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McLaren Driver Oscar Piastri Breaks Down Racing Movies

Formula One driver Oscar Piastri breaks down some of the most famous racing movies of all time, including 'Grand Prix,' 'Le Mans,' 'Cars,' 'Speed Racer,' 'Gran Turismo,' 'Rush' and F1 documentary, 'Schumacher.'

Director: Chris Smith
Director of Photography: Brad Wickham
Editor: Eric Bigman
Producer: Camille Ramos
Line Producer: Jen Santos
Production Manager: James Pipitone
Production Coordinator: Tania Jones
Talent Booker: Meredith Judkins; Paige Keffer
Camera Operator: Jake Robbins
Sound Mixer: Tyson Dai
Production Assistant: Lucia Davis
Post Production Supervisor: Rachael Knight
Post Production Coordinator: Ian Bryant
Supervising Editor: Rob Lombardi
Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds

Released on 11/17/2023


Hey GQ, I'm Oscar Piastri and this is the Breakdown.

[upbeat music]

All right, grand Prix.

[Announcer] You have to remember that at Monte Carlo,

because of the nature of the circuit,

you shift gears over 2,600 times during the race.

So Monaco, where this is filmed, one

of the iconic F1 circuits

that is still on the calendar today,

it looks a little bit different to

what it does back in this film.

The hay bales are now all just AMCO,

there's catch fences everywhere.

Some of the corners have changed a lot,

but most of it's actually still the same.

It's one of the toughest circuits on the calendar.

I'm glad that I can race it in my cars now, not these ones.

The aerodynamics have gone a long way since this was filmed.

Can see all the suspension

and all the springs outside the car in this.

Nowadays they're all much tighter inside the car

and of course there's no rear wing on this car either.

And from the car behind, there's no front wing either.

They've got like the mirrors that are just there,

which I can't imagine would do much.

But now of course the tires for us are much bigger.

They're slick tires, there's no grooves.

Can see the pedals on the right there very different

to how they're now and a manual gearbox

with a, with a H pattern.

Now we just have little paddles on

the back of the steering wheel.

You'll notice the helmets are very different.

You can't see an inch of our skin,

the cockpit's much higher.

Just everything's very, very different

to a modern F1 car.

Yeah, we have some more luxuries in today's world.

[Announcer] Well, actually walking the course

is just about the last

thing I do on the morning of a race.

So he's talking about doing a a track walk,

which we still do today.

Maybe not everyone does a track walk these days,

but for me, especially my first year,

I've done a track walk at pretty much every circuit

just gives you a first look.

So yeah, it's nice to know that some things haven't changed

in 50 or 60 years in the sport.

But yeah, that's kind of like one

of the things to prepare the track.

Of course now compared to back in these days

we've got a lot of data logging

so we can look at that and onboard cameras as well.

You've got a lot more tools at your disposal these days.

Lamont, I've never driven a Lamont car,

but this is how I would imagine it to be.

Lamont looks very different back in the day.

I mean some of these cars are awesome old GT 40,

so the spray in the movie is pretty well replicated.

I would say modern day F1 cars, the spray is massive.

You know, whenever you see a spray in the rain,

especially when it's very heavy rain,

it does get a bit scary sometimes.

You can't see, you know, five or 10 meters ahead of you.

So there is some element

of hoping there's no one stopped in front of you.

Yeah, it's something that we're trying

to constantly improve and work on.

It's probably our biggest safety point in the sport at

the moment that we're trying to improve.

But yeah, presents a very big challenge for the drivers.

[engine revs]

[Announcer] Your attention to the pit area,

the long jail portion, number 25 is coming in

after having been out on the circuit for only 14 minutes.

That's one big difference from Lamont today

and all racetracks today, as you can see,

there was a car going past flat out

and there was no pit wall.

So just a white line on the track

that separates all the teams

or the pit crews from the track.

Obviously not particularly safe

of course we have like pit speed limits, which

for F1 is usually 80 kilometers an hour, some track 60

and the pit stops back in these days I imagine there was

refueling or there was refueling that is no longer a part

of Formula One and it's probably much

safer that it's that way.

Also, the changing tires

and stuff like that, we currently hold the record at

McLaren, which is 1.8 seconds.

I don't think you'd even be able

to get the wheel gun onto these wheels in 1.8 seconds.

I guess the professionalism of the sport in general,

you know, we've got nearly 20 guys changing tires

at a pit stop nowadays

and here I imagine there's probably less

than 20 people on a team.

But yeah, it's pretty crazy

to see back in the day what it used to be like.

Cars, a Classic.

[intense music]

We need tires now, come on, let's go.

No, no, no, no, no tires, just gas.

[tires screech]

You need tires, you idiot.

I'd probably get a similar reaction from my pit crew

or engineers if I did the same thing.

I know exactly what happens in cars

after this so I know the consequences.

But yeah, in a Formula One race

it's very rare you'd run into this problem.

Lightning tries to down one set of tires.

Mechanics obviously aren't very happy with him.

I don't know, maybe the mechanics do get

that angry I haven't seen,

but you wouldn't run into this problem

'cause we have to do a at least one pit stop.

We have three different types of tires in F1.

We have a soft tire, a medium tire, and a hard tire.

And you have to use two different types at

least during the race.

So you'd always do at least one pit stop because

otherwise you get disqualified.

But sometimes we do more than one pit stop,

so sometimes we'll do two.

On rare occasions we'll do three,

if the tire wear is really bad

so you can get into this problem.

If it's a sort of a crossover race between one pit stop

and two pretty rare you would get into this problem.

There's a few ways of being able

to tell when the tires are getting to the end of their life.

A lot of the time you get slower

and that's usually when it's a good time to pit.

It's quite rare that you'll run a tire to the point

where it explodes because normally by

that point you're a lot slower.

So normally change tires before this point.

You're blowing tires like this,

your chances of finishing the race, pretty slim.

Lewis Hamilton has finished a race on three

inflated ties at Silverstone once

and won the race still definitely

the first time I've seen it happen.

Maybe it's not the first time, but I think the last time

we'll see that for quite a long time.

Speed racer.

[intense music]

[engine revs]

[crowd cheers]

[engine whirring]

So I guess the first thing to point out is

I would never back out to lose a race.

I get there's emotional reasons in the movie,

but yeah, I guess, you know, racing against people,

I've kind of grown up watching, you know, people like Louis,

people like Fernando on TV.

Fernando's been reminded a couple of times

that his F1 career is longer than my life.

Yeah, it's pretty cool to watch these guys growing up

and now and now race against them.

Of course you try and forget about

'em once the helmet goes on.

They're just another guy you're trying to beat.

But definitely it's pretty special

to race against these kind of guys that you look up

to in your junior career or even even earlier than

that when you're a little kid first getting into F1

or Motorsport, so to now be racing against 'em.

So a pretty special feeling.

All right, Grand Turismo.

What the?

[intense music]

[engine whirring]

[engines revving]

See ya, bye.

[engine revving]


[tires screech]

[muffled explosion]

[tense build up sound]

I don't really talk when I'm driving, especially

to myself, so that might be a little bit of Hollywood,

but I don't know, I'm sure there's other drivers

that do say see you later in their helmet.

It's always nice when you can capitalize on other people,

you know, fighting amongst themselves

and then you get a clear path.

So that's quite realistic, I have actually driven on this

track in real life as well,

so that part's definitely realistic.

Yeah, I mean it is rare you see crashes as big

and dramatic as that, but they do happen, you know,

definitely seen some, some big crashes like that

and I think, you know,

it's always something you try to avoid.

Of course sometimes it's unavoidable,

but I guess you can be in riskier situations

and having a good sense of awareness of other cars

around you is of course important to avoid crashes.

So coming into F1 as a rookie, I guess there's a lot

of expectations, a lot of people that don't really know

what you're capable of.

I didn't race last year, I was a reserve driver,

so there was some rustiness coming back

into the actual racing.

But yeah, you always kind of under scrutiny,

whether you're a rookie, whether you are in your 20th year,

but definitely you've gotta, I guess there's some kind of

wanting to prove yourself

and establish your name in the sport.

McClaren have signed me up for another three years,

so clearly they think I'm okay.

Formula One and Motorsport in general

is in an expensive sport.

This movie is all about a guy

who got his chance in real life Motorsport through

simulators, which for us is now a very important tool.

The simulator by rules we we're not allowed

to do much testing anymore.

So we have three days of pre-season testing

and that's it for the whole season.

So the simulator and trying to get that as accurate

as possible is incredibly important for us.


[tires screeching]

[engines revving]

[crowd cheering]

[engines revving]

[announcer echoing]

Niki Lauda and James Hunt side by side.

So fun fact about Rush.

Earlier this year at Goodwood, I actually drove

James Hunt's car that is in this movie.

I'm very glad I don't have to race that car on

a weekly basis because safety has improved

a hell of a lot since then.

But no, very, very cool.

And I guess now closer, deeper meaning

with the movie Rush, that's a fun fact.

Are those of you with experience know

the rain needs perfect conditions

to be even remotely acceptable in terms of risk.

On today with the rain there's anything but perfect.

So I call this meeting to take a vote

[Everyone] to cancel the race. Cancel the race?

[disgruntled murmurs]

I think as drivers of course with this,

there's 20 of us in the world

and there's not many people in the world

that have the same experiences as us

and we're always trying to push the forefront of safety

and you know, meetings like this on weather,

on car safety, especially in the past,

without those safety improvements back in the day,

we would be in a much worse off place as a sport.

And you know, in some ways we owe a lot of our lives

to people like Niki Lauda in their continuous push

for safety and improving that.

I think even now, where we're still trying

to make the sports safer, it's gone

a long way from when this was,

but there's always things we can do to improve

and yeah, I think as a driver, as a grid, we're very united.

I think we've been able to achieve

some good things for the sport.

It's our job at the end of the day and we want

to make it better for us all, safe for us all

and better for people to watch.

So we don't normally review documentaries,

but this is a very important one for

F1 and for Motorsport.

So Schumacher.

[Richard] When Michael came into Formula One,

this was a time when there were big names,

[air whirring]

Senna was world champion with McLaren.

Mansell was driving for Williams.

So Michael's path went F1 was pretty different to

what you would see nowadays.

F3 then into sports cars

and then Formula One, mid-season,

mid-season F1 debuts are not unheard of.

We had Liam Lawson this year who came in mid-season

to replace Dan Ricardo when he broke his hand.

So that side of things is not unheard of,

but coming from sports cars is very, very rare nowadays.

Yeah, there's not many drivers.

It's kind of a pretty set pathway starting from

go-karts or now even sim racing, then going

to Formula Four, Formula Three, Formula Two, Formula One.

So for me that's what I did.

I did Formula Four, I raced Formula Reno,

which is basically Formula Three

and a half if you wanna think of it like that Formula Three

and Formula Two and then, yeah, got my way into F1.

So that's kind of the traditional pathway.

Now, I don't know, maybe we'll see someone come from

sports cars to F1.

It's pretty rare nowadays, I guess back

in the nineties it was more common.

Mark Weber, my manager did a very similar thing.

So yeah, it's not really something you'd see anymore.

Michael Schumacher came to the sport when he was

very young at this time.

Now I would say that that age is considered kind

of normal if not even a bit old.

Max Stepin joined the sport when he was 17,

so that will never be repeated again.

But the age I guess is now lower.

I started when I was 21 this season,

so I guess still pretty young,

but no, it's kind of cool to see

how the sport's constantly evolving.

People are getting, younger cars are getting quicker.

I mean, if I can try and repeat the success

that Michael had, I'd be a very happy man.

But yeah, coming to the sport, yeah, came in, mid-season,

had to perform straight away

and sort of earn his shot in F1

and yeah, he was able to deliver straight away.

So very impressive to watch,

try and do the best job that I can to do the same.

Thank you for watching these clips with me.

I hope you learnt something new.

See you next time.

[ambient music]

Starring: Oscar Piastri

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