Why is Brad Pitt filming at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix?

The project is co-produced by F1 star Lewis Hamilton and currently being filmed at Silverstone

Tom Murray
Monday 10 July 2023 05:28 BST
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Formula One drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris will be joined on the race track by an unlikely addition this weekend: Brad Pitt.

The Hollywood star is in Silverstone during the British Grand Prix, which is scheduled for Sunday 9 July.

Pitt, 59, is filming his new, untitled F1 movie for Apple TV+, directed by Top Gun: Maverick boss Joseph Kosinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, and Hamilton himself.

Ahead of the race, a garage for Pitt’s fictional F1 team has been spotted. Above the garage is an image of Pitt wearing a racing suit alongside his character’s name, Sonny Hayes.

Pitt even has a fictional teammate, Snowfall star Damson Idris, 31, who appears to be named Joshua Pearce in the project.

Details about the film have remained scarce; however, Kosinski and Bruckheimer revealed some information at a panel held during the Miami Grand Prix weekend in May.

The pair said they are “creating an 11th team filming on track and on event from Silverstone to the end of the year”.

The event’s moderator Will Buxton said that the film’s team has created “the smallest moveable 6k camera ever designed to take the viewer into the cockpit”, where the film’s stars will be driving the race cars.

“That’s right. Brad Pitt driving an F1 car from Silverstone onwards,” Buxton said.

Variety later confirmed that Pitt would not be racing against other drivers on that track and that he would likely be driving a modified junior F2 car, which is significantly less powerful than an F1 car.

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During an investor Q&A in April (via Sports Illustrated), F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the film will be “quite invasive in terms of production. It’s something that we need to control, in a way, but it will be another way of showing that Formula 1 never stops”.

Brad Pitt at the United States Grand Prix in 2022
Brad Pitt at the United States Grand Prix in 2022 (Getty Images for Williams Racing)

According to the film’s official logline, Pitt plays “a driver who comes out of retirement to compete alongside a rookie driver against the titans of the sport”.

Hamilton briefly spoke about the project following its announcement last year. The 38-year-old said he was “spending good time with Brad, which is pretty epic”.

Hamilton, who is the most successful driver in Formula One history, revealed that he would not take part in filming.

“Really my responsibility and something that I take on is just making sure that the cast and the crew in the background is diverse,” he said.

“It’s really about showing how great this sport really is to people that maybe have never watched it but also making sure that we really keep the real heritage and the true racing spirit in the movie.”

A release date for the film has not yet been set.

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