Formula One's portrayal on the silver screen has always been a difficult one to master but in the hands of Academy Award winner (Best Director - A Beautiful Mind - 2001) Ron Howard, the story of the 1976 World Championship battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda was bought to life.
Formula One was still the pinnacle of Motorsport it is today back in 1976 but it could be argued with the lack of structure that came later in the 80's (when Bernie Ecclestone took over the commercial aspects) the sport was a little haphazard. Having a copy of the 1976 (very rare) and albeit in German bar a few pages of diagrams and a couple pages of regulatory wording the regulations back then were flimsy at best. Especially when we consider today's regulations are made up of both Sporting and Technical sections tallying 140 pages. Innovation often came at the sacrifice of safety with everyone from team personnel to drivers accepting that their current race could be their last. Meanwhile this attitude like the era in general often led to excess becoming a way of life.
Howard encapsulates the battle of triumph over adversity, the political infighting in the sport that often makes the action off the track as exciting as that on it and captures the relationship formed between the two opposing characters of Hunt and Lauda. Played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, both breath life into the flamboyant and introvert characters they respectively portray and the often obtuse lifestyles both led during a time that was fraught with safety issues. The movie of course has to carefully highlight these factors with Lauda's crash being a pivotal part of the film and ultimately the lynchpin in not only the Championship, Lauda's determined recovery and the bond forged between the two mavericks before and after the horrific scenes at the Nurburgring.
Technically and contextually there are some omissions and/or embellishments in order to keep the flow and pace of the story in check but only the most technically anal or stalwart F1 fan could take umbridge with what is otherwise a fantastically crafted piece of cinema.
With Rush now available to rent on Sky Store for £3.49 they're also giving fans of the sport/movie the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes, all you need do to take part is rent the movie between now and 23rd February to be in with the chance of winning (terms and conditions apply, see link above for details):
1st prize - 2014 British Grand Prix tickets
- 2 x seats in the VIP box at Silverstone on 4th, 5th and 6th July
- A chance to go behind the scenes with Sky Sports F1
- Three nights in a five star hotel and travel included
2nd prize - F1 Show tickets
- 2 x studio audience tickets to F1 Show - at Sky Studios, London
- One night in a four star hotel and travel included
3rd prize - Rush goody bag
- McLaren team shirt signed by Jenson Button
- Rush poster signed by the movie stars and director
- Official McLaren team membership - for one year
- James Hunt biography