one else in the history of cinema has been able to do: a really great film about car racing, without forgetting Chris Hemsworth V hurry.

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What did Brad Pitt do at Silverstone?

In addition to the 10 teams that make up the current F1 grid, we have seen the presence, at least temporarily, of dummy teams. ApexGP. The ghost team occupied one of the Silverstone boxes along with ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and other stables. His pilots played Brad Pitt AND Damson Idrisvisited the traditional line-up before the race when the actor sang the national anthem Damian Lewisin another bizarre intersection between cinema and the real world.

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Admiring the two actors in front of the real F1 grid as they made their way to their fake cars, we had a strange feeling. Is it possible that F1 is teetering on the brink of self-parody? When the circus lands in Las Vegas in November, three of the 23 Grand Prix on the calendar will take place in North America. F1 insiders have been talking for a long time about the importance of “spectacle” and the former head of the sport. Bernie Ecclestone, was an impresario and an avid merchant. Ecclestone was known to be a little wary of the internet when he was first explained, but even at a later age, he certainly understood that any major sport needs an influx of new fans to keep from becoming irrelevant. Can a right and necessary thing become excessive?

In addition to filming the opening scenes at the race track for the film during the day, Brad Pitt also handled a full-blown weekend marketing operation. “I must admit I’m a little euphoric right now,” he said. Martin Brundle From Sky F1. “It’s just great to be here, man. We have a lot of fun, really. This is the best moment of my life.”


Brad then continued, “The atmosphere is fantastic, it seems obvious to me, but just being a part of it in this way and being able to tell our story was a real treat for all of us. All the teams opened their doors to us, the FIA ​​and Mohammed Ben Sulayem helped a lot, as did Stefano Domenicali (CEO of F1, dream host).

What is the film about the Apex GP team about?

As for the film’s plot, Brad Pitt gave the first clues. “I’ll be a racer from the 90s who had a terrible accident, went bankrupt, disappeared, and then started competing in other disciplines,” he says. “His friend, played by Javier Bardem, is the owner of the team. This is the last-placed team, 21st and 22nd in the bracket, which never managed to score a single point. They have a young phenom, played by Damson Idris, who pulls me in and pushes me until all hell breaks loose.”

GQ spoke to a respected F1 insider to gauge the response of the top echelons of the sport, and there are a few key points to look out for. First, in a sport where the desire to win or take over rivals is heated to the point of paroxysm, all F1 teams have joined the project of the new film. Not that they need it – their popularity is already skyrocketing. The teams met Kosinski, Bruckheimer and Pitt in Austin during the 2022 US Grand Prix and were immediately convinced. It should be remembered that Ferrari and Mercedes have withdrawn from the first season Drive to survive. They are not easily shaken and certainly not blinded by Hollywood stardust.

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Secondly, we are talking about globally recognized multibillion-dollar organizations that manage both their own and their own brands. brand value with the rigor of a lawyer. Simply put, they would have no reason to do something that is not up to the task. Thirdly, Kosinski and the film crew developed a cinematic technique, Top Shooter: Maverick so realistic and they will use it to tell F1 in an unprecedented way. We’re talking about Imax quality 6K cameras that are small enough to fit in the cockpit of an F1 racing car. Will the filmmakers opt for an ultra-stable camera platform or emulate the visceral graphic quality of footage aboard a hypnotic pole Ayrton Senna in Monaco in 1988, unknown.

Do actors really drive F1 racing cars?

The car in the movie is an F2 car with an F1 nose, running boards and a rear fender, but it was designed Mercedes and passed all mandatory crash tests. A fictitious team is led by an authoritative Carlin Motorsports who has led teams in F2, F3 and countless other racing series. What else? co-producer Lewis Hamilton he takes care of the details, often the cause of sensational mistakes that can derail such a project, and makes sure everything is perfect. Here’s an example: drivers hear a horn in the cab when the DRS system is activated.

In the end, Brad Pitt AND Damson Idris they ran some tests on the circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France and just like the cast of Maverick, they know firsthand the feeling of high speed. Another guarantee to give their interpretations the necessary realism.


“We have the Trevor Carlin team at our disposal,” notes Pitt, “and they have been sensational in keeping us safe, teaching and running the show like it was for real. It must be as authentic as possible. Lewis Hamilton wants to respect the sport at all costs and show it for what it is.

Brad Pitt may also enjoy filming the movie, but it’s still unclear if his driving skills are up to the level required to make this spectacle completely believable. So when the F1 drivers started their lap on Sunday, the star had a moment to shine, or at least convince people he could do the job.

As the cameras rolled, the crowd roared and the actor made his intentions clear. Turning off the light, Pitt pressed the gas pedal and drove along the Silverstone straight, the so-called Hamilton Straight, making you feel all that roar, rumble and energy that comes from the car, even if, as expected, the speedometer was 25% of the Hamiltonian. Once he reached the starting line, he slowed down in turn one, steered his car over the red and white curbs of the iconic circuit and pulled out of the way to start the actual race. It was just an adrenaline-pumping shot, but it was enough to make us realize that Brad Pitt is anything but an incompetent driver.

The article was originally published in UK GQ.

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