What we learned being at the biggest F1 film set in a year –


The British Formula 1 Grand Prix has once again been transformed into a live-action movie as the makers of the new film F1 The Brad Pitt-starring film has undertaken its most ambitious on-site activity in a year.

It’s been a full year since work on the Joseph Kosinski/Jerry Bruckheimer film, which features seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton as a producer, went public with a big presence at Silverstone for the 2023 race.

That has been pushed back a bit for a 2024 release, with a trailer for the film, which will be distributed by Apple, released on Sunday even though there are still months of on-location filming left at more F1 races.


The basic details of the film, due out internationally on June 25, 2025, have been known for some time. Pitt’s character Sonny Hayes is an older former Formula 1 driver who returns to the grid alongside rookie Joshua Pearce (Damson Idris) in the APX GP team, whose owner is played by Oscar-winning Javier Bardem. APX GP is the fictional 11th team and the drama in the film is confined within the team – the current competitors, all faithfully depicted in the real 2023 season, are not villains.

What was new at Silverstone this year, after a year of massive trackside footage in Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, was a greater focus on dramatic scenes. Although the modified Formula 2 cars, which Pitt and Idris occasionally drove, still had on-track shoots as more of that kind of filming was completed.

It’s pretty clear that what’s being depicted around the British Grand Prix is ​​a major part of the drama in the film, even if we only know snippets about it.

At Silverstone, APX again had a team garage between Mercedes and Ferrari, a pit stand, and an upgraded Williams hospitality unit from the late 2000s. They were not present in the pit lane during a live session except for being in the pits, capturing the kind of footage that appears early in the trailer.

After focusing last year on action shots, although some dramatic scenes were also captured, there were two other clear projects this year.

A scene was filmed at the back of the grid on Sunday, with several cast members – it looked like Pitt and Bardem – and two stationary cars. The cars were removed from the grid at the start of the formation lap; unlike last year, there was no scene involving one car starting and another falling behind.

A time-sensitive scene was also filmed in the mixed zone where television and print media gather after qualifying and the race. Both Pitt and Idriss filmed scenes during the “interview” where the film crew occupied a specific location just like any other broadcaster.

This happened while the real drivers were doing their actual duties after qualifying and after the race, which is very strange.

Without giving away too much sensitive information, it is worth emphasizing how ambitious this film is. And how carefully it was made within the organization.

Obviously, this is to be expected from a movie with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, but these movies are usually shot in almost complete secrecy, not in the open against the backdrop of a billion-dollar sporting event with a large audience. Combining such a presence with the usual circus of Formula 1 is no easy feat, as it is usually very chaotic in itself.

The amount of effort put into the shoot is impressive, and the noise is minimal. Perhaps that’s just how irregular F1 weekends are anyway. Maybe others have noticed that more. But it’s hard not to be impressed by the scale of the project and, at least logistically, the execution so far. And it doesn’t stop there. After Suzuka and Silverstone this year, there will be more stops in Hungary, Belgium, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi again, and a new trip to Mexico City.

All this in the quest to make the most authentic racing film ever made. Trying to please everyone – racing fans and people new to Formula 1 – is a tough task. And since the title of the film and the initial promotional materials are simply the Formula 1 name and logo (with a colour change!), the championship is inextricably linked to this film. It won’t live or die by the film but it will be influenced by it. If the film is popular and well-received, great; if it flops, not so much.

Expectations have been set very high thanks to the effort put in by the filmmakers, not to mention what Formula 1 fans want. Will the film be any good? Well, there is certainly no shortage of original material, whether it is filmed with the actors themselves in Formula 2 cars or through other clever tricks and techniques.

It was already known that the footage would be mixed with real F1 race footage as well, and the best example of this is in the promo video itself. What appears to be a lap in Pierre Gasly’s Alpine car from the 2023 race, filmed with a much higher resolution camera than the cars are normally equipped with, has been re-created in APX/Hayes livery.

How the dramatic details being filmed now add to the film will be key to how the film is received.



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