F1, the movie: "It's Top Gun Maverick Next Generation!"

F1, the movie: “It’s Top Gun Maverick Next Generation!”

Director Joseph Kosinski recounts the epic shoot of his high-speed film, which literally puts Brad Pitt in a Formula 1 seat.

They managed to shoot a feature film about Formula 1, right in the middle of the paddock, with the real teams and the real cars in the background. A high-flying logistical and technical feat that tells the story Joseph Kosinskithe director of F1in a new interview with Deadline.

Does Brad Pitt Really Drive a Formula 1 Car?

Yes. Brad Pitt and his young playmate, Damson Idrisboth drove racing cars on official circuits, during real Grand Prix weekends. “We have Brad and Damson driving the cars, which is pretty spectacular in itself, but to do it in front of a live audience and at the speed that they do it…” applauds the director. Brad Pitt And Damson Idris trained for almost three months for the role, in various cars.”They started in Formula 3 and then moved up to Formula 2. Lewis Hamilton (producer) thought they were great. They were natural athletes. He was really impressed with their driving.”

What car was used for F1, the movie ?

Knowing that Lewis Hamilton is at the origin of the project and that he is a producer of the film, the production collaborated with his team, Mercedes and its boss Toto Wolff. “They all think that the usual racing movies don’t go fast enough on screen, because they’re made with movie cars. So Toto said we should start with a Formula 2 car, but make it look like a Formula 1 car. So we took an F1 chassis and a Formula 2 engine. We worked closely with Mercedes, their design team and their aerodynamicists to develop a custom body that looks like the latest generation of Formula 1 cars. They built it specifically for this movie. They’re also equipped with 15 camera mounts, recorders, batteries, transmitters, because we’re shooting in them. But fundamentally, they’re racing cars!”

How were the high-speed sequences of F1, the movie ?

After the visual exploits of Top Gun 2, Joseph Kosinski achieved a new feat by filming at 300 km/h, with his nose stuck to the asphalt.We used custom-built cameras that are very small and light so they don’t hamper the performance of the car too much. You don’t build a racing car and then load it down with 100 kilos of equipment.the filmmaker explains to Deadline. Our camera mounts were designed with Mercedes. The cameras are specially designed by Sony. It’s the next generation of what we did on Top Gun: Maverick. Everything is much smaller and the big innovation is that we are now able to control the movement of the cameras on the cars. We are not locked into a fixed position, as we were with Top Gun 2. We now control the pans and focus in real time, while filming via a very large wireless network, which we built around the tracks.”

Filming at the heart of Formula 1

Joseph Kosinski explains that the staging had to be carefully planned, since it was correlated with the already tight schedule of a Formula 1 Grand Prix. “It’s a logistics unlike any other. We filmed during the Grands Prix themselves, sometimes in very, very limited windows. We filmed on the track, between practice and qualifying sessions, in front of hundreds of thousands of people.“For example, he talks about this scene filmed last year, at Silverstone.”We were on the grid. I think we had about 9 minutes to shoot a one-page dialogue scene with three actors. It’s like a pit stop! It’s a high-intensity shoot. Everyone has to be hyper-focused. More so than on a normal shooting day…” We will see Verstappen and the others, in their real cars, and also outside.We are the eleventh team on the board“, sums up the director, who specifies that in addition to Silverstone, we will see on screen the Grand Prix of Hungary, Spa (Belgium), Monza (Italy), Zandfoort (Netherlands), Japan, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi and Mexico. And as a bonus, we will see a bit of the 24 Hours of Daytona! “I obviously know it’s not part of Formula 1 in real life, but it’s a race that we filmed and it will really mean something when people see the film.

How much did it cost? F1, the movie ?

The producer Jerry Bruckheimer does not give any figures. The astronomical amount of 300 million dollars has sometimes been mentioned, but it is denied by Bruckheimer and his director, who assure that the real figure is below several tens of millions. Without giving more details: “It’s Apple’s money (which financed the film) and it’s up to them to talk about it. But you can say that it’s really less than the amount that was reported.”

Released on June 25, 2025 in theaters in France. An IMax release is also in the plans.

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