Modern films have abandoned practical effects to a great extent. Today, Hollywood studios rely on a heavy dose of digital movie magic to save money and speed up production. The upcoming Formula 1 film is unlikely to be an exception, based on what we've seen thus far.
In a video shared on Twitter by F1 Troll, we see the faux-F1 car from the film wearing its black and gold livery. The car comes in for a pit stop, with the jack handler sliding in at the front and the rest of the crew leaping into action. Right away, it's clear we're watching an earnest but fake attempt at a pitstop. The wheel gunners mime undoing the wheel nuts in a remarkably unconvincing fashion. The tires aren't removed from the car at all. Instead, the tire handlers pass the "new" tire past the wheel gunner, who then mimes tightening the wheel nut before the car speeds away.
Of course, it's unlikely to look that way in the movie. Audiences would be rolling on the floor laughing as the pit crew ineffectually rolled new tires past the stopped F1 car in some kind of strange cult-like rubber fertility ritual. The action in the film will almost certainly appear more realistic.
It raises the question as to why they didn't just film a pit crew actually changing the tires for real. A Hollywood production should have the funds to hire experienced pit crew that can actually sling tires and run the wheel guns. Perhaps, though, it was simply deemed unnecessary, with this half-hearted effort enough to give the digital effects team enough to work with.
It does bear noting, though, that this video shows us a single take. It may be that the crew is actually plenty capable of changing the tires properly. This fake stop could have just been done to get more coverage of various angles, without the need to actually change the tires.
What we really want to see, though, is a scene where a pit stop goes wrong. In F1, it's often quite a laugh to see crew members frantically waving at each other when wheel nuts get stuck or a driver comes in when the tires aren't ready. There's plenty of scope to ham that up in an F1 film to good dramatic effect. Bonus points if Brad Pitt's character loses the championship because the jack man slips on a banana peel. Comedy gold, right there.
Speculation aside, it's a good laugh for anyone who has ever seen a real F1 pit crew in action. Here's hoping the film does an adequate job of representing the sport. After all, we'll be sure to be pay extra close attention to catch out any amusing flaws like this one.
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