Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay, Alistair Petrie, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Colin Stinton
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Bio-drama directed by Ron Howard based on the true story of the great rivalry between charismatic but arrogant Englishman James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), and the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) in Formula 1 racing. The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error.
Our Favorite Quotes:‘The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel, the more alive you are.’ - James Hunt (Rush) Click To Tweet ‘Happiness is the enemy. It weakens you. Puts doubt in your mind. Suddenly you have something to lose.’ - Niki Lauda (Rush) Click To Tweet ‘Every now and then it helps if people like you.’ - James Hunt (Rush) Click To Tweet ‘A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ - Niki Lauda (Rush) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 116)
[first lines; German Grand Prix in Nürburgring, August 1976, Niki Lauda looks up at the sky as the dark clouds pass over]
Niki Lauda: [voice over] Twenty-five drivers start every season in Formula One, and each year two of us die. What kind of person does a job like this? Not normal man for sure. Who else? Rebels, lunatics, dreamers, people who are desperate to make a mark and are prepared to die trying.
[as Niki sits in his car looking apprehensively at the sky, we see James Hunt posing for reporters and is surrounded by women]
Niki Lauda: [voice over] My name is Niki Lauda, in racing people know me for two things; the first is my rivalry with him.
[Niki’s mechanic approaches Niki and says in Italian]
Ferrari Mechanic: [subtitled] Mass is going on slicks. You want to change?
[referring to James]
Niki Lauda: What about Hunt? Has he changed?
Ferrari Mechanic: No, he’s going on wet.
Niki Lauda: [voice over] I don’t know why it became such a big thing. We were just drivers, busting each other’s balls. To me this was perfectly normal, but other people saw it differently, that whatever was between us was big.
[as Niki watches James put on his visor, he replies in Italian to his mechanic]
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] Then we go on wets too.
[Niki pulls down his visor and puts on his helmet]
Niki Lauda: [voice over] The other thing I’m remembered for is what happened on 1st, August, 1976, when I was chasing him like an asshole.
[we see the race cars all lined and as the race commences, Niki and James, along with the other drivers, speed off]
[Six Years Earlier – James walks into a hospital barefoot, wearing his driving clothes and his nose bleeding, he walks up to a nurse]
James Hunt: I think the racetrack telephoned ahead that I was coming. Hunt. James Hunt.
[the nurse and everyone in the hospital reception looks stunned and stares at him]
James Hunt: What’s the matter? No one ever seen a spot of blood before?
Nurse Gemma: Are you alright?
James Hunt: Absolutely fine.
[James is in a booth with the nurse]
Nurse Gemma: We all thought you’d been in an accident.
James Hunt: I have. If you call a friendly disagreement with another driver an accident.
[James takes off the top part of his driving overalls and the nurse closes the curtain, she goes over to examine James]
Nurse Gemma: What did you disagree about?
James Hunt: None of your business.
[the nurse quickly takes off the plaster on the wound below his chest]
James Hunt: Ouch!
Nurse Gemma: Sorry.
James Hunt: His wife.
Nurse Gemma: That’s going to need a couple of stitches. It’s a nasty cut.
James Hunt: It was a nasty blow. Done with a bloody crowbar.
[the nurse continues to examine him and leans in to check his eyes]
Nurse Gemma: Why? What did you do?
James Hunt: Nothing. Only what she asked me to do.
Nurse Gemma: Which was?
James Hunt: I’d be happy to show you if you like.
[we then see James and the nurse start grabbing each other and kissing]
[as James and the nurse are having sex]
James Hunt: [voice over] I have a theory why women like racing drivers. It’s not because they respect what we do, driving round and round in circles. Mostly they think that’s pathetic, and they’re probably right. It’s our closeness to death. You see, the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel, the more alive you are. And they can see that in you, they feel that in you.
[we see James and the nurse having sex in the shower]
James Hunt: [voice over] My name is James Hunt, my father was a stock broker, my sister is a barrister, and my brother is an accountant. I, well, I do this. It’s a wonderful way to live, it’s the only way to drive. As if each day is your last.
[finally, late at night, we see James and the nurse drop into bed naked]
[Crystal Palace Race Track, London, 1970 – James drives the nurse in his mini to the race track, as they get out of the car]
Nurse Gemma: I’ve never been to a Grand Prix before.
James Hunt: Oh, no, you still haven’t. This is Formula Three.
Nurse Gemma: What’s that?
James Hunt: It’s a lower division, where idiots like me mess about in the hope of being talent spotted to race in Formula One. You look disappointed.
[James puts his arm around her as they start walking]
Nurse Gemma: No.
James Hunt: Ah, you only slept with me because you thought I was famous.
Nurse Gemma: That’s not true!
[James gives her quick kiss on the mouth]
James Hunt: Don’t worry, I will be one day.
[as they walk over to the pits; to his team]
James Hunt: Morning everyone. This is Nursie.
Nurse Gemma: Gemma.
James Hunt: Nursie, this is Bubbles Horsley, team manager.
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: How do you do?
[they shake hands]
Nurse Gemma: Bubbles?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Yeah.
James Hunt: Doc Postlethwaite, our designer.
Harvey ‘Doc’ Postlethwaite: How do you do?
[they shake hands; James indicates to the man standing a little behind them]
James Hunt: Alexander, Lord Hesketh. The team’s owner.
[Hesketh walks over to them and extends his hand to Gemma]
Lord Hesketh: How do you do?
Nurse Gemma: Fine thanks.
[they shake hands and Hesketh kisses her hand; to James]
Lord Hesketh: Well done, Superstar.
[as James gets ready for the race, Gemma gets shown his race car]
Nurse Gemma: That the car?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Yep, that’s her. Lotus 59, 1,000cc Cosworth MAE engine. She’s no beauty but it goes like the clappers.
[then she notices James being violently sick]
Lord Hesketh: Nothing to be worried about. Does it before every race. It’s good sign, actually. It means he’s stoked.
[James wipes his mouth and notices the other drivers, James then walks over to Hesketh]
Lord Hesketh: Alright, Superstar?
James Hunt: Never better, Patron.
Lord Hesketh: Have a gargle with this.
[he hands James a glass of champagne]
James Hunt: Thank you.
[James takes a quick swig of the champagne and hands the glass to Gemma]
[Hesketh hands him a joint]
Lord Hesketh: Quick poke of this.
[James then gets into his car and notices Niki for the first time getting ready to get into his race car]
James Hunt: Who’s that?
Harvey ‘Doc’ Postlethwaite: He’s new. Some German.
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Austrian. He’s been here since 5 A.M. walking the track. You might have to actually concentrate today, James.
[Hesketh holds out tiny cotton balls to Gemma]
Lord Hesketh: You’ll need these.
[he indicates for her to put them in her ears as James turns on the engine]
Lord Hesketh: Aah! What music! They could never have imagined, those pioneers who invented the automobile that it would possess us like this, our imaginations, our dreams. Nursie, men love women, but even more than that, men love cars.
[the race starts and both James and Niki roar off with the other drivers, Niki gets the first up and nearly wins when James forces Niki to spin out of the control, their cars both come to a stop with Niki’s heating, James manages to start his car again and speeds off to win the race]
[as James celebrates winning the race and drinking champagne, Niki calls out to James]
Niki Lauda: Hey, asshole!
[James looks over to Nikki]
Niki Lauda: It was my line! I had that corner.
James Hunt: Did you mean the one you spun out of and finished the other way? I think that corner had you.
Niki Lauda: That move was total suicide! What if I hadn’t braked? We’d have crashed.
James Hunt: No, no, but we didn’t, did we? Thanks to your impeccable survival instincts.
[James starts mocking Niki by making chicken noises and walking away]
Niki Lauda: Fuck you! What’s your name?
Lord Hesketh: James Simon Wallis Hunt. Remember it, my little Gerry friend.
James Hunt: Ya vol, remember the name.
[Niki raises his middle finger at them in anger]
James Hunt: It’s very simple, Hunt, it rhymes with cunt!
[Gemma, who standing next to James laughs]
James Hunt: A word that happens to describe you perfectly!
[Niki turns and walks away]
Nurse Gemma: Who is that?
James Hunt: I’ve no idea. He looks like a rat, doesn’t he?
[James puts his arm around Gemma’s shoulders and they walk off laughing]
[in Vienna, Niki is at his apartment getting dressed]
Niki Lauda: [voice over] In my home town, Vienna, my family is famous for one thing. Business. My grandfather was a businessman, my father, too. So when they heard I wanted to race cars for a living they had a few things to say.
[we see Niki meeting with his grandfather]
Lauda’s Grandfather: [subtitled] Never! Racing is for playboys and dilettantes. Frivolous amateurs with nothing in their heads. The name Lauda belongs with politicians and economists, on the front pages.
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] What if this is all I can do?
Lauda’s Grandfather: [subtitled] Then you need my money more than ever, so do as I say and follow me into the family business.
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] Okay. Keep your money. Don’t invest in me. But when I’m world champion and my name is on the front pages too, you will regret it.
[Niki rises and starts walking off, his grandfather calls after him but Niki ignores him]
Niki Lauda: [voice over] So if my family wasn’t going to help me, I decided to risk everything and take out the loan myself. I found a Formula One team with an okay car and an owner who’d run out of money and was willing to accept my terms.
[at an award ceremony]
Presenter: And so, ladies and gentlemen, I’m delighted to say that the winner of the Guild of Motoring Writers award Driver of the Year is James Hunt.
[the audience claps and James goes up onto the podium to accept his award, which is a trophy cup]
James Hunt: Thank you so much.
[he shakes the presenter’s hand and takes the cup, then starts giving his acceptance speech]
James Hunt: Um, yeah, my parents always wanted me to be a doctor, or a stockbroker or something. They gave me a first class education, but that all went terribly wrong and I ended up with you lot.
[the audience laughs]
[James steps down off the podium for a moment and takes the cigarette from one of the audience members sitting in the front row]
James Hunt: Thank you, I need it more than you do.
[the audience chuckles as James goes back up the podium and continues his speech]
James Hunt: I mean, I have a hot head, an inability to tolerate discipline…
[Bubbles puts up his hand in agreement]
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Yes!
Lord Hesketh: Very true!
James Hunt: I fall out with people left and right, the only creatures I’ve ever really loved or have treated honorably are Budgerigars.
[the audience laughs again]
James Hunt: In any normal area of life I’d be a, or I am a total liability, the only thing I’ve got going for me is I’m quick in a car. So thank you for this and for acknowledging that. I’m going to give it to my father and tell him to put it on the mantelpiece and imagine it as a first class degree in medicine.
[the audience cheers]
[afterwards, everyone is celebrating and dancing at a nightclub, Hesketh pours champagne in James’ trophy]
Lord Hesketh: Well done, Superstar. Another season like that and I’ll move you up to the big time.
[he hands James the trophy]
James Hunt: Come on, you don’t think I’m ready now?
Lord Hesketh: You are, I’m not! I’ve got to find you a car first.
[James drinks the champagne from his trophy and hands it to Bubbles]
James Hunt: Well, go on then. Chop chop!
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Don’t wait too long, you don’t want him to do what Lauda just did.
James Hunt: Why, what did he do?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: He bought himself a drive in BRM.
James Hunt: Well how the hell did he do that? He’s a nobody, he’s never won a bloody thing!
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Apparently he took out a loan and bought his way in with two million Austrian schillings.
James Hunt: Jesus!
[Niki arrives at the Paul Ricard circuit and enters the building, he approaches the receptionist]
Niki Lauda: Niki Lauda. Here for pre-season testing. BRM?
Agnes Bonnet: Sign the release form, I’ll let them know you’re here.
[Niki watches as she makes the call; later outside the workshops Niki meets Louis Stanley]
Niki Lauda: Mr. Stanley.
Louis Stanley: Good morning.
[Stanley shakes Niki’s hand]
Niki Lauda: Good morning.
[Stanly turns to call out to Regazzoni]
Louis Stanley: Clay!
Louis Stanley: Let me introduce you to our number one driver. Clay Regazzoni.
[Regazzoni walks up to Niki]
Clay Regazzoni: How are you?
[he shakes hands with Niki]
Niki Lauda: Good. A pleasure.
Louis Stanley: And these are your mechanics, reporting exclusively to you. As per contract.
[one of the mechanics walks up to Niki and they shake hands]
BRM Mechanic: Pleasure. Want to see the car?
Niki Lauda: Sure.
[the mechanics shows Niki his car, a red and white Marlboro sponsored car]
BRM Mechanic: There she is, P160.
Niki Lauda: Same as Regazzoni’s?
BRM Mechanic: Identical in every detail.
Niki Lauda: How much does she weigh?
BRM Mechanic: Six hundred kilos.
Niki Lauda: But that’s crazy. Why so heavy?
BRM Mechanic: It’s a V12 engine. That lump normally weighs a hundred and ninety kilos on its own.
Niki Lauda: Okay. What horse power are you getting? Four hundred and ninety?
BRM Mechanic: No, four-fifty.
Niki Lauda: Well, that not enough, it needs to be five hundred. And the engine needs to be twenty kilo lighter.
BRM Mechanic: We already tried.
Niki Lauda: Tried what?
BRM Mechanic: Everything. We replaced the entire exhaust system, it didn’t make a difference.
Niki Lauda: Are you using magnesium parts?
[the mechanic doesn’t respond realizing that he hadn’t considered this]
[Niki proceeds to make the mechanics work all night to strip and rebuild the car to his specifications]
Niki Lauda: Now the engine blocks, they need mounting and fixing, please. Strip them out also. When you’ve done that, we have to look at the aerodynamics. Front and rear end.
[after working all night, Niki and the mechanics step out of the workshop in the morning the mechanics look exhausted]
Niki Lauda: Okay, thank you. Good night.
[on the circuit Niki, Stanley and a mechanic watch on the sidelines as Regazzoni is testing his car round the circuit]
Niki Lauda: What was Regazzoni’s time?
Louis Stanley: One Fifty-three.
Niki Lauda: Okay, now put him in my car and he’ll go round two seconds faster.
Louis Stanley: Well, that’s impossible.
BRM Mechanic: No chance.
[as Niki gets distracted by Agnes leaving the building, Stanley goes to the mechanic and says quietly]
Louis Stanley: Put Regazzoni in the car, see what happens.
[after the mechanic breaks the news to Regazzoni]
Clay Regazzoni: I don’t understand, why am I supposed to do this?
BRM Mechanic: I don’t know, Clay. He wants you to take it for a spin.
[Regazzoni reluctantly gets into Niki’s car and takes it for a test, as he goes past the finish line Stanley looks at his stop watch and then looks at Niki in disbelief]
[later Stanley walks into the workshop as Niki is talking with some of the mechanics]
Louis Stanley: Alright, what did you do to the car?
Niki Lauda: That’s information I will share with you under certain conditions only.
Louis Stanley: Go on.
Niki Lauda: A guaranteed place in the team, and a paid contract on equal terms with Regazzoni for two years.
Louis Stanley: Are you crazy? Clay’s a senior figure in Formula One. You’re just a rookie! Well the only reason we took you on is because of your pay.
Niki Lauda: Well, as of now if you want me to stay you’ll rip up the contract. I don’t pay you a cent.
Louis Stanley: That’s outrageous!
Niki Lauda: Was he quicker in my car? He was, wasn’t he?
[Stanley doesn’t reply but looks away]
Niki Lauda: Did he go two seconds faster?
[Stanley hesitates for a moment before replying]
Louis Stanley: Two point three.
Niki Lauda: So, have a think, work out your priorities and get back to me.
[Niki waves goodbye to the two mechanics he was talking to, they wave back and Niki walks out]
[as Regazzoni is walking into the circuit building he sees Niki walk past him to leave, he stops and turns]
Clay Regazzoni: Hey, Niki?
[Niki stops and turns to face him]
Clay Regazzoni: I know that you’re going to say it’s none of my business.
Niki Lauda: What?
Clay Regazzoni: If it’s the Track Manager you’re taking on a date tonight…
Niki Lauda: It’s none of your business.
[Niki turns and starts walking off]
Clay Regazzoni: Okay, but if you want my advice, I’d let this one go.
[Niki turns and gives him a questioning look]
Clay Regazzoni: I’m not questioning your taste, she is a great girl. But Agnes’ last boyfriend was a British Formula Two driver who has a reputation for two things. For being a little crazy on the track, and for going all night and all day and all night again in bed. He’s a good driver, but an immortal fuck, apparently. I don’t know about you, but that’s not an act I’d like to follow.
Clay Regazzoni: But maybe that doesn’t bother you.
[Niki looks a bit thrown]
Niki Lauda: What’s his name, the driver?
Clay Regazzoni: Hunt. James Hunt.
[Niki turns and starts walking off]
Clay Regazzoni: You see, you share information, I share information. That’s what team-mates are for.
[they look at each other for a moment before Niki turns and continues walking away]
[James has been blindfolded and is being led by Hesketh and Bubbles]
James Hunt: Where the hell are we going?
Lord Hesketh: Just keep them closed! Wait for it. Wait for it.
[they stop and Hesketh removes James’ blindfold]
Lord Hesketh: There.
[James sees a new white racing car]
Lord Hesketh: What do you say?
James Hunt: She’s Formula One?
Lord Hesketh: Yes. She is, Superstar. Your brother and I got together with the beancounters. And since the economics of F1 are not so significantly different to the economics of Formula Two, well we thought, it we were going to be losing money we might as well be doing it on the big roulette table, in Formula One!
James Hunt: You fat little inbred beauty! Come here!
[James grabs Hesketh and plants a kiss on his mouth, the others laugh]
Peter Hunt: And to credit where it’s due, we got the idea from Niki.
James Hunt: Who?
[James sits in the car, taking in the feel of it]
Lord Hesketh: Lauda. Bought his way in rather mess about in lower divisions. I thought, “Bloody hell, he’s right!” No sponsorships, Superstar. I hope you approve. No vulgar logos for cigarettes or condoms. Just plain white with the flag. Oh, and racing overalls…
[one of mechanics throws his him the red overall, Hesketh holds it up to show James]
Lord Hesketh: Which reads, “Sex. Breakfast of Champions.”
James Hunt: So when do we start?
Lord Hesketh: Soon as you’re ready.
James Hunt: Ready? I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.
[at the race circuit in the village of Watkins Glen James arrives with Hesketh and his team by helicopter, reporters have gathered, we see one of them commentating as he faces a camera]
Reporter: When the season started, people wondered whether Lord Hesketh and his team of upper class enthusiasts were bringing glamor to the racing community or just comedy. Certainly it was the first time anyone had seen a butler serving oysters and caviar in the pits. But they have made quiet an impact; sixth in France, fourth in Britain and third in Holland.
[James, Hesketh and his team are drinking in the background, suddenly an announcement is made that an accident has occurred on the race track, everyone looks distressed]
Reporter: And reports are reaching me that there has been a serious accident in qualifying. Uh, the identity of the driver we don’t currently have at the moment, but as you can tell from all the activity going on behind me towards the track, it’s clearly a grave incident indeed. But of course we’ll have more information for you as and when we get it. This is the side of Formula One nobody likes to see.
[James and Bubbles rush over towards the accident, as James sees the wreckage he clearly looks shaken and upset]
[later in the pits, James is dressed in his overalls watching the news report of the accident on the TV when he suddenly becomes violently sick; we see Niki dressed in his overall making his way to his car; back to James talking to Bubbles]
James Hunt: It’s terrible, they should cancel the race.
[Niki comes up behind him]
Niki Lauda: Why? He made a mistake, went into the corner too fast. It’s his fault.
[Niki carries on walking ahead]
James Hunt: Is that right?
[Niki stops and turns to face him]
Niki Lauda: It’s obvious, look at the tire marks!
James Hunt: So says the nobody who had to pay for his own drive. How’s that working out for you, by the way?
Niki Lauda: Fine. How is it at the back?
James Hunt: Not planning on being there for long.
[Niki gives a small chuckle, turns and walks off]
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] Asshole.
[as he watches Niki walk off, James turns to Bubbles]
James Hunt: Asshole.
[in Hesketh’s workshop, James is lying on the ground with his eyes closed visualizing himself racing and talking out loud as he goes through the motions of driving when he’s suddenly interrupted]
Suzy Miller: Is Alexander around?
[James opens his eyes and gets up]
James Hunt: Uh, yes. He was, uh, he went back to the house to take a call, he’ll be back shortly.
Suzy Miller: He only wanted to show me his pride and joy.
[she indicates to the race car]
Suzy Miller: Rhymes with ‘boy’ if you ask me, and ‘toy’.
[she walks up to the car and touches it]
Suzy Miller: God, it’s so flimsy. For something that costs so much, there’s no comfort, no protection. Nothing.
James Hunt: Well, it’s just a little coffin, really. Surrounded by high-octane fuel, in here…
[he touches the tank]
James Hunt: …being driven round at hundred and seventy miles per hour. To all intents and purposes, this thing’s a bomb with wheels.
Suzy Miller: You’re James, aren’t you?
James Hunt: Yes.
Suzy Miller: You fit the description.
James Hunt: Is that right?
Suzy Miller: Suzie. Friend of Alex’s.
[she walks towards him extending her hand]
James Hunt: Yeah, I know exactly
[James quickly wipes his hand on a cloth and shakes her hand]
[as James is talking to Suzy, two of the mechanics in the background are looking at a newspaper which has photo of Suzy with heading ‘Top model Suzy sparkles in London nightlife’]
James Hunt: What was the description?
Suzy Miller: Mostly positive in terms of appearance. Negative only in terms of character. I’ve been told to avoid you.
James Hunt: By whom?
Suzy Miller: Alexander. He says you’re a bad boy.
James Hunt: Alexander doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I was, but not anymore. The new me is very professional. Early to bed, early to rise. All very dull, and according to the team, ‘ze best vay to keep beating ze gustava.’
Suzy Miller: Is that what you were doing when I came in?
James Hunt: Yes, a visualization technique. Memorizing the circuit, in this case, uh, Monaco, which is up next.
[he looks at her and smiles]
James Hunt: Personally I’ve always been a great believer in getting there on the day, putting my foot down and playing chicken with everyone else.
James Hunt: But they don’t want me doing that anymore. They want my body like a temple and my mind like a monk.
Suzy Miller: And what about your soul? Your hear?
James Hunt: Well, they’ve got ideas about that too. They want me to stop messing around, settle down and get married with the next nice girl I meet. They think it would be good for me.
Suzy Miller: Hmm. What do you think?
James Hunt: Sounds fucking awful.
[Suzy laughs again]
James Hunt: But since they’re right about most things, they’re probably right about that too.
Suzy Miller: Hmm.
James Hunt: You don’t fancy getting married, do you?
[they look at each other and laugh]
[we see James and Suzy stepping out of the church after getting married, they kiss and pose for photos; later James notices Hesketh looking a bit serious]
James Hunt: What’s going on with him?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Nothing. Nothing. Didn’t want to ruin your day. It’s, uh, it’s the kraut.
James Hunt: Well, what about him?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: He’s just been signed by Ferrari.
James Hunt: You’re kidding me? Jesus, how did that happen? Did he buy his way in there too?
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Well, the old man took Regazzoni back and he insisted on it apparently. He says that Niki’s a genius at setting up cars.
[at the Ferrari test tracks in Fionaro, Niki pulls over after going round the track, his mechanic walk over to him]
Niki Lauda: It’s terrible. Drives like a pig.
Lauda’s Mechanic: Oh, you can’t say that.
Niki Lauda: Why not?
Lauda’s Mechanic: It’s a Ferrari!
Niki Lauda: It’s a shitbox! It understeers like crazy and the weight distribution is a disaster. It’s amazing, all these facilities and you make a piece of crap like this!
[at a press conference Enzo Ferrari, Niki and Regazzoni]
Enzo Ferrari: [subtitled] We are happy to welcome back to the Ferrari family our good friend Clay Regazzoni, and to introduce Niki Lauda from Austria.
[later we see Clay driving in his car in a country road with Niki sat in the passenger seat]
Clay Regazzoni: “The Ferrari family”. “Our good friend Clay Regazzoni”. You are family and friend to the Commendatore as long as you win. The minute you don’t, ciao-ciao.
Niki Lauda: Totally understand, it’s business. I would do the same.
Clay Regazzoni: But it isn’t just business, is it? What we do? It’s passion, love. Which is why we’re prepared to risk our lives for it.
Niki Lauda: Not me. If I had more talent or could earn better money with something else, I would.
Clay Regazzoni: How do you know you will make money here? You haven’t yet.
Niki Lauda: Not yet, but I will. If you can, I can.
[Regazzoni stares at Niki
Clay Regazzoni: You know, are you ever not an asshole?
Niki Lauda: Why am I an asshole?
Clay Regazzoni: Well…
Niki Lauda: You know, by now I’m both bigger than you and better at setting up a car. You can’t deal with it, surely you’re the asshole.
Clay Regazzoni: Screw you.
[Regazzoni pulls up outside a large house where a party is taking place]
Clay Regazzoni: I brought you along today because you seem like a lonely kind of guy. I thought if I introduce you to some nice people that could rub off on you. Forget it. Make your own friends.
[Clay gets out of the car]
Niki Lauda: Come on, Clay! I’m sorry!
[Clay shuts the door and goes over to join a group of people, Niki watches him being taken inside the house]
[Niki is left outside the house, he peers inside one of the windows and sees people enjoying the party inside then he notices a beautiful woman walking out of the house and going over to her car]
Niki Lauda: Are you leaving?
Marlene Lauda: Yes.
Niki Lauda: Can you give me a lift to the nearest town? Anywhere with a train station.
Marlene Lauda: Sure. Cechna is half and hours drive, get in.
[Niki walks over to her car and gets into the car]
[as Marlene drives them down the country road Niki watches her as she sings along to the song playing on the radio, he hears something and then he turns off the radio]
Marlene Lauda: What are you doing?
Niki Lauda: Did you hear that noise when we accelerate?
Marlene Lauda: No.
Niki Lauda: Your fan belt is loose.
Marlene Lauda: My what?
Niki Lauda: When you break, your foot goes all the way down. Which means there’s air in the system.
Marlene Lauda: Anything else?
Niki Lauda: No, apart from the rear brakes are one out. And the front right tire is a bit soft, which explains why you’re weaving so much.
Marlene Lauda: Hm. How can you tell?
Niki Lauda: My ass.
Marlene Lauda: Sorry?!
Niki Lauda: God gave me an okay mind, but a really good ass which can feel everything in a car.
Marlene Lauda: You don’t know what you’re talking about, this car’s fine. It just had a service a week ago.
Niki Lauda: Not a good one.
Marlene Lauda: It was a very good one, very expensive. This car is as good as new. Relax.
[she turns on the radio again; a little while later we see the car has broken down on the side of the road, the bonnet is up as Niki tries to fix it]
Marlene Lauda: You’re not in a hurry, are you?
Niki Lauda: No. As long as I’m back in Maranello Monday morning.
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] We can speak German. You’re from Vienna , aren’t you?
Niki Lauda: Yeah.
Marlene Lauda: Marlene.
[she extends her hand and he shakes it]
Niki Lauda: Niki.
[unable to fix Marlene’s car, Niki walks out on to the road and sticks his thumb out, but the car driving up just passes them by]
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] How do you know Curd?
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] Who’s Curd?
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] Curd Jürgens, the host.
[Niki shakes his head]
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] He is, or was, my boyfriend. There is something very attractive about an older man. But when they behave like a frightened child, I must have been mad.
[they notice a car driving towards them]
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] Let me do this. Otherwise we’ll never get out of here. We’re in Italy, after all.
[Marlene walks onto the side of the road and sticks out her thumb, the passing car comes to a screeching halt and stops, the car reverses back towards Marlene and Niki]
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] Not bad, eh? Three seconds. Admit it, you’re impressed.
[two Italian men get out of the car]
Marlene Lauda: Ciao, Regazzi.
Italian Man #1: Buongiorno, Signora.
[they walk straight past Marlene and approach Niki]
Italian Man #2: Excuse, Niki Lauder?
Niki Lauda: Yes.
[one of the Italian men claps in excitement and the other one embraces Niki]
Italian Man #1: [subtitled] Do you need a lift?
Niki Lauda: Actually, we do, yeah.
Italian Man #1: It’s my honor, Niki, please.
[he starts leading Niki towards his car]
Niki Lauda: Thank you. Thank you.
Italian Man #1: My car is your car. On one condition, huh? It’s a piece of shit, it’s dog shit, but if you would drive it, you make my life. Huh, Niki, yeah?
[Marlene stares at them not understanding why Niki is known by the two men]
[as Niki is driving the two Italian men’s car, Marlene is sat in the front and the two Italian men are sat in the back seat]
Italian Man #1: [subtitled] No one will believe Niki Lauder is driving my car.
[the two men show their excitement]
Italian Man #2: Niki Lauda, Niki Lauda, Niki Lauda…!
[Marlene watches them still not understanding their excitement]
Marlene Lauda: Will someone please tell me what’s going on?
Marlene Lauda: Who are you? Should I know you?
Italian Man #1: What? You don’t know? He’s Niki Lauda, Formula One driver. He just sign with Ferrari.
Marlene Lauda: Him?
Italian Man #1: Yes!
Marlene Lauda: Impossible.
Italian Man #1: Why?
Marlene Lauda: Well, you know, Formula One drivers they have long hair, are sexy, their shirts are open to here.
Niki Lauda: Thank you.
Marlene Lauda: Yes. Anyway, look at the way he’s driving, like an old man.
Niki Lauda: There’s no need to drive fast, it just increases the percentage of risk. We’re not in a hurry, I’m not being paid. Right now, with zero incentive or reward, why would I drive fast?
[Marlene leans across a little closer to Niki]
Marlene Lauda: Because I’m asking you to.
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] And do you always get what you want?
Marlene Lauda: [subtitled] Usually.
[Niki looks at her for a moment then slams his foot down on the pedal and speeds ahead making Marlene shocked and amazed at the same time while the two Italian men are yelling in excitement as Niki accelerates down the road weaving past cars]
[October 1975, at the Watkins Glen race circuit, it’s the middle of a Grand Prix and we see Niki driving at maximum speed]
TV Commentator: This is an incredible battle, with Niki Lauda in the red Ferrari and James Hunt in the white Hesketh. Lauda attacking Hunt, Lauda gets through on the inside, goes wide at the exit! Hunt has passed again!
[Marlene is watching the match on the TV in the pit and Suzy is watching the race on the TV in her make-up room]
TV Commentator: Once more Lauda tries to sneak up the inside. They’re absolutely side by side, wheel to wheel, so evenly matched. Fantastic battle between these two great drivers. Hunt is now ahead once more, but Lauda’s coming back again! Now Lauda once more sneaks on the inside and again he runs wide! Again the Hesketh is able to get back.
We’re at the closing track of this race here at Watkins Glen, they’re coming down the hill.
[suddenly we see Hunt losing speed and going off track]
TV Commentator: And Hunt’s got a problem! Hunt pulls across to the left, Lauda goes ahead on his own.
[James is shown getting out of his car and walking off]
TV Commentator: A sad end to a wonderful battle. Hunt pushing up the bar. The checkered flag is waiting for Lauda and the Ferrari.
[Niki passes the flag and wins the race]
TV Commentator: The title going to Niki Lauda who wins the race, who wins the world championship.
[as Hunt walks off the circuit he watches Lauda getting all the glory and celebrating; Niki turns to Marlene]
Niki Lauda: [subtitled] Do I look like a racing driver now?
[Marlene laughs and then kisses him]
[later, as everyone is celebrating, James notices Niki signing autographs, he walks over to Niki]
James Hunt: Congratulations.
Niki Lauda: Thank you.
[Niki calls out to Marlene who’s talking to some people]
James Hunt: Though with a car like that the rest of us don’t stand much of a chance, do we?
Niki Lauda: You think the make of the car had something to do with me winning?
James Hunt: Oh, come on, Niki. You’re in a Ferrari, I’m in a Hesketh. Equal terms the way it was in Formula Three, I’d beat you and you know it.
Niki Lauda: Never. You might win one race, maybe two, because you’re aggressive. But in the long run, over the course of the season, no chance.
James Hunt: And why is that?
Niki Lauda: Because to be a champion it takes more than just being quick, it’s the whole picture.
James Hunt: Ah.
Niki Lauda: You’re just a charger with a party act, making sure everybody like you.
James Hunt: Try saying that and tell me you’re not jealous.
Niki Lauda: Why would I be jealous? Think about it. All that affection, all those smiles, is a sign of their disrespect. They don’t fear you. Whereas compare that to me…
James Hunt: Yes, compared to you whom no one likes.
Niki Lauda: Right.
James Hunt: Not even his own team-mates.
Niki Lauda: Right. Because I’m a serious guy. I go to bed early, look after myself, look after my car.
James Hunt: Yes, you’re very well behaved.
Niki Lauda: Go to work, kick ass, then after the race I go home instead of going to bars and doing all this bullshit with all these assholes.
James Hunt: Assholes?
Niki Lauda: You should go home more often too.
Niki Lauda: I heard you got married.
James Hunt: Yes, I did.
Niki Lauda: So where is she, this mysterious wife?
James Hunt: In New York, working.
Niki Lauda: Oh. You know, I’ve never seen you with her once.
James Hunt: No?
[Niki shakes his head]
James Hunt: Well, maybe that’s because you’re always at home on your own, looking after yourself, being a good little boy.
[James starts walking away]
Niki Lauda: Take a drink on me, James.
[James turns for a moment as Marlene joins Niki]
James Hunt: Thank you, Niki. I might just have two.
[James drives over to Hesketh’s and walks towards the workshop]
James Hunt: Right, Bubbles! Whatever it takes to beat that prick next year, just say it. Your word is my command. There are no lengths to which I won’t go, where I’m needed.
[James stops and looks around the workshop, everything is being packed]
James Hunt: What the hell’s going on? Where is everybody?
[James notices Bubbles expression]
James Hunt: What’s the matter?
[James walks into Hesketh’s grand living room where he is sat by the fire drinking tea]
Lord Hesketh: Do you know what the date is today?
James Hunt: Yes, it’s, uh, November the 14th. Why?
Lord Hesketh: Do you, uh, have any idea of the significance of that date?
James Hunt: Oh, I don’t know. It’s time to start killing pheasants?
Lord Hesketh: Actually it’s the deadline for securing sponsorship for the forthcoming Formula One season.
James Hunt: Yes?
Lord Hesketh: Which elapsed at midnight last night and we didn’t attract any.
James Hunt: Well, so? We aren’t looking for sponsorship. Well, like you said, condoms and cigarettes. Vulgar, right?
Lord Hesketh: Right. Except we are. Or were. I’ve made something of a miscalculation. The economics, Formula One, realities thereof. Turns out not like the lower divisions at all.
James Hunt: What are you saying?
Lord Hesketh: I’m saying it’s over, Superstar. The banks have stepped in, started laying everyone off. Probably have to sell this place.
James Hunt: Oh, Christ!
[at home, James drowns his sorrows in booze and cigarettes, he then calls his brother]
James Hunt: I need a drive, Pete. I need you to find me a drive. What about Lotus?
Peter Hunt: You don’t want to know.
James Hunt: Well, actually I do.
Peter Hunt: Okay, uh, they felt your reputation preceded you.
James Hunt: Well, what does that mean?
[Peter’s other phone starts ringing]
Peter Hunt: It’s my other line. I’ll get back to you.
[Peter hangs up the phone and picks up the other phone]
Peter Hunt: Peter Hunt.
[as Peter’s hung up on him]
James Hunt: Fuck.
[James bangs the phone down]
[Suzy looks at James apprehensively]
Suzy Miller: Don’t worry, something will turn up.
[James finishes his bottle of beer walks into the living room and pours himself some scotch]
Suzy Miller: I doubt that will help in the meantime. Why don’t we go away at the weekend, skiing? Before I go back to New York.
[James doesn’t reply and looks away]
Suzy Miller: Talk to me, James. Don’t make a stranger of me.
James Hunt: Jesus. You know, Suzy, don’t be a stranger and invite me skiing when they know I haven’t got a fucking drive?
[Suzy walks over to him, but James stands and moves to the other side of the room taking the bottle of scotch with him]
Suzy Miller: I can’t watch this.
[Suzy turns and starts walking away]
James Hunt: What were you hoping for anyway? A well adjusted knight in shining armor?
Suzy Miller: No danger of that.
James Hunt: You know, let me give you some advice.
Suzy Miller: I’m all ears.
James Hunt: Don’t go to men who are willing to kill themselves driving in circles looking for normality.
Suzy Miller: I never expected normality. God knows I walked into this with my eyes open. I just hoped I’d married someone who was half as impressive on the inside as he is on the outside!
James Hunt: Only if there’s something behind the facade.
Suzy Miller: Oh, James.
James Hunt: Fuck off to New York, dear. There must be a moisturizer or an eye shadow somewhere that needs your vapid mush to flog it.
[looking visibly upset, Suzy turns and walks out]
[the next morning, James who looks like he’s been up all night drinking, hears the phone ringing, he picks up the phone]
James Hunt: Hello?
Peter Hunt: Hi, James, it’s Peter. Something’s up with McLaren, what have you heard?
James Hunt: Uh, nothing, why?
Peter Hunt: I heard Emerson’s off. He’s dumped them in it.
James Hunt: Jesus, get me in there, Pete. Say anything, just get me in that room.
[James drives over to McLaren’s headquarters and meets with the managers of the McLaren racing team]
Teddy Mayer: I’ll come straight to the point, our esteemed lead driver…
Alastair Caldwell: Fitti-fucking-Paldi.
Teddy Mayer: He’s ditched us for another team at the last minute.
Alastair Caldwell: Caught the fucking suit cover.
Teddy Mayer: And we need to replace him.
Alastair Caldwell: ASA-fucking-P.
Teddy Mayer: Fortunately, a few hands have already gone up. Good people.
John Hogan: Jackie Ickx.
James Hunt: I’m quicker than Jackie.
Teddy Mayer: But he’s consistent. Dependable.
Alastair Caldwell: A grown up.
James Hunt: Right, and will he feel that gap when no one else will? Would he put his life on the line the day it really matters?
John Hogan: Sponsors like him.
James Hunt: What do you want, a driver or a brush salesman?
Teddy Mayer: We want to be successful.
James Hunt: Yes, so do I. But that means beating Niki Lauda, not being a show pony for sponsors.
Teddy Mayer: I heard this thing about Niki.
Alastair Caldwell: Everyone has.
Teddy Mayer: You really think you can beat him?
James Hunt: I’d beat him in a McLaren. It’s the only car out there as quick as the Ferrari. Which is why I’m here begging. Look I’ll do whatever you ask, I’ll put on a tie, I’ll smile for sponsors, say the right things. I can beat this guy, trust me. Just give me the drive.
[Mayer, Caldwell and Hogan have Bubbles on the phone confirming James’ talent as a driver]
Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley: Yeah, yeah, he can be a loose cannon. And, yeah, he will drive you all mad, but in terms of raw talent and right stuff, there is no better driver in the world. He’s the real thing, Teddy. It’s what we all came into this for. Nine days out of ten you’ll be pulling your hair out, but on that tenth day James will be invincible and that is the day you will wish you had him in your car. You’ll never win the championship with Jackie Ickx, you just might with James.
[at the 1976 season begins, the race takes place in Brazil]
TV Commentator: Welcome, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the Interlagos circuit for the first race in the 1976 Formula One season where the main news is that James Hunt has qualified fastest, beating Niki Lauda’s Ferrari to pole position by just two hundredths of a second.
[the cars are all lined up at the start position with Niki’s next to James’, as Niki walks past James shows his car off to Niki]
James Hunt: New car.
Niki Lauda: I noticed.
James Hunt: Pole position.
Niki Lauda: I noticed that too.
James Hunt: Level playing field now, my ratty little friend.
Niki Lauda: Yeah, let’s see where we are after lap one. Let’s see where we are in five races time.
[James smiles arrogantly to himself]
TV Commentator: Hunt has the pick lane pole position which should give him the best chance of out cracking Lauda’s Ferrari. There have been moments of doubt about whether Lauda had a serious challenger to this season, Hunt and his McLaren has certainly given us the answer.
[we’re told Lauda wins the race in Brazil and Hunt goes out with damaged engine]
[the 2nd race of the season takes place in South Africa]
TV Commentator: Here in South Africa, James Hunt is determined to make amends after that disastrous retirement in Brazil. And it’s Lauda who takes the flag here in Kyalami, James Hunt comes second to confirm his championship challenge at last and score his first point of the season.
[as Niki and James are on the podium accepting their 1st and 2nd positions, James leans close to Niki]
James Hunt: You know that wind you can feel is me breathing down your neck. Next time I’ll have you.
Niki Lauda: We’ll see in Spain.
[in Spain, James wins the race and Lauda is second]
Total Quotes: 116