Apple’s ‘F1’ movie looks really good

I’ve sneered at Apple’s F1 movie since it was announced, assuming it’ll be a cynical exercise in brand building. Given the close involvement of the sport’s governing body, its stars and teams, it has the vibes of a two-hour commercial. But the teaser trailer for the film has made me worried, because it actually looks like it could be quite good. Oh no.

F1 was co-produced by (F1 great) Lewis Hamilton himself, who pledged to make it the most realistic racing movie ever made. It centers on Brad Pitt’s Sonny Hayes, who is recruited from retirement to be a mentor to Damson Idris’ hot new prospect, Joshua Pierce. The last sequence in the teaser, all roaring engines and heavy breathing as the car warps around the track, is enough to make me think this has to be seen in IMAX.

There’s still time for it all to go wrong, and you can’t make a plucky underdog sports movie in this of all environments. After all, even the smallest team is a multi-multi-million dollar outfit with millionaire drivers behind the wheel of each car. And it’s not as if you can make a wacky design tweak to improve your car above the others given the yearslong homologation process.

But I have to hope that any movie that features (former Haas F1 team principal and living meme) Guenther Steiner in a reaction shot can’t be all bad.

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