Famed actor Brad Pitt joined Formula 1 drivers on the grid for the national anthem ahead of the British Grand Prix. This appearance was not a casual one, but part of the filming for his upcoming movie about the sport. Pitt has been at Silverstone this week for his upcoming F1 project, which is being co-produced by seven-time world champion and Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton.
The film, currently untitled, is being directed by Joe Kosinski, who directed “Top Gun: Maverick”. Pitt and his co-star Damson Idris play drivers Sonny Hayes and Joshua Pearce. On Sunday, both of them joined F1’s 20 drivers for the national anthem, dressed in race overalls for the fictional team ‘APX GP’.
In a pre-recorded interview ahead of the grid appearance, Pitt shared his excitement: “I’m a little giddy right now, I’ve got to say. It’s great to be here. Having such a laugh, time of my life.”
Javier Bardem is also behind the project.
Pitt confirmed that actor Javier Bardem, who was also at Silverstone filming scenes, is part of the project and revealed the basic plot of the film. “So [Sonny Hayes] has a horrible crash, kind of craps out and disappears and is racing in other disciplines. His friend, played by Javier Bardem, is a team owner. They’re a last-placed owner, never scored a point. They have a young phenom played by Damson Idris. They bring me in as a kind of Hail Mary, and hijinks ensue.”
The F1 drivers had the pleasure of welcoming Brad Pitt to their Friday drivers’ meeting, a presence that turned the traditional meeting into the “best briefing ever” according to Lewis Hamilton. While some were star-struck by Pitt, the collective recognised the Hollywood superstar as just a normal guy. “I think it’s one of those when you see a worldwide superstar for the first time, it’s quite surreal,” commented GPDA director George Russell.
Marx Verstappen’s reaction
World champion Max Verstappen showed less enthusiasm for the project than most of his colleagues. “I think they’re going to use some shots of everybody, in terms of onboard cameras and stuff,” said the Dutchman. “I completely can’t be bothered with this! In the end, a film is always made to create a bit of a show in it. Because yes, of course, it won’t all be real. But I think it’s all fine. I’m actually not that much into it.”
Despite the varying reactions, the presence of Brad Pitt and the filming crew at Silverstone has generated a great deal of anticipation both on and off the track. With the promise of a never-before-seen view of speed and G-forces in F1, movie and sport fans alike are eager to see the final result.