Stallone to swap boxing ring for race track

Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone found the glare of the cameras too hot to handle as he revealed plans to make a film about the world of Formula One yesterday.

Stallone signed an agreement before the Italian Grand Prix in Monza for a Hollywood-backed film which will be made in the next 18 months with an international all-star cast. But the Rocky star suddenly ended a press conference at which he unveiled the planned production, saying: "It's far too hot in here."

Stallone added that he hoped new technology would help show what it's like to drive a Formula One car which can reach speeds of over 200 miles an hour.

"They are extraordinary machines," he said. "The film will be Europe- based. We will use actual race footage intermingled with staged footage most likely of a high technology that has not been seen before on film." Stallone, who did not say whether he would star in the film, added: "We will also use current grand prix drivers as they are stars already."

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said: "We are very lucky to have a superstar like Sylvester Stallone helping us. "I am sure he will make a fantastic film."