A mysterious winged open-wheeler has been spotted turning laps at Silverstone. Word on the street is that this could be the car built for Brad Pitt's upcoming Formula 1 movie.
As covered by Road and Track, the black open-wheeler turned up in a YouTube video posted on April 28. Shot on a grey and dreary day at Silverstone, the video shows the race car turning a lap at a lazy pace. We can hear the wail of a racing engine at partial throttle, and the quick shifts of the sequential gearbox as it pulls away down the straight.
The car in question appears similar in some regards to the current Formula 2 car, the Dallara F2 2018. However, it has smoother features that push the look closer to that of modern F1 cars. Highlights include the fancier rear wing, the front wing endplates, and the design of the sidepods swooping down towards the rear.
It's believed that this is most likely the car built by the Mercedes Formula 1 team for Pitt's movie project. Previous reports have indicated the movie would use a modified junior formula car. This would be both significantly cheaper than using a real F1 car while also avoiding any issues around testing restrictions. It would also be far more accessible for an amateur driver to handle, given that the film intends to put Pitt himself behind the wheel.
The upcoming movie, yet to be named, has been the subject of much anticipation and speculation thus far. With one of Hollywood's biggest stars attached, along with Lewis Hamilton involved as a consultant, the excitement is understandable. Just two weeks ago, reports flew that the movie would enter an "11th team" on the F1 grid. The news rocketed around F1 fans on social media, though it was quickly revealed by The Drive that the film's producers were speaking in a metaphorical sense.
The movie is expected to concern an older driver, played by Pitt. His character is making a comeback to the sport while acting as a mentor for a younger driver making a play for the championship. The storyline has drawn unfavorable comparisons to Driven, a disastrously bad 2001 film starring Sylvester Stallone.
In any case, the special effects and makeup teams will be working overdrive on this project. Beyond the racing scenes, it's going to take a lot to get the audience to believe Pitt, 58, is a viable F1 driver. As the saying goes, though, Hollywood works miracles.
Other speculation has centered around whether the car could alternatively be an early prototype of a new Formula 2 car. The junior category is expected to debut a new car for the 2024 season, with the aesthetic and aerodynamics expected to more closely resemble current Formula 1 designs. The Drive has contacted the series regarding whether the car in question was indeed a future Formula 2 prototype.
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