F1 Movie Teaser: What are we in for in the Brad Pitt racing film?

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Image: Warner Bros. / Apple Original Films / F1 via YouTube
A brand new movie set in Formula One is coming in summer of 2025, starring Brad Pitt. The first teaser to the simply-titled 'F1' gives a taste of what awaits.

There is no denying that Formula One has risen to an even bigger worldwide popularity than it already had in the last few years. The 'Drive to Survive' docuseries is often given credit for getting new fans into the sport, and the upcoming movie - simly titled 'F1' - is another testament to this.

Starring Brad Pitt, the film is set to debut on June 25, 2025 (June 27 in the US). Its plot outline is told rather swiftly: Pitt's character Sonny Hayes, who raced in F1 in the 1990s but retired after a major crash, is asked to come back to mentor Joshua Pearce (played by Damson Idris) at the Apex Grand Prix Team. So far, so similar to the Silvester Stallone arc of Joe Tanto coming out of retirement to mentor Jimmy Bly in 2001's CART movie 'Driven' - which is not exactly the second coming of 1966's 'Grand Prix', to put it mildly.

Assuming that Hayes last raced in F1 in 1999 and the movie is set in 2025 indeed, he would make his comeback after 26 years away from the sport. If that seems a bit excessive to you, we do not blame you. For reference, the record of the longest gap between Grand Prix starts is held by Jan Lammers at slightly over 10 years. The Dutchman had raced in his home Grand Prix for Theodore in 1982, getting his final shot at F1 for the final rounds of the 1992 season with the struggling March team.


"Who said anything about safe?"​

Anyway, eyebrow-raising statistics aside, let's look at what the teaser actually showed us. 'F1' scenes have been shot at actual races in 2023, and with the actual Formula One backing the film, all the teams, drivers and other personnel fans already know are there. Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, the Hungaroring and Monza feature prominently in the teaser, mostly in the driving scenes. We have to say: The wide-angle onboard shots do look cool, as they give an increased sense of speed.

The teaser does not give away much regarding the storyline, only really touching upon it at the very start. Pitt's character lists Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren as having "the speed on the straights." APXGP's shot: "We need to build a car for combat" to take it to the competition in the turns. Hayes' cheesy reply to what we can only assume to be the constructor of the car (played by Kerry Condon) wondering how to make that safe is "Who said anything about safe?"

No further dialogue features in the teaser, but we are treated to Queen's 'We Will Rock You' instead. Shots alternate between the pit crews, Hayes getting ready to get in the car on the grid, crews on the pit wall (including a Günther Steiner cameo in which he gets flipped the bird), and on-track action.


Story Does Not Seem To Be A Strength​

And let's face it: The latter is most likely the most important aspect, at least to racing fans. Sure, a good plot adds to any film, but 1971's 'Le Mans' - generally regarded as one of the greatest racing movies ever made - hardly has any. Aside from the race itself, that is. And personally, the story in the aforementioned 'Grand Prix' is not exactly why I rewatch that movie from time to time - it is all about the portrayal of the racing itself.

Judging from the scenes in the teaser, this could be 'F1's strength. The camera angles used for the on-track clips pulls the viewer in to be in the middle of the action, without any overdone effects that we could spot in this teaser, anyway. Since F1 supports the film, we should assume that they would want a decent portrayal of their own series on the big screen - whether or not that is actually the case, we will see once more teasers and trailers of the film are published leading up to its premiere.

What are your first impressions of the 'F1' movie teaser? Are you looking forward to the film? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

I always enjoy the footage while watching racing movies (if it was real).

I love vintage racing so Le Mans and Grand Prix were fantastic (of course the stories weren't great but again, I enjoyed the footage). Rush was also good, since I've seen many of the cars at vintage races. Even Driven, which is easy to hate has some great footage of the 2000 CART season. I'm sure F1 will have great footage and will be entertaining.

F1 will probably end up being better than Rush and Ford vs. Ferrari (of these 2, I think Rush was a lot better). If it makes F1 more popular, even better. Hopefully it helps to make racing more popular in general (outside of F1 it's pretty rare to see packed grandstands).
 
Looks to me like the Lewis/Nico seasons. As far as drug dealers in racing, there are several convicted drivers/owners who used their race team either as a Mule or a money laundering operation.
 
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I understand Steve McQueen was forced by the studio to include some kind of story in 'Le Mans' in order for it to be released. And we got 'Le Mans' because John Frankenheimer beat McQueen to an F1-themed movie back in the sixties... this is what could have been, instead of 'Grand Prix':

Thank you very much for this youtube link. I had not seen it yet.This is really some motorsport movie history .
 
I would love it if this turned out well, but I have my doubts. The casting already looks silly with Brad Pitt driving. They should have cast him as the team owner. I'm getting Driven vibes from this, and we all know how bad that movie was. I just hope we don't see Brad Pitt chasing the other driver through the streets of London in a F1 car with no helmet on. The production on the trailer looks ok, but if the story sucks, then I think it will suck. The only really good racing movies I have seen are Grand Prix, Ford vs Ferrari, and Rush, the rest have been mediocre to just plain garbage. Let's hope this one can rise above.
Agree. Brad as a team owner will fit better. It will also gives the screen writers a healthy dose of more realistic drama materials about running an F1 team. Then add some intense rivalries between drivers.
 
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I almost forgot to mention the most terrible scenes in almost every car racing film: overtaking on a straight stretch of track where the hero of the film steps on the gas pedal in a clear close-up to accelerate and overtake his opponent. What an insult to motorsport. Do the directors of these films understand nothing about motor racing? Would they really think that there are drivers who do not drive full throttle on a straight? And this in this day and age, when everyone can try out what it is like to race in a rental kart or racing sim. I bet there's such a bad scene in the F1 movie.
 
I almost forgot to mention the most terrible scenes in almost every car racing film: overtaking on a straight stretch of track where the hero of the film steps on the gas pedal in a clear close-up to accelerate and overtake his opponent. What an insult to motorsport. Do the directors of these films understand nothing about motor racing? Would they really think that there are drivers who do not drive full throttle on a straight? And this in this day and age, when everyone can try out what it is like to race in a rental kart or racing sim. I bet there's such a bad scene in the F1 movie.
The worst one in recent times is the gran turismo movie. Credit where it's due, I did enjoy the film a lot, the parts where they did not try to inject video-game elements forcefully.

But that scene where the guy decides to drive a different line from the pros because "gran turismo" and suddenly gaps everyone else is just cringe-inducing. Because this film stars brad pitt, we can be almost certain that we will see the new courage-DRS system where Brad Pitt suddenly has a flashback and overcomes a past trauma and suddenly his car becomes more aerodynamic and he manages to overtake Max Filmstappen.
 
Pitt is even one year older than me (WTH) and so how realistic is it to have an elder bloke in a modern F1 car!? Also I do not think that today's F1 is that exciting anymore with a huge lack of legends and real stars, famous guys- there are so many in the grid I still don't have any clue who they are and also don't care much. Personally I would make a movie about a legend racing driver who tragically died and just for that idea there would be so many names worth making it. Main purpose of this one is imo to boost today's F1, gain more viewers and most of all make them buy expensive Sky-Abos etc. From first looks I'd give this most likely flop 2 stars of 5. Not much delighted I am. And yes I am Yoda. By now. ;-)
 
Hey at least with Brad Pitt being older he is not going to play a simracer that makes it in F1, that a relief. He probably grows up on a hill in a downtrodden part of town and pushes his cart down the hill. And then he had a long career as a racer in some American pickup truck dirt track series where cars are built for combat.
 
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I almost forgot to mention the most terrible scenes in almost every car racing film: overtaking on a straight stretch of track where the hero of the film steps on the gas pedal in a clear close-up to accelerate and overtake his opponent. What an insult to motorsport. Do the directors of these films understand nothing about motor racing? Would they really think that there are drivers who do not drive full throttle on a straight? And this in this day and age, when everyone can try out what it is like to race in a rental kart or racing sim. I bet there's such a bad scene in the F1 movie.
They’ve also got to show the aggressive downshift to show that they really mean it, although not so easy to do now with the flappy paddle gear changes :)
 
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They’ve also got to show the aggressive downshift to show that they really mean it, although not so easy to do now with the flappy paddle gear changes :)
Perhaps the 'floppy pooodle' could snap off with the pressure applied in anger and he is forced to change down by manipulating the switch by sticking his finger through the hole, after he takes his glove off, and we see it fly out of the car and wedges the magic DRS wide open.
But... really a 60 year old guy who's not been in the scene for 26 years, drives a modern F1 car... he little skinny neck would have his silly head snap clean off at the first high G corner, and the FIA wouldn't give a fella that's been out for two and a half decades a super license to race F1 cars for up to two hour stretches... unless, the CIA were involved and needed him to run a top secret mission in one of the third world countries that F1 visits...

The only other Racing film I've seen with a washed up racing driver returns to win with a trick car was 'HERBIE'
 
Perhaps the 'floppy pooodle' could snap off with the pressure applied in anger and he is forced to change down by manipulating the switch by sticking his finger through the hole, after he takes his glove off, and we see it fly out of the car and wedges the magic DRS wide open.
But... really a 60 year old guy who's not been in the scene for 26 years, drives a modern F1 car... he little skinny neck would have his silly head snap clean off at the first high G corner, and the FIA wouldn't give a fella that's been out for two and a half decades a super license to race F1 cars for up to two hour stretches... unless, the CIA were involved and needed him to run a top secret mission in one of the third world countries that F1 visits...

The only other Racing film I've seen with a washed up racing driver returns to win with a trick car was 'HERBIE'
Also don't forget they will portray the new generation of racers as cold blooded emotionless specimens that emerge from cryo-chambers. They'll show a montage of the young drivers doing reflex tests using next gen retina tracking missile lock-on virtual reality goggles, but for good old brad here, he'll be catching sturgeons in cold lakes, catching falling acorns from the tree to show his rustic manly personality.
 
Imo, the trailer looks horrible; like a cheap TV-production. Absolutely underwhelming. The silly nonsense about building a car that isn't fast on straights but built for fightin' in the corners is embarassing - especially in lieu of the shots in the trailer from high speed circuts like Spa, Monza and Silversone. Good luck with that particular design decision. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Now, I happen to think that Grand Prix and Le Mans capture the Zeitgeist of the period admirably and are full of good plots and stories: In Grand Prix we have the sibling rivalry between Roger and Scott Stoddard. Scott clearly adores his older brother and Roger's destiny is only hinted at. He had an accident. Was probably killed. And he didn't walk the track that day. This is the kind of story that is up there with "Babyshoes for sale. Never worn". The saddest, shortest story in the world.
There's the band of brothers aspect, racers traveling like moths to the flame; next race. Partying like there was no tomorrow which would be the literal truth for some of the drivers. And they discuss safety in that iconic meeting where we see many of the drivers of the times.
Also you have the Pete Aaron redemption story. And the guys are not shy about the girls either, even nicking each other's girlfriends or wives.

For Le Mans we have the guy who wants to race no matter what the cost. Everything else is waiting. He was in that accident that took the life of another driver and here is is, one year later and spending time with the widow. Why is she not done with racing and racing drivers? There is the track, the legend, Le Mans, almost like a character in its own right. He nearly kills himself in an accident but manages to defy death. That is a bit like a Homeric achievement in itself.

Moden plots in comparison are pathetic. There's always the obligatory bedding scene to imply human interest or whatever, don't care for these whatever the sexes involved. Someone is the cranky person, someone is angry, someone ambitious etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Secret tips for your viewing consideration:

Enzo Ferrari - 2003 Italian biopic. Covers Enzo Ferrari's life and career in an interesting way.
Race to Glory: Audi versus Lancia - 2023. Shaky and low budget in places and some terrible continuity gaffes, but the basic story about building a car that is a deathtrap is fascinating.
 
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I'm cautiously optimistic. I don't know why, because really, Hollywood is gonna Hollywood this Michael Bay style. Just don't do what Ford Vs Ferrari did and make it that EVERY race was won on the last lap, last corner, drag to the finish line that sh+t was cringe to watch. Just tell a good story and don't go too crazy with the embellishment.
 
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A movie for those who don't normally follow F1 races? They want more TV viewers? I have Viaplay channels for this sport.
 

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