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Everyone Calm Down About Brad Pitt’s F1 Movie Car Crash

Not every stunt uses CGI, and with a rumored budget exceeding $300 million, this film has enough money to crash all the cars.

Usually, when you see a race car crashed to pieces on the tarmac at Silverstone, it wasn’t done on purpose. This time, though, it might have been. Brad Pitt’s upcoming F1 movie is currently filming at the iconic British track and it seems an eagle-eyed photographer spotted the aftermath of a crash scene that has everyone talking.

The Race has a photo of the black F1 movie car, sponsored by Expensify and IWC, heavily banged up. While commenters are running rampant online, speculating on Reddit and other forums that it was part of an earnest accident, the wreckage looks to be the result of a staged, remote-controlled stunt. While we don’t have visual context for this crash, the crew members standing behind the wall don’t seem too concerned.

Movie stunts like this are often replicated using computer-generated imagery, but not always. The production crew has focused on authenticity, creating an “11th team” of sorts while partnering with companies like Mercedes-AMG to add even more real-world depth. And while it would be expensive to crash anything that comes close to the complexity level of a modern F1 car, this film is said to draw from one of the largest budgets ever, with rumors claiming it exceeds $300 million. That puts it in Avengers territory.

Does this spoil a major plot point in the movie? If we see Pitt driving the black Expensify/IWC car, should we be waiting for the crash? We know that Pitt’s character is one of the drivers who could be driving that car, as he’s been spotted alongside actor Damson Idris, both wearing racing suits with the car’s same sponsors. So either Pitt’s character or his teammate is likely to crash this car in the movie. Who’d’ve thunk it?

(The comments about this crash proving Esteban Ocon is in the movie are cruel and hilarious.)

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the film, with this photo being the first new piece of information in a while. That’s surprising considering its enormous budget and all the stars involved with its production. Not only is Pitt attached, but so are Oscar winner Javier Bardem and seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. We know it’s being directed by Joseph Kosinski, who helmed the absolute smash-hit Top Gun: Maverick, but it doesn’t even have an official title. 

As a massive car and movie nerd, I’m cautiously optimistic about Pitt’s F1 movie. On one hand, it has all the necessary ingredients to be fantastic: a proven fast-paced action director, excellent actors, and cooperation with the sport itself. However, it’s also been stuck in production hell for quite some time, having faced delays related to the pandemic and writer’s strike. I’m nervously crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

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