A dedicated pit garage has emerged in the Silverstone paddock this weekend, with Sonny Hayes, Brad Pitt’s fictional driver, adorning the banners of the newly-formed Mercedes garage. The latest Apple movie, rumoured to be titled Apex, will be produced by Formula 1’s seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and could feature a few familiar racing faces…
The British Grand Prix comes but once a year. A prestigious circuit on the 22-race calendar, Silverstone has been the host of some of the greatest on-track battles in the history of the sport. In recent years it could be considered more of a one-sided circuit, and Lewis Hamilton’s favourite stomping ground; a shrine dedicated to Britain’s – and the sport’s – greatest-ever driver, as the Mercedes driver has stormed to victory in seven out of the last nine races.
This year, however, the grid will welcome a new face to race on this fabled track – in the form of one of Hollywood’s most prolific stars… Joining Hamilton in a newly-formed Mercedes garage, Brad Pitt arrives at Silverstone to start shooting his new Formula 1 movie, Apex (final title TBC) – and his arrival will add stratospheric star power at a time when American viewers are tuning out in their thousands.
The movie will be director Joseph Kosinski’s first project since the resounding success of Top Gun: Maverick, and follows the story of a retired F1 champion, played by Brad Pitt, who interrupts his twilight years to return to the grid with his old team and mentor a young driver, played by Damson Idris.
Details are still under wraps for the still-unnamed movie, with rumours circulating this year that Pitt’s team Apex would be added as the 11th team to the grid. But now with a confirmed Mercedes garage in the paddock, adorning the name Sonny Hayes – Pitt’s fictional character – the expectation is that Pitt will be driving for the Silver Arrows in the new movie.
Speaking with Motorsport.com, Hamilton said: “I know we’re going to make the best racing movie that’s ever existed, both visually and we’re going to work on making sure we pull on the heartstrings of all those fans.”
A sell-out capacity crowd of 150,000 spectators is expected for the British Grand Prix, with fans arriving to see their favourite drivers get ready for a momentous weekend of Formula 1 racing. And now with circulating reports that Brad Pitt could be on the track in between F1 sessions, excitement is building for what promises to be a star-studded event like no other. Hamilton said: “It’s exciting because all the teams will be involved, the drivers, everyone. So it’s fantastic!”
But fans hoping to see Lewis Hamilton’s on-screen acting debut will have to wait, as the British driver revealed to Sky Sports: “I don’t really have any desire to be in front of the camera, but there may be an element in it where maybe I’ll slot in and play a small cameo, but at the moment that’s not the plan.”
For Hamilton, the focus will turn to the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship following a disappointing result in Austria last weekend, which saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen extend his lead at the top of the Drivers’ to 229 points – 123 clear of Hamilton.
The British Grand Prix presents the perfect opportunity for Mercedes and Hamilton to make a statement of intent as we progress through the Formula 1 season. While the attention may be distracted by the Hollywood fanfare, Hamilton will be hoping to stake a claim and put on a show of his own on home soil.