It was face masks at dawn when film director Claude Lelouch and crew gathered to shoot Le Grand Rendez-vous in Monaco.

Sunday morning was the very day the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix would have taken place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last time an F1 Grand Prix was called off in Monaco was 1954.

The French director’s short film stars Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s new SF90 Stradale, and is inspired by his famous 1976 film C’était Un Rendez-Vous.

Cameras accompanied the Ferrari SF90 Stradale as it completed an adrenaline-fuelled lap of the Formula 1 street circuit.

Leclerc, at the wheel, clocked speeds of up to 240km/h en route to the mystery “big date” of the title.

The SF90 Stradale is Ferrari’s first series production hybrid model, and delivers unmatched performance for a production Ferrari.

It’s powered by a twin turbo 4.0-litre V8, together with a trio of electric motors that together produce 735kW of power at 8000rpm and 800Nm of torque at 6000rpm.

An all-new chassis combines aluminium and carbon fibre to provide the structural rigidity necessary to support the 270kg weight of the hybrid powertrain — with a total dry weight of 1570kg.

The SF90 Stradale is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/h in a sizzling 2.5 seconds, 0–200km/h in an even more impressive 6.7 seconds with a top speed of more than 340km/h.

On set to watch the red hot hybrid put through its paces was HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who also puts in a brief appearance in the film.

Ferrari Chairman John Elkann, Princes Andrea Casiraghi and Pierre Casiraghi with his wife, Princess Beatrice Borromeo, were also on hand.

The shoot was made possible thanks to the progressive lifting of the lockdown restrictions in France and Monaco.

It was watched by a group of excited onlookers from balconies and the streets — carefully supervised by local authorities.

The short film evokes both the atmosphere of the beloved Grand Prix and roar of the Ferrari 275 GTB that provided the instantly recognisable soundtrack to the 1976 film shot in Paris.

Le Grand Rendez-vous premieres on June 13.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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