Grand Prix is a 1966 American action film set during the 1996 Formula One season.
It stars James Garner, Brian Bedford, Yves Montand and Antonio Sabàto, each portraying fictional drivers amongst many real-life F1 drivers of the time. Cameo appearances by drivers include Formula One World Champions Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt and Jack Brabham. Other drivers who appeared in the film include Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Jo Bonnier, Bruce McLaren and Jo Siffert.
This film follows the fate of four Formula One drivers through a fictionalised version of the 1966 season:
- Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand)
- Pete Aron (James Garner)
- Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford)
- Nino Barlini (Antonio Sabàto)
Sub-plots involve the women who try to live with or love the racers with dangerous lifestyles. The married Sarti begins an affair with a magazine writer, Louise Frederickson (Eva Marie Saint), while Aron has a brief romance with Stoddard's unhappy wife Pat (Jessica Walter).
However, a race day accident at Monaco involving BRM team-mates Aron and Stoddard leaves the latter injured and hospitalised.
During Stoddard's recovery, Aron becomes involved with his wife who seems determined to leave Scott. At the same time, Sarti and Barlini also have chronicled love affairs with Frederickson and Lisa.
Aron wins the 1966 Formula One drivers' championship at the Italian Grand Prix which sees a bloody accident after Sarti crashes at the chicane at 190mph and the Ferrari bursts into flames. Sarti dies of his injuries and Barlini is forced to withdraw out of respect for the Frenchman which allows Stoddard to finish second.
The F1 cars in the film are mostly mocked-up Formula 3 cars made to look like contemporary F1 models, although the film also used footage from actual F1 races.
Some of this was captured by Phil Hill, the 1961 Drivers' Champion, who drove modified camera cars in some sessions during the Monaco and Belgian Grands Prix. This was some of the earliest experimentation with in-car cameras for Formula One.
- James Garner as Pete Aron
- Yves Montand as Jean-Pierre Sarti
- Brian Bedford as Scott Stoddard
- Antonio Sabàto as Nino Barlini