Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

The opinions have been divided among Formula 1 fans and even the teams and drivers when it comes to the widely popular Netflix series "Drive to Survive." Now, it has been confirmed that F1 will also be teaming up with Hollywood giants to produce a feature film starring Brad Pitt. Filming is reportedly set to begin at the upcoming British Grand Prix.

The race weekend at Silverstone takes place from July 7 to July 9, and Pitt is set to be there to go behind the wheel of a modified Formula 1 car. Scenes for the movie believed to be titled "Apex" will be shot over the weekend, and a fictional garage has even been built at the circuit to house the make-believe F1 team that will be central to the story.

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski will be at the helm of the project, which is backed by world renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Millions of dollars is being poured into the project, which has also been linked to actor Tom Cruise, who has been seen at the paddock in recent months.

Why F1 is making a huge investment in entertainment

The success of "Drive to Survive" has been phenomenal, despite criticism from some teams and drivers due to the highly dramatised scenes which some say have been bordering on fiction. Long-time F1 fans have also had the tendency to gatekeep as more new fans start to appreciate the sport from a point of view that sometimes focuses more on the characters and the drama rather than the actual racing and the technical aspects of the sport.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that the commercial success of the show and the popularity that the series has brought is a positive thing for the sport overall. More sponsors and sold out venues result in massive profits that guarantee the longevity of the sport.

This is the same reason why F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali thinks the feature film will be a great investment for F1 in general. "We have the best producer in Hollywood, one of the best directors in Hollywood, one of the best stars, and the investment they are making is huge. The technology too is beautiful and a project for us to develop together, it is because we believe it is another way to take F1 to people who do not know anything about us," he told Sun Sport.

The former Ferrari team principal thinks it is important to "capture" a wider audience and this project is a great way to expand the sport's reach.

He also spoke about the Netflix series and how he truly believes in its value despite resistance from some people in the audience and in the paddock. "In the beginning, we were criticised for talking about F1 using different channels, such as Netflix. But now, like the movie, it is an evolution on how we need to talk about F1."

Will the film disrupt the race weekend?

Much has been said about the presence of celebrities during race weekends, particularly in tracks like Miami. Many issues have been raised about the disruptions they sometimes cause, as well as the safety concerns. With a full on fake garage and film crew at the scene, will there potentially be more trouble?

Domenicali assured that his top priority before agreeing to the film deal was to make sure that the integrity of the competition is not compromised and the regular staging of race weekends won't be disrupted in any way.

Track time will be given to the film crew, but it won't take away from the time used by the teams. "The live coverage of the sport will stay pure, it will not be compromised, that's the first thing I said," said the F1 chief, adding that filming will instead be scheduled around the normal flow of events.

He also thinks that it would be interesting for everyone to be in the midst of Hollywood action. F1 owners Liberty Media also firmly believe in the project, and are hoping that the Hollywood connection will ensure the success of the revived Las Vegas Grand Prix.

It may be remembered that Bernie Ecclestone put up the Caesars Palace Grand Prix from 1981 to 1984, but it failed to take off and was eventually dropped from the calendar. Now, Domenicali thinks the moment is right for F1 to make a comeback to Sin City.

He admitted that the local reception in Las Vegas was not as positive as he would have liked when he first visited the city, but he is confident that things will work out with the combined efforts of F1 and local stakeholders.

"Vegas is huge for entertainment but every casino has their own business, this is the first time we have them united together. I am sure the outcome will be fantastic. It is about not being afraid to try something with no fear," he added.