Formula One has its pitstops and pitlane and this weekend’s British Grand Prix will also have Brad Pitt getting in on the action.
The 59-year-old Hollywood actor’s as-yet untitled Formula One movie starts filming at Silverstone against the race backdrop, with the production having its own garage and pitwall stand as a fictional 11th team.
The driver boards above the garages, photographed in place this week, feature the unfamiliar names of Sonny Hayes and Joshua Pearce, also known as Pitt and British actor Damson Idris.
Pitt stars as a racing driver who steps out of retirement to compete alongside an up-and-coming rookie against the titans of the sport, according to details already divulged.
Modified F2 cars will be filming on track and pitlane, without getting in the way of the regular F1 schedule of practice, qualifying and race.
The Apple TV film is being directed by Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun: Maverick, with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Mercedes’ seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton is a co-producer.
McLaren team boss Zak Brown told reporters he expected the movie to have the same box office appeal as Top Gun: Maverick.
“It’s a lot of the same producers, it will be a massive production and I think it will get a lot of current fans excited,” said the American.
“I think a lot of people that don’t follow the sport will see it and think it’s unbelievable.
“The technology they are going to use will make it a racing movie unlike what we’ve seen in the past as far as its realism and for sure it will be another great shot in the arm worldwide for Formula One and for motor racing as a whole.”
Formula One has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the United States thanks to the Netflix docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’, now filming season six, bringing in new and younger viewers and three U.S. races.
The sport is looking beyond ‘Drive to Survive’, however, to build on those audiences.
Dean Locke, Formula One’s director of broadcast and media, assured reporters this week that the sporting action would not be compromised.
“Of course you’re probably going to see shots and they’ve got a garage in Silverstone and things like that but that’s not the story (for Formula One). The story is the race,” he said.
Alpine principal Otmar Szafnauer, whose team recently acquired ‘Deadpool’ actor Ryan Reynolds as an investor, told Reuters team staff had been told “just to go about our business as we normally would.
“Don’t follow the cameras around or look at them. They will try to stay out of our way as much as possible but they will have a garage in the pitlane,” he said.
“I think they are running on track as well. So I look forward to seeing how that’s all done. It’s a serious production and I’ve seen some footage of their F1 car running and it looks amazing.”
F1 prepares for Brad Pitt movie action