#F1 and the big screen: timing is everything

January 3, 2012

After dropping rather a lot of hints, I received the Senna DVD for Christmas and enjoyed watching it in between various helpings of turkey and Christmas pudding. It was certainly an outstanding film, recounting the story of the Senna versus Prost duel simply by using film clips and interviews. It was also good to see a clip featuring a rather younger version of my co-author Richard West announcing Senna’s arrival at Williams back in 1994.

I am also looking forward to the much-heralded ‘Rush’ to be directed by Ron Howard: Richie Cunningham from Happy Days and director of Frost/Nixon; Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind, amongst others. The film will, I understand, be a dramatisation of another epic F1 duel, that which took place between James Hunt (McLaren) and Niki Lauda (Ferrari) in 1976. It is rumoured that Russell Crowe will be playing Richard Burton, who really did feature in Hunt’s life at the time – I wonder if Tom Cruise will be playing Bernie? One of the contrasts between the Senna vs Prost and Lauda vs Hunt battles was that Lauda and Hunt actually got on very well off the track while fighting for the championship on it – both of them spoke their minds, regardless of political niceties, and both recognised the other as a kindred spirit. Given the early publicity surrounding the film I was rather amused to see that the former editor of BusinessF1, Tom Rubython, had undertaken a wonderful bit of opportunism and followed up on his biography of James Hunt ‘Shunt’ (Btw if you want to read about James Hunt his ‘official’ biography by Gerald Donaldson is outstanding), with a book on the battle between Hunt and Lauda entitled ‘In the Name of Glory – 1976’. So we now have the book as well as the film, but it isn’t the book of the film and it won’t be the film of the book, but probably most people won’t know and won’t care  – timing is everything.


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