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Brad Pitt was full of praise and respect for Formula One and, in particular, the drivers on Sunday after spending the weekend in their company for filming at the British Grand Prix.

The Hollywood film star told Sky Sports F1 that the paddock and sport as a whole had welcomed and embraced the Apple-supported F1 film project, being called ‘Apex’, in which he is starring.

“I’m having the time of my life,” he said, having raced around the track himself.

“I’m a little giddy right now. It’s great to be here. We’re having such a laugh. It’s the time of my life.

“To be a part of it in this way? To tell our story? Everyone has been cool with us, the teams have opened their doors to us, the FIA have been really helpful, F1 and Stefano Domenicali. Everyone has been amazing.”

 US actor Brad Pitt, starring as a driver in an F1-inspired movie, is seen prior to the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 9, 2023. Photo: AFP
US actor Brad Pitt, starring as a driver in an F1-inspired movie, is seen prior to the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 9, 2023. Photo: AFP

The 59-year-old Hollywood actor started filming at Silverstone against the race backdrop.

He received a warm reception from the drivers when he and director Joseph Kosinski joined the drivers’ briefing ahead of the race.

 Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Tobias Menzies (back to the camera) at the British Grand Prix during filming. Photo: Reuters
Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Tobias Menzies (back to the camera) at the British Grand Prix during filming. Photo: Reuters

Pitt stars as a racing driver who steps out of retirement to compete alongside an up-and-coming rookie against the titans of the sport. The production had its own garage and pitwall stand as a fictional 11th team.

The Apple TV film is being directed by Joseph Kosinski, the director of the blockbuster, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

 Brad Pitt chats with fans before the start of the race. Photo: Reuters
Brad Pitt chats with fans before the start of the race. Photo: Reuters

Mercedes’ seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton is a co-producer.

Hamilton said it was “probably the best drivers’ briefing we’ve ever had.”

Co-producer Hamilton says he will not appear in Brad Pitt F1 film

Using Formula Two cars converted by Mercedes, the ‘film cars’ took places on the grid for the race and ran in part of the formation lap before the start of the Grand Prix.

They were driven by former drivers Craig Dolby and Luciano Bachetta.

Mercedes’ George Russell said it had been a surreal experience to share space with Pitt.

“It’s one of those you see a worldwide superstar for the first time – it’s quite surreal. It’s only when you get to be with those individuals whether it’s Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Roger Federer that you recognise they’re just normal human beings.

“He was joking around and having a good time and just kind of one of the boys really. I’m so excited to see what the movie does.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly were among the drivers thrilled by their chance to spend time with Pitt, but defending world champion Max Verstappen said he was less than impressed.

“I think they’re going to use some shots of everybody, in terms of onboard cameras and stuff,” he said; “I completely can’t be bothered with this.

“In the end, a film is always made to create a little bit of a show because, of course, it won’t all be real, but I think it’s all fine. I’m actually not that much into it.”

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