Lewis Hamilton’s vision for APXGP F1 film: ‘It will take this sport to new heights’


Starring Brad Pitt and backed by Lewis Hamilton, the new F1 film featuring the fictional APXGP team could take up where Drive to Survive left off and bring the series to an even greater audience, says the seven-time champion

APXGP filming team in Silverstone F1 paddock at 2023 British Grand Prix

APXGP crew filming in the Silverstone paddock

Antonin Vincent/DPPI

Drive to Survive is credited with bringing F1 to a new audience. Now Brad Pitt’s F1 film, featuring the fictional APXGP team, is tipped to take that exposure to a new level.

Lewis Hamilton, who is co-producing the project, said that putting Formula 1 on the big screen, using techniques from the Top Gun: Maverick movie was an “important step” in continuing the series’ growth in popularity.

Shooting for the movie, rumoured to be called Apex, is taking place at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend, with Brad Pitt and Damson Idris in the paddock along with Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski and decorated producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

APXGP pit box at 2023 British Grand Prix

APXGP pit garage is next to Ferrari’s

Antonin Vincent/DPPI

A pit garage and pitwall, next to Ferrari’s, has been kitted out in APXGP livery, while the fictional team’s car — a modified Formula 2 machine in black and gold livery will run between sessions, and is rumoured to be joining the Grand Prix formation lap.

Speaking at a Silverstone press conference ahead of the weekend, Hamilton revealed that the movie would depict Pitt and on-screen team-mate Damson Idris racing against this year’s real-world grid.

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Brad Pitt filming F1 movie at the British GP: latest on Silverstone shoot

Brad Pitt filming F1 movie at the British GP: latest on Silverstone shoot

Co-produced by Lewis Hamilton, Brad Pitt's new F1 film is adding star power to the Silverstone paddock as it shoots at this weekend's British Grand Prix, using black and gold cars assigned their own 'APXGP' pit garage. Here's what to expect from the movie, rumoured to be called Apex

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“We’ve already seen the great work and impact of the Netflix [Drive to Survive] show and I think this will take it to new heights beyond that,” said Hamilton. “There’s so many people around the world, as you’ve seen already, that are so excited about this sport, wanting to learn more.

“And the fact that we will have all the original characters that are actually on the grid, and then Brad it’s pretty cool.”

Most of the plot, however, is expected to take place within the team and away from the track, with drivers not expected to play a major role. Hamilton has said that he may have a “small cameo”.

Lando Norris said:” I don’t think we’re going to be in it that much.”

Hamilton’s producer role in Apex

Most other drivers appeared to know little about the film and the plans for the weekend, but Hamilton is closely involved through his Dawn Apollo film company, which is making the movie for Apple.

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He is credited as an executive producer and has been heavily involved since the project’s inception, frequently speaking about trying to capture the heritage and racing spirit of the sport for an audience that doesn’t typically watch F1.

Hamilton has also explained how he’s keen for it to reflect the change that he is encouraging within motor sport — ensuring a diverse cast and crew.

However, it wasn’t race that prompted questions in the pre-Silverstone press conference but the diversity in age — of the 59-year-old Brad Pitt.

“Brad looks like he’s ageing backwards,” Hamilton joked. “He looks great for his age. It was a big topic when we were discussing the first story but he’s super fit, he’s been training.

“At the end of the day, it’s a movie so there will be a Hollywood element to it that will make it believable. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Brad Pitt in a Formula 1 movie. It’s incredible.”

AXGP pit with nose cones at 2023 British Grand Prix

Nose cones in black and gold livery outside APXGP garage

Antonin Vincent/DPPI

Will Brad Pitt do his own driving in the film?

The stars will also be behind the wheel during some stages of the filming. Hamilton said that he had watched Pitt practising on track in Britain last month, and has spent a day on track in Los Angeles.

However, stunt drivers are at Silverstone and are likely to lead on the more complex scenes that are likely to form flashpoints in the film, using high-tech cameras and techniques that promise spectacular results.

“Our cameras are a lot better than what you’re seeing when you’re watching TV,” said Hamilton. “It’s going to look fast — faster than it does on TV.

“Joe is an incredible director. You already saw what he’s done with fighter jets, what he did with Maverick — just think about what he’s done in terms of the dogfights you saw with the jets that was pretty epic. Bringing that technology and that viewpoint into our world is going to be amazing.”