Lewis Hamilton has, already established himself as an icon in Formula 1 and now, he’s hoping to make a splash in the world of cinema.
The seven-time champion serves as a producer on a yet-to-be-titled film, which stars Brad Pitt as a veteran F1 driver who comes out of retirement to race with a rising star, played by British actor Damson Idris.
Hamilton, who has won a record 103 Formula 1 races, spoke to reporters Thursday ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix and said he has high hopes for the project to capture audiences in an even bigger way than the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive.
Part of the fictional movie’s allure is that F1 officials are giving filmmakers access to actual race weekends.
“I’ve been really incredibly grateful to them,” Hamilton said, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t know if this would have been possible 10-plus years ago when the old management was in place. They wouldn’t have perhaps seen this as an important step in terms of the sport’s growth.
“But we’ve already seen the great work and impact of the Netflix show, and I think this will take it to new heights beyond that.”
Drive to Survive is widely credited with increasing Formula 1’s popularity in the United States, especially after the 2020 pandemic. That year, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, F1 had an incredible 99 percent engagement increase. This season, there are three races in the United States for the first time ever.
Hamilton, who has a record 13 podiums at Silverstone where the series races this weekend, said the authenticity of the new F1 film is important to him. Pitt’s character, Sonny Hayes, has his own garage in pit lane and the actor will drive a modified F2 car during race weekend at Silverstone.
Hamilton, who voiced a character of himself in the 2011 animated movie Cars 2, said he is excited to work with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Joseph Kosinski, who both worked on Top Gun: Maverick, a film he was offered a role in, but turned down to focus on racing.
“Joe is an incredible director and you already saw what he’s done with fighter jets, what he did with Maverick,” the Mercedes star said.
“So if you just think about what he’s done with that, in terms of the dogfights you saw on those jets, (it) was pretty epic.“And bringing that in, that technology and that viewpoint into our world, I think it’s going to be amazing.” (USAToday)