F1

Keanu Reeves opens up about F1 documentary project with Jenson Button

Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves has opened up about the upcoming F1 documentary he is producing about Brawn GP’s stunning title triumph of 2009.

The Brackley-based squad was plunged into chaos when Honda pulled out of the sport amid the financial crisis of 2008. As a result, the team was on the brink of going out of business while its drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, were staring at an uncertain future.

However, a management buyout by existing team bosses Ross Brawn and Nick Fry, who paid £1, kept it alive. The team changed its name to Brawn GP and, despite a host of staff redundancies, it took its place on the grid for 2009.

READ MORE: Keanu Reeves holds talks with Jenson Button and Ross Brawn over F1 documentary

Against the odds, Brawn dominated the early stages of the season, with Button building up a healthy lead in the championship which he never relinquished. Brawn’s success of that year has gone into F1 folklore and will be the subject of a Disney+ documentary, which will be released next year.

The doc will be produced by Matrix star Reeves, who attended this year’s British Grand Prix as part of a fact-finding mission, spending time with Brawn, now F1’s managing director, and Button, among many others.

“You’ll know the circumstances that went into that season. The financial crisis,” Reeves told The Sun. “Our story is about Honda withdrawing from F1 and Ross Brawn who had joined Honda a year and a half earlier.

“There were redundancies. They didn’t have a lot of finances. They became an independent team. How did they race a world championship? “It’s certainly a people story. It’s about passion.

"I think some of themes and windows that we’re taking people into with this story, whether you’re a race fan or if you just like watching a human story and the struggle to overcome, hopefully it’ll serve that up.”

On working with Button, Reeves added: “Jenson was very generous with his time and with his thoughts. He shared a story with us and the impact that had on him. How it drove him.

What are your memories of the 2009 season? Tell us in the comments section below.

“I don’t want to put words into his mouth but the impression was that he wanted to win for himself but also his father. I think we saw that passion in Brazil when he won the championship.”

Button, who now lives in the US, is thrilled to be involved in the project. “What I love about this is how in-depth these guys have gone and how much they know about the project and that exciting year,” he said. “It’s 13 years ago. I think about winning the world championship quite often.

“But I don’t think about the details and what happened and what didn’t happen through the season, so it’s been lovely. It’s been really nice.”

Following their title win in 2009, the team was bought by Mercedes, who dominated the sport with Lewis Hamilton between 2014 and 2020.

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