Formula 1 drivers say they enjoyed having Brad Pitt in their official meeting at Silverstone on Friday, with Lewis Hamilton calling it “probably the best drivers' briefing we've ever had.”

Pitt and director Joseph Kosinski attended the gathering essentially to introduce themselves and thank the drivers in advance for accepting any inconvenience associated with the production of the new Apple-backed F1 movie.

After months of preparation shooting began in earnest this weekend, and the film's fictional 11th team has a high-profile presence in the paddock and pitlane.

The production's converted F2 cars will be seen on the grid before the race, and will complete part of the formation lap, driven by former racers turned stuntmen Craig Dolby and Luciano Bacheta.

"I think it's one of those when you when you see a worldwide superstar for the first time, it's quite surreal," said GPDA director George Russell of Pitt's appearance.

"And then it's only when you get to be with those individuals whether it was Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Roger Federer, whoever we've been fortunate enough to meet, you recognise they're just normal human beings.

"He was joking around and having a good time and just kind of one of the boys really. So excited to see what the movie does."

Queue leaving the pits at British GP 2023

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc expressed his support for the filming.

"It's fun, it's a new face and definitely quite unexpected to see Brad in the drivers' briefing," he said.

"They did a bit of a brief of what to expect for the movie and it just is very exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing it. Nice guy."

Pierre Gasly, who posted a selfie of himself with Pitt, Hamilton and Leclerc, admitted that he hadn't registered any impact from the filming thus far.

"I must say it's not every day you get the chance to see Brad Pitt," said the Alpine driver. "We got the chance to meet him and they introduced themselves and the movie. It was definitely a special moment.

"Apart from the driver's briefing and be sitting right in front of Brad Pitt, everything kind of felt normal.

"So on my side, I will say it has changed zero. But I think on Sunday, the grid might look slightly different than usual. We'll see what happens."

World champion Max Verstappen showed less enthusiasm for the project than most of his colleagues.

"I think they're going to use some shots of everybody, in terms of onboard cameras and stuff," said the Dutchman. "I completely can't be bothered with this.

"In the end, a film is always made to create a little bit of a show in it. Because yes, of course, it won't all be real. But I think it's all fine. I'm actually not that much into it."

Additional reporting by Matt Kew and Erwin Jaeggi

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