The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)


The web's largest
movie script resource!

Search IMSDb

Alphabetical
# A B C D E F G H
I J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z

Genre
Action Adventure Animation
Comedy Crime Drama
Family Fantasy Film-Noir
Horror Musical Mystery
Romance Sci-Fi Short
Thriller War Western

Sponsor

TV Transcripts
Futurama
Seinfeld
South Park
Stargate SG-1
Lost
The 4400

International
French scripts

Movie Software
DVD ripper software offer
Rip from DVD
Rip Blu-Ray

Latest Comments
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith10/10
Star Wars: The Force Awakens10/10
Batman Begins9/10
Collateral10/10
Jackie Brown8/10

Movie Chat



ALL SCRIPTS




                                  RUSH




                               Written by

                              Peter Morgan






                                                    December 6th, 2011





1   EXT. CLOUDY SKY - GERMANY - DAY                                   1

    Dark clouds passing overhead.

    The bad weather that has hovered over the Eifel mountains, (in
    Germany), the past three days is on it's way out..


2   AN EYE FLICKERS - WIDE OPEN - STARING INTENTLY                    2

    A pupil dilates and contracts in the light. The eye stares.
    Blinks. Thinks. Making evaluations..


3   EXT. CLOUDY SKY - GERMANY - DAY                                   3

    The first rays of sunshine break through. The voices of
    international TV commentators in different languages.

                         COMMENTATORS
               ...in places the track is still
               dangerously wet, but following a
               drivers meeting the decision has been
               taken. The race is going ahead...


4   INT. FERRARI - DAY                                                4

    The eye belongs to a 27 year old Formula 1 RACING DRIVER
    wearing a fireproof balaclava...

    Highly intelligent, he also happens to be World Champion. His
    name is painted on the side of his Ferrari. NIKI LAUDA.

                         NIKI (V/O)
               My grandfather always said history is
               cruel and reductive and no matter how
               long we live, or how much we achieve -
               we are remembered for very little. So
               make sure it's the right things.

    NIKI stares up at the clouds. His eyelids flicker. Thinking.
    Agonizing. Wrestling with an all important decision...

    Is it going to carry on raining? Or become dry? Should he be
    using slicks or wets?


5   EXT. STARTING GRID - DAY                                          5

    We widen to find ourselves on the starting grid of a major
    Grand Prix. All around us...




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         2
5   CONTINUED:                                                       5


    Engines scream into life as DRIVERS start their cars. An
    OFFICIAL walks through the cars holding aloft a sign, "One
    Minute"...

    Deafening, angry thunder as engines rev impatiently.

                           NIKI
                 This is bullshit. We have no control
                 over our legacy. We cannot choose what
                 we are remembered for...

    A Ferrari MECHANIC rushes towards NIKI, and shouts in Italian
    above the noise, (we see sub-titles)...

                           MECHANIC
                 Mass usa slicks. Le vuoi cambiare
                 anche tu?
                     (Mass is going on slicks. You
                      want to change?)

    NIKI looks in his wing-mirror back to see a red McLaren, white
    helmet, number 12, several rows behind him. A team of
    MECHANICS hastily changing the tyres to dry tyres.

                           NIKI
                 Otherwise I wouldn't be remembered for
                 my rivalry with this asshole. And the
                 1976 season.

    NIKI then looks over at the car in pole position beside him.
    Another McLaren, but with number 11, and a Union Jack...

                           NIKI
                 What about Hunt? Has he changed?

                           MECHANIC
                 No, he's going on wets.

    The car in pole position: JAMES HUNT, surrounded by TV crews,
    mechanics, girlfriends, hangers-on..

    The Maclaren team is less than half the size of Ferrari's, but
    HUNT makes up for this with magnetism. The rock star of F1.

    NIKI's face: a stab of envy seeing a flash of his rival's
    glamorous long blonde hair disappearing into his balaclava,
    flirting with several hot-looking GIRLS..

                           NIKI
                 I don't know why it became such a big
                 thing. We were just drivers. Busting
                 each other's balls. To me this is
                 perfectly normal. But other people saw
                 it differently.
                           (MORE)



                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         3
5   CONTINUED: (2)                                                   5

                         NIKI (contíd)
               That whatever it was between us went
               deeper. And changed us both somehow.
               Forever.

    NIKI stares, then...

                         NIKI
               Be, allora usiamo anche noi quells da
               bagnato.
                   (Then we go on wets, too.)

    The ten-second board is held up.

    NIKI pulls down his visor...as he and HUNT's eyes meet for a
    split-second, eyes staring...

    NIKI selects second gear for the wet track and revs the
    engine. The dashboard needle climbs through 8000, 9000, 10000
    RPM.

                         NIKI
               Maybe that explains the state of mind
               I was in. And why it happened. The
               other thing I'm remembered for.
                   (a beat)
               On August 1st, that same year...

    CAPTION: "AUGUST 1st, 1976".

    The STARTER waves the flag. NIKI's foot hits the floor - his
    engine screams that deafening, stomach rearranging high-pitch
    scream, drowning out the roar of the 180,000 crowd.

    NIKI's car is catapaulted forward violently, the wheel-spin
    leaving livid black scars on the asphalt..

    NIKI gets away first. A good start! But within seconds there's
    a McLaren car right behind him, breathing down his neck.

    His arch-rival. HUNT.

    But as the McLaren roars past, NIKI sees a white helmet.
    Number 12. It's not Hunt. It's MASS. On his bald, slick tyres.

    NIKI curses under his breath. He screwed up. Made the wrong
    decision. Should have gone on slicks. He urgently needs to
    change tyres...

    NIKI swerves angrily into the pits. Ferrari's pit is right at
    one end...
                                                                          4



6   INT. PITS - DAY                                                   6

    Commentary from all the world's TV stations explaining the
    crazy, panicked situation as all the DRIVERS come into the
    pits to change to dry tyres.

    It's chaos. A traffic jam of Formula 1 cars...

    The Ferrari team frantically work. Changing NIKI's tyres. Four
    men with air guns, two men with rapid-duty jacks. The same
    Italian MECHANIC appears, `plugs in' his headset to the car..

                         MECHANIC
               Hair visto? Ti aveto detto di usare le
               slicks!
                   (See? I told you to go on
                    slicks!!)

                         NIKI
               Bullshit. Where's Hunt?

                            MECHANIC
               There!

    NIKI looks up to see the name JAMES HUNT written on the black
    helmet roar out of the pits ahead, with new tyres on...

                            NIKI
               C'mon...!!

    NIKI screams at the MECHANICS, who are struggling. The airguns
    make a high-pitched noise...something's not right.

                         NIKI
               What's GOING ON???

    "Thump", new (slick) tyres hit the tarmac, engines scream, and
    NIKI exit the pits in pursuit of HUNT. But the delay has cost
    him dear...


7   EXT. NUBURGRING - DAY                                             7

    Archive TV commentary from the world's race COMMENTATORS
    stations informs us of the positions.

    MASS leading, HUNT in 3rd, LAUDA in 20th...


8   INT. NIKI'S CAR - DAY                                             8

    NIKI gives it everything he's got. Tearing through the gears,
    trying to catch JAMES HUNT, breaking as late as he can, engine
    screaming.




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         5
8   CONTINUED:                                                       8


    He flies over the take-off hump between Pflanzgarten and
    Swallowtail - passes one car after another. Into 13th place
    now. Pulling off outrageous manoeuvres.

    NIKI's P.O.V: the world flies past in a blur. The steering
    wheel shakes. The car is right on the edge. Cannot be driven
    any harder.

    NIKI approaches the Streckenteil Adenauer-Brucke section of
    the course...turns left at the Bergwerk corner. Crazy speed.
    And tight. Too tight. A mistake...

    "Thump", his wheels come into contact with the kerb on the
    inside. NIKI tries to counter-steer, but is travelling at 155
    mph. The car jerks horribly to the right..

    "Crunch", hits the embankment, then "Bang", hits the barrier,
    and is thrown across the track..

    Fire breaks out in the engine. NIKI's eyes widen in horror,
    with another car bearing down upon him...

                          NIKI
                 No...!

    The oncoming car crashes head-on into our car, "Crash", a
    sickening, terrifying impact.

    The car explodes. Seventy litres of burning high-octane
    gasoline, with NIKI strapped inside, unable to undo his
    seatbelt. Locked in a blast furnace.

    NIKI screams as the flames engulf him. 800 degrees
    temperature. Trapped inside his car.

    Burning smoke fills his helmet, scarring his lungs...

    Pandemonium: commentary in different languages as panicked TV
    commentators helplessly describe what's happening..

    NIKI's POV: he can just make out the barely recognizable
    figures of the other DRIVERS rushing towards NIKI..

    Their hands get burnt in the flames as they try unsuccessfully
    to undo NIKI's seatbelt..

    Fire extinguishers blast at the car. Dry powder extinguishers.
    Covering NIKI's helmet. Blurring his vision, as he cries out
    in agony, inhaling the powder..

    Screaming voices. Panicked reactions. On the side of the car,
    the painted name `Niki Lauda' blisters and melts.




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                          6
8   CONTINUED: (2)                                                   8


    Then sound fades. As NIKI blacks out - losing consciousness.

                                                     FADE TO BLACK:

    Over this: the sound of a ringing phone...


9   INT. HOSPITAL A&E UNIT - (ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY) - DAY           9

    We're in a busy hospital A&E unit. Noise. Crowds. A regular
    Saturday late afternoon. The phone continues to ring..

    Finally, an attractive station NURSE in her 20's, run-off-her-
    feet, breathlessly picks up the phone.

                         NURSE
               Emergency...

    She covers her ears, straining to hear, listening to what is
    being said. Then her expression changes...

                         NURSE
               Okay...standing by!

    The NURSE hangs up...then calls out to her NURSE and DOCTOR
    colleagues...

                         NURSE
               That was the race-track..! There's
               been an accident..! A driver's been
               injured and is on his way in..!

    Instantly the atmosphere changes. A hive of activity as
    DOCTORS and NURSES prepare themselves for a major trauma...

    All PATIENTS with minor injuries are cleared out of the way.

    The NURSE rings upstairs to the operating theatres and
    consultant surgeons, telling them to stand by...

    CAPTION: "EIGHTY-EIGHT RACES EARLIER"

    Swing doors open, and a pair of shoeless, BARE FEET walks
    through and into the accident and emergency unit.

    Camera tilts up a pair of long legs in white racing
    overalls...to reveal a tall, good-looking driver, JAMES HUNT,
    (mid 20's), tanned, athletic, surfer long blonde hair...

    A man about whom a word comes to mind one would rarely use to
    describe an Englishman. SEXY.

    Blood trickles from his nose, there is bruising to his lip and
    the formation (already) of a nasty black eye, but make no
    mistake. He rocks. Drop-dead gorgeous..



                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                           7
9    CONTINUED:                                                       9


                            JAMES
                  I think the racetrack telephoned ahead
                  that I was coming? Hunt? James Hunt..?

     JAMES notices all the NURSES staring..

                            JAMES
                  What's the matter? No one seen a spot
                  of blood before?

                            NURSE
                  Are you all right?

                            JAMES
                  Absolutely fine.


10   INT. A&E UNIT - DAY                                              10

     The attractive NURSE is examining JAMES, opening his overalls,
     checking for wounds, cuts and bruises...

                            NURSE
                  We all thought you'd been in an
                  accident.

                            JAMES
                  I have. If you call a friendly
                  disagreement with another driver an
                  accident.

                            NURSE
                  What did you disagree about?

                            JAMES
                  None of your business. Ouch.

                              NURSE
                  Sorry.

                              JAMES
                  His wife.

                            NURSE
                  That's going to need a couple of
                  stitches. It's a nasty cut.

                            JAMES
                  It was a nasty blow. Done with a
                  bloody spanner.

                            NURSE
                  Why? What did you do?




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          8
10   CONTINUED:                                                      10


                            JAMES
                  Nothing! Only what she begged me to
                  do.

     The NURSE notices bruising on JAMES's chest...

                            NURSE
                  Which was..?

     She examines him, testing his ribs for fractures, his chest..

     JAMES looks up. Their eyes meet..

                            JAMES
                  Be happy to show you if you like.


11   INT. JAMES'S APARTMENT - NIGHT                                  11

     `Crash', the door flies open as JAMES and the NURSE stumble
     through, mid-embrace, tearing at one another's clothes...

     The apartment is basic. Cramped. Messy. Like that of a poor
     student. Ashtrays filled with half-smoked joints. Empty beer
     cans. A toaster. A kettle. A stereo. A cage containing two
     budgerigars.

     A mattress on the floor.

     Newspapers with headlines about the Dockers Strike, England's
     crumbling economy, Rolls Royce being bailed out by the
     government - subtle reminders of Britain in transition,
     leaving behind its strong, imperial past.

     JAMES and the NURSE stand against the wall, still half-
     dressed, but already passionately making love...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  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..
                      (a beat)
                  It's our closeness to death.

     JAMES and the NURSE continue noisily, tirelessly making love
     in the shower...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  The closer you are to death, the more
                  alive you FEEL...the more alive you
                  ARE. And they can see that in you.
                  FEEL that in you. The way you live.
                  Willing to risk everything.
                            (MORE)


                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           9
11   CONTINUED:                                                   11

                            JAMES (V/O) (contíd)
                  With no thought for tomorrow...as if
                  each day is your last. It's a
                  wonderful way to live...and the ONLY
                  way to drive. The only way to get that
                  tenth of a second on everyone else...

     The lovemaking becomes more intense...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  To dare to be one step bolder...one
                  step faster...

     JAMES is covered in perspiration, out on the edge...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  Sure one step closer to death...

     JAMES and the NURSE, both screaming as they approach orgasm...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  But one step closer to victory, too...

     JAMES and the NURSE both climax together...and collapse on the
     bed. Exhausted.


12   EXT. CRYSTAL PALACE RACE TRACK - DAY                             12

     A grotty old race track in South London.

     JAMES and the NURSE arrive at Crystal Palace race track in his
     battered old mini. They get out. She looks up, seeing the
     mechanics, the racing teams, the cars..

                            NURSE
                  I've never been to a Grand Prix
                  before.

                            JAMES
                  You still haven't. This is Formula 3.

                            NURSE
                  What's that?

                            JAMES
                  A lower division. Where people like me
                  mess about in the hope of finding
                  sponsors or being talent-spotted to
                  race in Formula 1.

     JAMES leads the NURSE into...
                                                                           10



13   THE PADDOCK - CRYSTAL PALACE - DAY                               13

     The pits where JAMES introduces her to his team...

                          JAMES
                Everyone, this is Nursie.

                          NURSIE
                    (correcting)
                Gemma...

                          JAMES
                Nursie, this is Doc our designer...

                          DOC
                How do you do?

                          JAMES
                Bubbles, our chief mechanic.

                          BUBBLES
                How do you do?

                          JAMES
                Le Patron - Alexander, Lord Hesketh.

                          HESKETH
                How do you do?

                          NURSE
                Fine, thanks. Blimey...is everyone in
                Formula 3 this posh?

                          HESKETH
                Glass of champagne, Nursie?

                          NURSE
                It's Gemma. No, thanks.

                          HESKETH
                You sure? It's Krug. Clos de Mesnil.

                          NURSE
                It's also ten in the morning.

                          HESKETH
                Oh, dear. Superstar? You haven't
                brought us a bore, have you?

     JAMES strips off, changing into his racing overalls.

                          JAMES
                Trust me. Nursie's anything BUT a
                bore..




                                                            (CONTINUED)
                                                                           11
13   CONTINUED:                                                     13


     The NURSE, meanwhile, drifts over to look at the car where
     BUBBLES is making last minute checks...

                            NURSE
                  That's the car?

                            BUBBLES
                  That's her. The Dastle Mk 9...with the
                  Lotus twin-cam sixteen hundred engine.
                  She's no beauty. But goes like the
                  clappers.

     An odd-looking car. A bit like a giant Go-kart, blue with
     yellow strips along the side and James's name in small
     letters. It looks small, dangerously fragile.

                            JAMES
                  Uuuurrrrrkkkkkkggghghhhh.

     The NURSE is shocked to hear a dreadful watery vomiting sound.
     She sees JAMES bent over behind the truck...

                            HESKETH
                  Nothing to be worried about! Does it
                  before every race! Good sign,
                  actually. Means he's stoked!


14   EXT. PADDOCK - SAME TIME                                         14

     JAMES continues vomiting...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  There's a lie that all drivers tell
                  themselves. "Death is something that
                  happens to other people." That's how
                  you find the courage to get in the car
                  in the first place...

     JAMES emerges, wiping his mouth...

                            HESKETH
                  All right, Superstar?

                            JAMES
                  Never better, Patron.

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  Because bad things only happen to
                  others, right?

                            HESKETH
                  Have a gargle with this.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           12
14   CONTINUED:                                                     14


     JAMES takes a quick swig of the champagne...gargles, then
     swallows, puts on his balaclava...

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  Problem is deep down you know that's a
                  lie. That it could happen to you at
                  any moment.

                            HESKETH
                  Quick toke of this...

     HESKETH passes over a joint, which JAMES inhales, taking a
     huge lungful from....

                            JAMES (V/O)
                  So how do you make that terror go
                  away? Well, booze is good for that.
                  And wacky baccy. But better than
                  everything else is...sex.

     JAMES goes to the NURSE...and kisses her full on the lips,
     then puts on his helmet, and athletically vaults into the car.

     JAMES hits the ignition, and a deafening high-pitched SCREAM
     as the engine starts...

                            HESKETH
                  Ahhhh! What music! They could never
                  have predicted it, those pioneers that
                  invented the automobile that it would
                  possess us like this, in our
                  imaginations, our dreams. Nursie, men
                  love women...but even more than that,
                  men love CARS...


15   EXT. PADDOCK - CRYSTAL PALACE - DAY                              15

     JAMES notices another driver (NIKI LAUDA), his car already
     unloaded, (number 35) and mechanics working on it..

                            JAMES
                  Who's that?

                            DOC
                  He's new. Some German.

                            BUBBLES
                      (corrects)
                  Austrian.

                            JAMES
                  Is there a difference?




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           13
15   CONTINUED:                                                     15


     JAMES looks over. On the side of the car, painted markings, in
     the form of a signature, "Niki Lauda".

                            JAMES
                  All bloody Goosesteppers.


16   EXT. RACE TRACK - CRYSTAL PALACE - DAY                           16

     JAMES is neck and neck with NIKI. They go into a corner.

     NIKI gets there first. Up ahead though, approaching the second
     bend...JAMES sees the tiniest, slimmest crack to overtake. No
     right-minded driver would risk it. Only a suicidal maniac.

     Which just happens to describe JAMES perfectly..

     JAMES goes for it. Daringly. Brilliantly. And forces NIKI to
     slam on his brakes to prevent a certain crash...


17   EXT. PITS - SAME TIME                                            17

     HESKETH, BUBBLES, DOC and the NURSE watch from the
     sidelines...

                            BUBBLES
                  That move was suicide!

                            HESKETH
                  It was also quite brilliant!! God he's
                  got balls!!


18   EXT. RACE TRACK - DAY                                            18

     JAMES carries on driving. Flat out.

     But on the flat, NIKI suddenly comes out of nowhere. As if his
     car has 50 bhp more.

     And overtakes JAMES. NIKI begins to pull away. And has the
     Englishman beaten..

     JAMES sees red mist...and in an act of do-or-die vengeful
     madness, JAMES goes into a corner far too fast...

     ...yanks his steering wheel. And outrageously shunts NIKI's
     car. An unforgivable act of unsportsmanlike vindictiveness.

     NIKI and JAMES's cars both veer off...go into wild, lethal
     spins..but luckily for JAMES he ends up facing the right
     way...




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          14
18   CONTINUED:                                                      18


     ...and despite being badly shaken, dizzy, JAMES is able to
     change gears, and continue driving...

     NIKI's car, by contrast, has stalled...and now ends up facing
     THE WRONG WAY on the track...

     NIKI's eyes look up to see all the cars coming over a brow,
     like a herd of Wildebeest, heading towards him...

                            NIKI
                  Umgotteswillen...

     NIKI rips open his seat-belt, is about to get out of his car,
     when one car shoots straight over the nose of his car.

     NIKI ducks, then bravely leaps for cover, as....

     "SMASH", one of the oncoming cars shunts into his car, (it
     would have killed him instantly).

     "WHAM", another car narrowly misses him...

     "CRASH", another car forces NIKI into an evasive dive...

     Cars scream past him on all sides as the race continues...

     NIKI, battered, shaken, has had an unbelievably close escape.
     He rips off his helmet, furious...

     And now we see NIKI LAUDA's face for the first time. Sharp-
     featured. Intelligent eyes. Dark hair. Protruding teeth.

     Something unmistakably rat-like about him.


19   EXT. CRYSTAL PALACE RACE TRACK - LATE AFTERNOON                 19

     JAMES is on the podium, having won. He's with the NURSE, and
     HESKETH and BUBBLES and his team, spraying them with
     champagne..

     NIKI walks past the podium, holding his blue helmet, and
     shouts out, still incandescent...

                            NIKI
                  Hey...asshole! That was my line! I had
                  that corner...

                            JAMES
                  You mean the one you spun out of? And
                  finished facing the other way? I think
                  that corner had you.

     Laughter.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           15
19   CONTINUED:                                                     19


                            NIKI
                  That move was total suicide. What if I
                  hadn't braked? We'd have crashed..!!

                            JAMES
                  But we didn't, did we? Thanks to your
                  impeccable `survival' instincts...

     JAMES makes chicken noises...

                            NIKI
                  Fuck you! What's your name?

                            HESKETH
                  James Simon Wallis Hunt. Remember it,
                  my little Jerry friend. Because one
                  day he will be World Champion.

                            JAMES
                  Jawohl. Remember ze name. Very simple.
                  "Hunt". It rhymes with....

     "BEEEEP", a car horn hoots nearby, blocking out JAMES's c-word
     insult...

                             JAMES
                  ...a word that happens to describe you
                  perfectly.

     Laughter. NIKI gives JAMES the finger, "Screw you, asshole".
     The NURSE watches NIKI go..

                            NURSE
                  Who was that?

                            JAMES
                  No one. Chippy little Kraut. Bad
                  loser. Forget him.

     NIKI continues to walk off, middle finger raised..


20   EXT. VIENNA SKYLINE - DAY                                        20

     To establish: the Austrian capital. OVER THIS: the sound of
     NIKI's voice...

                            NIKI (V/O)
                  In my home town, Vienna, my family is
                  famous for one thing. Business. My
                  grandfather was a businessman, my
                  father, too...
                                                                           16



21   INT. NIKI'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      21

     NIKI is in front of a mirror, and dresses smartly in a jacket,
     and open necked shirt, evidently a little nervous...

                          NIKI (V/O)
                So when they heard I wanted to race
                cars for a living, they had a few
                things to say...


22   INT. LAUDA GRANDFATHER HOUSE - NIGHT                             22

     A large, forbidding dining room. NIKI's FATHER and terrifying
     GRANDFATHER, are eating supper. GRANDFATHER shakes his head,
     clearly disapproves and barks in German...(we see subtitles)

                          GRANDFATHER
                Never! Racing is for playboys and
                dilettantes. Frivolous amateurs with
                nothing in their heads. The name
                `Lauda' appears on the front pages,
                with politicians and economists, not
                on the back pages with...
                    (gestures in contempt)
                ...footballers and skiers. If you want
                my money, you do as I say and follow
                me into my business..

     NIKI stares at his GRANDFATHER..

                          NIKI (V/O)
                It's in moments like this that you
                discover who you really are..

     ...and in a move that he knows will rupture the family for
     ever, NIKI gets to his feet..

                          NIKI
                Fine. Keep your money. Don't invest in
                me. But when I'm World Champion, and I
                have the trophy, and my name is not
                just on the back pages, but on the
                front too, you will regret it.

     NIKI walks out, the old man's insults ringing in his ears...

                          GRANDFATHER
                You dare sit at my table and lecture
                me on what I will or won't regret? Get
                out! Impertinent wretch! Consider
                yourself disowned!
                                                                          17



23   INT. RAIFEISENKASSE - BANK - DAY                                23

     NIKI is in a meeting with visibly concerned BANKERS and
     LAWYERS. They speak in German...

                          BANKER
                Another loan? Herr Lauda, you still
                haven't repaid the other...

                          BANKER 2
                Three..

                          BANKER
                Totalling millions of Schillings. Plus
                your Grandfather called to inform us
                he will no longer be offering
                security.

                          NIKI
                I know. There is no room for failure.
                I understand that.

                          NIKI (V/O)
                But I was still a Lauda...


24   INT. NIKI'S CAR/ ROAD TO VIENNA AIRPORT - DAY                   24

     NIKI is driving his car. Beside him, is the attache case on
     his lap. His car passes under a motorway sign reading
     "Flughafen". (Airport)...

                          NIKI (V/O)
                ...which meant I was still a
                businessman above everything else.


25   EXT. VIENNA AIRPORT - DAY                                       25

     A private jet. A balding, blazered Englishman in late middle-
     age (LOUIS STANLEY), owner of BRM racing, disembarks onto the
     tarmac...

                          NIKI (V/O)
                It just so happens that the business I
                deal in is speed.


26   INT. VIENNA AIRPORT - CAFE                                      26

     NIKI sits with LOUIS STANLEY in an airport cafe.

     Contracts are open on the table. NIKI is signing. LOUIS
     STANLEY is counter-signing...




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         18
26   CONTINUED:                                                     26


                            STANLEY
                  In return for your money you get a
                  car, mechanics and a place on the
                  team. Plus fifty per cent of starting
                  fees and bonuses for podium finishes.

                            NIKI
                  Who's the number one driver?

                            STANLEY
                  Clay Regazzoni and you will defer to
                  him at all times.

     NIKI takes out his cheque book and pen. He looks up...

                            NIKI
                  Why would I defer to him if I am
                  paying his wages?

     NIKI writes the cheque. STANLEY's smile fades..

                            STANLEY
                  Because he's a proven winner at the
                  highest level, a good guy, and someone
                  who quite frankly, could teach you a
                  thing or two.

     NIKI ignores this, continues scrutinizing the contract...

                            NIKI
                  OK. There is one clause missing.

                            STANLEY
                  The one about mechanics' exclusivity?
                  Sorry. We have a cardinal rule at BRM.
                  All information is shared between ALL
                  our drivers..

                            NIKI
                  And I made it perfectly clear that my
                  mechanics work for me. No one else.
                  This is something I cannot sign.

     NIKI takes back the cheque. STANLEY stares...

                            STANLEY
                  All right. I'll have the lawyers amend
                  it.

                            NIKI
                  While you're at it you can tell them
                  to amend the clause for podium
                  finishes. Podium is first THREE
                  places, not just wins.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           19
26   CONTINUED: (2)                                                  26


     NIKI puts the cheque in his attache case. Snaps it shut,
     taking it with him..

                          NIKI
                You'll get the money on signature, as
                agreed. See you at winter testing.

     NIKI gets to his feet, and leaves. STANLEY watches the attache
     case disappear.

                          STANLEY
                If that little git drives half as well
                as he negotiates, we're going to be
                fine.

                                                                CUT TO:


27   OMITTED                                                          27


28   INT. AWARD CEREMONY - NIGHT                                      28

     An awards ceremony is in progress. The room is thick with
     cigar and cigarette smoke. A presenter on stage, wearing black
     tie...

                          PRESENTER
                I'm delighted to say the winner of the
                British Guild of Motoring Writers
                award for the `Most Promising Driver
                of the Year' is James Hunt...

     A loud, boisterous cheer goes up at the Hesketh Racing table.

     JAMES turns to a (new/different) girlfriend beside him, gives
     her a lingering kiss on the lips, then gets to his feet,
     shakes hands with HESKETH, and BUBBLES and skips up to the
     podium...

                          JAMES
                Thank you. My parents always wanted me
                to be a doctor, or stockbroker, and
                gave me a first class education...but
                to no avail. My brothers are the
                success stories. I get bored easily. I
                have a hot head, an inability to
                tolerate discipline. I fall out with
                people left and right. I'm quick to
                settle matters with my fists. The only
                creatures I've ever loved and treated
                well, are budgerigars. In any normal
                area of life, I'd be...or AM...a total
                liability. All I've got going for me
                is I'm quick in a car.



                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                          20
28   CONTINUED:                                                     28


     A good-looking woman calls out..

                            WOMAN
                  That's not all!

     Laughter.

                            JAMES
                  So thank you for acknowledging that.
                  And giving me this...
                      (indicating trophy)
                  I'm going to give it to my Dad, and
                  tell him to put it on the mantle-piece
                  and imagine it's a first class degree
                  in medicine.


29   INT. AWARDS CEREMONY - LATER                                    29

     Afterwards: everyone is celebrating. Thanks to JAMES, every
     pretty woman in the club is around. The trophy is perched
     beside bottles of champagne...

                            HESKETH
                  Well done, Superstar. One more season
                  in F2 then I'll move you up. To the
                  big time.

                            JAMES
                  You don't think I'm ready now?

                            HESKETH
                  You are! I'm not! I've got to find you
                  a car first. And the money. The
                  economics of Formula 1 are terrifying.

                            BUBBLES
                  Hurry up. You don't want him to do
                  what Lauda did.

     `Pop', HESKETH opens a bottle of champagne...

                            BUBBLES (contíd)
                  The Goosestepper. Remember him?

     JAMES makes the chicken noises again..

                            BUBBLES
                  Said he no longer wanted to risk his
                  life with "a bunch of crazy amateurs
                  and losers..."

                            JAMES
                  Is that what he called us?




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          21
29   CONTINUED:                                                     29


                              DOC
                  Charming!

                            HESKETH
                  Nothing wrong with being an amateur!

                            BUBBLES
                  Said if he was going to risk his life,
                  he would only do so on the big
                  roulette table. Formula 1. So he got
                  himself a drive with BRM.

                            JAMES
                  What? How? He never won a thing! Not a
                  single bloody race.

                            HESKETH
                  Amateurs are what made this country
                  great.

                            BUBBLES
                  Took out a loan, apparently. Paid for
                  it himself.

                            HESKETH
                  "In war, as in lovemaking, amateurs
                  are invariably better than
                  professionals." Napoleon Bonaparte.

                            BUBBLES
                  A hundred and fifty grand!

                            JAMES
                  A hundred and fifty grand?

     JAMES stares. Already sick with envy.

                            JAMES
                  That's either an act of utter lunacy,
                  or the ballsiest thing I ever heard.

                                                               CUT TO:


30   INT/EXT. RECEPTION PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - FRANCE - DAY           30

     The PAUL RICARD circuit near Marseilles in the South of
     France. Where all winter training and testing is done.

     NIKI arrives. An attractive woman (AGNES) greets him...

                            NIKI
                  Niki Lauda. Here for pre-season
                  testing. BRM?




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         22
30   CONTINUED:                                                     30


                            AGNES
                  Take a seat, please. I'll get someone
                  to come and collect you...

     NIKI watches as she telephones the BRM workshops...

                            AGNES
                  Hi. There's someone here for you?

                            NIKI
                      (prompting)
                  Lauda.

                            AGNES
                      (misunderstanding, speaking
                       louder)
                  SOMEONE HERE TO SEE YOU.

     She hangs up. NIKI decides against pointing out her mistake.

                            AGNES
                  They'll be right here.

                               NIKI
                  Thank you.

     A silence. The RECEPTIONIST continues with her work. NIKI
     watches her, unsure what to say, (small-talk not his forte)...

                            NIKI
                  Worked here long?

                               AGNES
                  Excuse me?

                            NIKI
                  Just wondered if you've worked here
                  long?

                            AGNES
                  Almost eight years.

                            NIKI
                  That long? And they didn't promote you
                  yet?

                            AGNES
                  Yes, several times. I am the AGNES.
                  Agnes Bonnet. If you're looking for
                  the receptionist, she's on her lunch.

     NIKI is thrown. Feels humiliated. A total jerk. He is about to
     say something when the door opens, and...

     Two other F1 DRIVERS walk in..



                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           23
30   CONTINUED: (2)                                                  30


     Glamorous, long-haired, tanned, fashionable - like rock stars,
     they talk effortlessly and flirt confidently with AGNES.

     What are you doing answering the phones? New haircut! Like it.
     What have you done to the weather?

     They make her laugh. And smile.

     NIKI feels invisible. Embarrassed. Awkward. Inadequate. He
     gets to his feet. And goes to the car that has come to collect
     him.

     As he goes, (unseen by NIKI), AGNES watches him. Ignoring the
     other DRIVERS. Intrigued.

     He's different. Interesting. Intense. Intelligent eyes.


31   EXT. BRM WORKSHOPS - DAY                                         31

     The car pulls up outside the workshops. NIKI gets out of the
     car, and is greeted by LOUIS STANLEY, and the BRM team...

                          STANLEY
                Niki, let me introduce you to our
                number 1 driver, Clay Regazzoni..and
                our number 2, Jean Pierre Beltoise..

     The intimidating, muscular, moustachioed figure of CLAY
     REGAZZONI, the Swiss driver. NIKI and CLAY shake hands.

                          STANLEY
                And these are your mechanics,
                reporting exclusively to you. As per
                contract...

     REGAZZONI, BELTOISE and STANLEY exchange looks as NIKI shakes
     hands, ad-libbed greetings with his MECHANICS.

                          MECHANIC
                You want to see the car?


32   INT/EXT. BRM WORKSHOPS - DAY                                     32

     NIKI is led into the workshop to see a red and white Marlboro
     sponsored car, number 21, with a tall air-intake duct just
     above the driver's helmet...

                          MECHANIC
                There she is. The P160..

                          NIKI
                Same as Regazzoni's?




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                          24
32   CONTINUED:                                                     32


                            MECHANIC
                  Identical in every detail.

     NIKI scrutinizes the car...

                            NIKI
                  She looks heavy. How much does she
                  weigh?

                               MECHANIC
                  540 kilos.

                            NIKI
                  That's crazy. Why so heavy..?

                            MECHANIC
                  It's a 3 litre, V12 engine, that thing
                  weighs 190k alone.

                            NIKI
                  What horsepower are you getting out of
                  it?

                               MECHANIC
                  450.

                            NIKI
                  Not enough. Needs to be 500 and the
                  engine needs to be 20k lighter.

                            MECHANIC
                  We already tried...

                            NIKI
                  Did you use magnesium parts?

     The MECHANICS look at one another skeptically...


33   INT. BRM WORKSHOPS - NIGHT                                      33

     Shooting from above:

     The entire car has been stripped to a thousand pieces. Now
     spread all over the workshop floor.

     NIKI's team of mechanics reluctantly work through the night
     making the adjustments which NIKI is suggesting...

                            NIKI
                  Any solid plate, strip it out...

     More disbelieving, skeptical looks. The car is in pieces on
     the floor. NIKI brews coffee to keep people alert. Focused.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           25
33   CONTINUED:                                                    33


                            NIKI
                  And when we've done that, we need to
                  look at the aerodynamics. Front and
                  rear wing..

     More mutinous looks. "Who is this asshole?"


34   EXT. BRM WORKSHOPS - FIRST LIGHT                                 34

     Daylight breaks over the race-track. The doors to the workshop
     open, and the MECHANICS and NIKI emerge - their work done.

     NIKI goes to shake hands with the MECHANICS...

                            NIKI
                  OK. Thank you. Good night..

     But they're exhausted. Refuse to shake hands with this nut.


35   EXT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - DAY                                   35

     LATER: one of the BRM cars screams round the race-track...

     NIKI watches on the sidelines as CLAY REGAZZONI is time-
     testing his car. He walks over to where LOUIS STANLEY and
     several MECHANICS are doing the timings...

                            NIKI
                  What was his time?

                            STANLEY
                  Two minutes six seconds.

                            NIKI
                  OK. Now put him in my car, and he'll
                  go round under two minutes.

                            STANLEY
                  Six seconds faster? Impossible.

     NIKI looks up to see AGNES, the attractive TRACK MANAGER again
     on the other side of the track.

     NIKI waves hi. AGNES waves back. Smiles. NIKI raises his
     eyebrow. Surprised.


36   EXT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - DAY                                   36

     REGAZZONI gets into NIKI's car.
                                                                         26



37   EXT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - DAY                                 37

     REGAZZONI races round the track at full speed.

     REGAZZONI roars past the finishing line in NIKI's car. LOUIS
     STANLEY looks at the stop watch..

     His expression changes.


38   INT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - DAY                                 38

     STANLEY comes into the workshop where NIKI and his MECHANICS
     are in conversation, getting changed...

                          STANLEY
                All right. What did you do to the car?

                          NIKI
                That's information I will share with
                you under certain conditions only.

     STANLEY stares, bracing himself..

                           STANLEY
                Go on...

                          NIKI
                A guaranteed place in the team, and a
                paid contract on equal terms with
                Regazzoni for two years.

                          STANLEY
                Are you crazy? Clay's a senior figure
                in Formula One...you're a rookie. The
                only reason we took you ON was because
                you were paying us.

                          NIKI
                Well, as of now, if you want me to
                stay, we rip up the contract. I don't
                pay you a cent.

                          STANLEY
                It's outrageous.

                           NIKI
                Was he quicker in my car? He was,
                wasn't he?

     STANLEY stares...

                          NIKI
                Did he go under two minutes?




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                           27
38   CONTINUED:                                                     38


                            STANLEY
                      (quiet)
                  One fifty-six.

                            NIKI
                  So have a think, work out your
                  priorities, and get back to me.

     NIKI turns, and goes. STANLEY stares...

                            STANLEY
                  Not even my WIFE speaks to me like
                  that.


39   EXT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - DAY                                   39

     CLAY REGAZZONI emerges from testing his car. Still amazed by
     the improved performance. Talking to his MECHANICS. In awe.

     He removes his helmet, then stops.

     In the distance he sees NIKI talking to AGNES the attractive
     TRACK MANAGER. They are clearly hitting it off..


40   INT. PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT - WORKSHOPS - LOCKER-ROOM - DAY         40

     NIKI is in the showers, then getting changed for his date with
     AGNES. He is about to go, when he stops, and sees...

     CLAY REGAZZONI getting undressed, looking at NIKI. CLAY speaks
     English with an Italian accent..

                            REGAZZONI
                  I know what you're going to say. That
                  it's none of my business...

                            NIKI
                  What?

                            REGAZZONI
                  If it's the Track Manager you're
                  taking on your date tonight?

     NIKI immediately becomes defensive...

                            NIKI
                  It's none of your business.

                            REGAZZONI
                  Okay, but if you want my advice...I'd
                  let this one go. I'm not questioning
                  your taste. She's a great girl.
                            (MORE)



                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                           28
40   CONTINUED:                                                      40

                            REGAZZONI (contíd)
                  But Agnes's last boyfriend was a
                  British Formula 2 driver, who has a
                  reputation for two things. For being a
                  suicidal jerk on the track, and for
                  going all night, and all day
                  afterwards...and all night again in
                  bed. He's an OK driver, but an
                  IMMORTAL fuck, apparently. I don't
                  know about you, but that's not an act
                  I'd like to follow.
                      (shrugs)
                  But if that doesn't bother you...

                            NIKI
                  What's his name? The driver?

                            REGAZZONI
                  Hunt. James Hunt.

     NIKI stares. Can hardly believe it.

                            REGAZZONI
                  See? You share information, I share
                  information.

     CLAY slaps NIKI on his back, and goes into the showers..

                            REGAZZONI
                  That's what team-mates are for.

                            NIKI
                      (quiet/defeated)
                  Thanks.


41   EXT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT                                          41

     A restaurant in Marseilles. Through the window we can see
     AGNES, the attractive TRACK MANAGER sitting at a table alone.
     Waiting for NIKI.

     Reverse angle to reveal:


42   INT. NIKI'S CAR/ MARSEILLES STREET - SAME TIME                   42

     NIKI is sitting in a car across the street. He stares at AGNES
     in the restaurant. Then starts his car, and drives off.

                                                        FADE TO BLACK:
                                                                           29



43   EXT. EASTON NESTON - HESKETH RACING HQ - DAY                     43

     Easton Neston. Set in 3,300 acres, one of England's great
     country houses. Home to the Fermor-Hesketh family since 1700.

     JAMES and a new GIRLFRIEND drive up the gravel drive in his
     anything but grandiose Mini. It splutters to a stop, just in
     time.

     They are greeted by uniformed STAFF who take his tatty bags
     from his filthy car.


44   INT. HESKETH RACING WORKSHOPS - EASTON NESTON - DAY              44

     The Hesketh Racing workshops, situated in the converted
     stables on the estate. HESKETH leads a blindfolded JAMES in...

                          HESKETH
                Keep them closed...! Wait for it, wait
                for it...

     HESKETH removes JAMES's blindfold...

                          HESKETH
                There! What do you say?

     JAMES opens his eyes to see a gorgeous F1 racing car, plain
     white, no stickers...

                          HESKETH
                Isn't she a beauty? The March 731.
                Converted by the brilliant Doc..!

     DOC POSTLETHWAITE takes a modest bow. JAMES shakes hands with
     everyone, including his brother, (and manager), PETER..

                          JAMES
                She is a beauty. But...haven't you
                made a mistake?

                          HESKETH
                What?

                          JAMES
                That's not a Formula 2 car. She's F1.

                          HESKETH
                She is, Superstar. Why? Because I got
                together with the beancounters, and it
                turns out that the economics of F1 are
                not so significantly different to the
                economics of Formula 2...

     BUBBLES clears his throat, dutifully bites his tongue..



                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         30
44   CONTINUED:                                                     44


                            HESKETH
                  So we thought if we were going to be
                  messing about losing money we might as
                  well be doing it with the big boys.

                            JAMES
                  Are you serious?

                            HESKETH
                  Never been more serious in my life!

     JAMES embraces HESKETH in excitement, kisses him...

                            HESKETH
                  Actually, I got the idea after what
                  you said about the Austrian chap who
                  bought his way in rather than waste
                  his time in the lower divisions. I
                  thought, "Bloody hell, he's right!"

     JAMES slips into the cockpit...

                            JAMES
                  Well done the Goosestepper!!

                            HESKETH
                      (indicates car)
                  No sponsorship, Superstar! I hope you
                  approve.

                            JAMES
                  I do, Patron.

                            HESKETH
                  No vulgar logos for cigarettes, or
                  condoms. Just plain white. With the
                  Union Jack. And racing overalls which
                  read...

     HESKETH indicates JAMES's hanging racing overalls...

                            HESKETH
                  "Sex. Breakfast of Champions." Unless
                  it's me, of course, in which case it's
                  two kippers, porridge, boiled eggs,
                  and half a dozen slices of toast...

     Laughter.

                            JAMES
                  So when do we start?

                            HESKETH
                  Soon as you're ready.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           31
44   CONTINUED: (2)                                                  44


                          JAMES
                I'm ready now.

                          HESKETH
                That's my boy!

     HESKETH pops champagne...

                          HESKETH
                They won't know what's hit them!


45   EXT. SPANISH GP - RACE TRACK -27 APRIL 1975- DAY                 45

     To establish: a Formula 1 race track on Grand Prix week-end..

     A helicopter comes in to land.

     The Hesketh Racing Team makes a grand entrance with a retinue
     of BUTLERS, GIRLS, ROLLS' ROYCE's, oysters, champagne...

     A famous ex-champion TV REPORTER is there (Stirling Moss)
     providing skeptical commentary about Hesketh's debut...

                          STIRLING MOSS
                ...hard to tell whether Lord Hesketh
                and his team of upper class
                enthusiasts is bringing glamour to the
                racing community, or just comedy...

     They walk around in their own branded clothing. Alexander's
     jacket reads, "Le Patron". He speaks to MOSS.

     Rolled eyes among other racing teams who express surprise,
     curiosity (and frequently disapproval) at these new arrivals..

                          STIRLING MOSS
                It's certainly the first time I can
                remember seeing a butler serving
                caviar and oysters in the pits...

     Suddenly pandemonium breaks out. Screams. Something has
     happened. A bad accident on the track. During testing...

                          STIRLING MOSS
                    (holding ear-piece)
                ...reports are reaching me of a
                serious accident that has just taken
                place in qualifying....

     All smiles fade. The party atmosphere changes in a flash.
     Panic breaks out.

     The sound of sirens. Ambulances rushing to the scene of the
     accident. All the JOURNALISTS and TV CREWS rush off, too.



                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                           32
45   CONTINUED:                                                     45


     HESKETH, BUBBLES and JAMES look at one another, put down their
     champagne glasses, and follow...


46   EXT. RACE TRACK - SPAIN - DAY                                    46

     Mangled wreckage. A car has crashed into (badly installed)
     Armco guard rails, splitting the railing in two...

     The DRIVER has been decapitated. His helmeted HEAD lies
     cleanly severed on the ground...

     A goldfish-bowl of blood.

     It's a horrific accident. People SCREAM and look away. Even
     hardened medical professionals...

     JAMES, HESKETH, BUBBLES arrive on the scene of the accident.
     But they are kept away, at a distance...

                            STIRLING MOSS
                  ...it seems the driver...just twenty-
                  six years old....was killed on
                  impact...and the death toll in Formula
                  1 shows no sign of slowing down...


47   INT. HESKETH PITS - SPANISH GRAND PRIX - DAY                     47

     JAMES, dressed in his overalls, is violently retching. Sick
     with nerves. A TV plays in the pits...

                            COMMENTATOR
                  ...in the last five years alone
                  Formula 1 has lost Piers Courage, Jo
                  Siffert, Peter Revson, Jochen Rindt,
                  Francois Cevert, Roger Williamson...

     ON TV: quickfire clips of the terrible, violent deaths.
     BUBBLES hastily switches off the TV as JAMES walks past...


48   EXT. PADDOCK - DAY                                               48

     JAMES walks out of the paddock, towards his car. Other DRIVERS
     gathered in concerned groups, talking...

                            DRIVER (O.S.)
                  It's terrible.

                            JAMES
                  They should cancel the race.

     Then, a distinctive Austrian accent..




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          33
48   CONTINUED:                                                     48


                            NIKI
                  Why? No one came to see him anyway.
                  He made a mistake. Went into the
                  corner too fast.

                            JAMES
                  Is that right? So says the nobody who
                  had to pay for his own drive. How's
                  that working out, by the way?

                            NIKI
                  Fine. How's it at the back?

                            JAMES
                  Not planning on being there for long.

                            NIKI
                  Good. Look forward to you showing me
                  the way today.

                            JAMES
                  `Be happy to. I'll have you inside lap
                  one.

                            NIKI
                  Yeah right.

     JAMES walks off to his car, shaking his head..

                             JAMES
                  Asshole.

     NIKI walks to his car, putting on his helmet.

                             NIKI
                  Asshole.

49   OMITTED                                                         49

50   OMITTED                                                         50

51   OMITTED                                                         51

52   OMITTED                                                         52

53   OMITTED                                                         53

54   OMITTED                                                         54

55   OMITTED                                                         55

56   OMITTED                                                         56

57   OMITTED                                                         57




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           34
48   CONTINUED: (2)                                                 48


58   OMITTED                                                          58


59   EXT. SPANISH GRAND PRIX PADDOCK/ PODIUM - DAY                    59

     NIKI is on the podium, spraying champagne. He is wearing the
     victor's garland...

     Meanwhile: JAMES's car is embarrassingly being brought back by
     a tow-truck. NIKI watches from the podium..

     His eyes meet JAMES's..


60   INT. BAR - HOTEL - NIGHT                                         60

     JAMES and BUBBLES and PETER HUNT (JAMES's blazer-wearing
     manager and elder brother), sit together at a table in the
     corner. It's late. A frank post-mortem. Drinking and talking..

                          JAMES
                Niki humiliated me today. He lapped me
                three times.

                          BUBBLES
                He lapped Carlos Pace six times.

                          JAMES
                That's supposed to console me? What do
                I need to do?

                           PETER
                Grow up.

                          JAMES
                Shut up, Moneyman. `Didn't ask you..

                           BUBBLES
                Your brother's right. You've got to
                change your attitude. We all do. And
                match it with a whole different mental
                approach. Professionalism. Maturity.
                Like Niki.

                          PETER
                Bet he doesn't go out every night,
                drink and screw himself stupid.

                          JAMES
                So speaks the jealous married man..

                          PETER
                No. So speaks the manager who's
                wasting his time, making ten per cent
                of absolutely nothing.



                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                          35
60   CONTINUED:                                                     60


                            BUBBLES
                  You've just got to take it more
                  seriously. Yourself more seriously.

                            PETER
                  Something he's never done.

                            JAMES
                  Don`t patronize me, Pete...

                            BUBBLES
                  We need you to spend less time in bars
                  and nightclubs...

                            PETER
                  Make that NO time...

                            BUBBLES
                  And more time with the mechanics,
                  setting up the car. That's what Lauda
                  does. 24 hours a day.

     JAMES rolls his eyes...

                            BUBBLES
                  God knows there's nothing wrong with
                  your talent. Or courage. It's purely a
                  character issue right now.

                            JAMES
                  And the good news is I've got Sigmund
                  Freud Horsely, failed driver par
                  excellence, and a washed-up accountant
                  to lecture me on it.

                            PETER
                      (closes eyes)
                  Jesus, James...

     BUBBLES walks off. PETER HUNT walks off. JAMES calls out..

                            JAMES
                  Bubbles? I'm sorry..! I didn't mean
                  that! Come back..!

61   OMITTED                                                         61

62   OMITTED                                                         62

63   OMITTED                                                         63

64   OMITTED                                                         64

65   OMITTED                                                         65




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          36
60   CONTINUED: (2)                                                  60


66   OMITTED                                                         66


67   EXT. EASTON NESTON - DAY                                        67

     The grand Hesketh estate in the Northamptonshire countryside.


68   INT. HESKETH RACING WORKSHOPS - EASTON NESTON - DAY             68

     JAMES is in the workshops, his hands and arms filthy, he's
     been working on the car - but now his eyes are closed.
     Memorizing tracks. Around him people are working on the car..

                          JAMES
                ....along the Beau Rivage, long left
                into Massenet, into the short right of
                Casino. Sharp right into Mirabeau,
                then sharp left into Loews, mind the
                guard rails...

                          VOICE
                Is Alexander around..?

     JAMES opens his eyes to see an endless pair of legs, a drop-
     dead gorgeous figure, and the beautiful smiling face of SUZY
     MILLER, the most successful model of the day.

                          JAMES
                He was. Then went to the house to take
                a call. He'll be back shortly.

                           SUZY
                Only he wanted to show off his pride
                and joy...

     SUZY indicates the car...

                          SUZY
                ...rhymes with `boy' if you ask me.
                And `toy'. I can't believe what I'm
                seeing.

                          JAMES
                Why?

                          SUZY
                It's just so small! For something that
                costs so much. And so flimsy. There's
                no comfort. No protection. Nothing.

                          JAMES
                No. Just a little coffin, surrounded
                by high-octane fuel, being driven
                round at 170 miles per hour..
                          (MORE)


                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         37
68   CONTINUED:                                                     68

                            JAMES (contíd)
                      (becoming grave)
                  To all intents and purposes a bomb. On
                  wheels.

                            SUZY
                  Why don't they make it safer?

                            JAMES
                  No one wants it to be. It's like
                  saying why not make bullfighting
                  safer? It's a blood sport. The risk of
                  death turns people on. Without it, I
                  guess, it'd be half the fun. Which is
                  fine for the voyeurs, fine for TV,
                  fine for everyone..
                      (a beat)
                  ...except us drivers.

     SUZY looks JAMES up and down. Sees the bare feet, the rock
     star good looks...

                            SUZY
                  You're James, aren't you?

                             JAMES
                  Yes.

                            SUZY
                  Thought so. You fit the description.
                      (shaking hands)
                  Suzy. Friend of Alex's.

                            JAMES
                  I know exactly.

     In the background: one of the MECHANICS shows DOC a picture of
     SUZY from a tabloid newspaper. She's clearly the most famous
     model in Britain, and a star in her own right...

                            JAMES
                  What was the description?

                            SUZY
                  Mostly positive in terms of
                  appearance. Negative only in terms of
                  character. I've been told to avoid
                  you.

                             JAMES
                  By whom?

                            SUZY
                  Alex. He says you're a bad boy.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                      38
68   CONTINUED: (2)                                              68


                          JAMES
                Was. Not any more. New me very
                professional. Early to bed. Early to
                rise. All very dull.

                          SUZY
                Really?

                          JAMES
                Round-the-clock work, practise and
                focus. Tedious, but apparently the
                only way to vin against ze
                Goosestepper..

                          SUZY
                Is that what you were doing when you
                came in?

                          JAMES
                Visualization techniques. Memorizing
                the circuit, in this case Monaco,
                which is next up. Eyes closed, know
                your way round in your sleep...
                    (a beat)
                I know...I've always been a great
                believer in getting there on the day,
                putting the old foot down and playing
                chicken with everyone else.

     SUZY laughs..

                          JAMES
                But they don't want me to do that
                anymore...they want my body like a
                temple. My mind like Monk.

                          SUZY
                And your soul? Your heart?

                          JAMES
                What does that mean?

                          SUZY
                You can't be so disciplined in all
                areas of your life, can you..?

                          JAMES
                They want me to stop messing around,
                get married and settle down with the
                next nice girl I meet. They think it
                would be good for me.

                          SUZY
                What do you think?




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                           39
68   CONTINUED: (3)                                                  68


                          JAMES
                Sounds bloody awful.

     SUZY laughs again...

                           JAMES
                But since they're right about most
                things, they're probably right about
                that, too.

     JAMES looks SUZY up and down...

                          JAMES
                You don't fancy getting married, do
                you?


69   EXT. BROMPTON ORATORY CHURCH - LONDON - DAY                      69

     The sound of ringing bells. London's grandest Catholic church
     in the heart of Knightsbridge..

70   OMITTED                                                          70


71   EXT. BROMPTON ORATORY CHURCH - DAY                               71

     JAMES and SUZY, top hat and tails, flowing white wedding
     dress, looking ravishing, emerge from the church.

     JAMES and SUZY fall into a passionate, sexy embrace for the
     paparazzi cameras. Loud cheers go up, led by HESKETH and
     BUBBLES.

     They make their way to the waiting convoy of cars...

     On his way: JAMES spots a serious-faced HESKETH and DOC
     POSTLETHWAITE in conversation with some Formula 1 types in the
     crowd..

     SUZY is pulled away for photos. Clearly a bigger star even
     than JAMES. JAMES turns to BUBBLES, indicates HESKETH...

                             JAMES
                What's up?

                          BUBBLES
                Nothing. I don't want to ruin your
                day.

     BUBBLES stares, then reluctantly...




                                                            (CONTINUED)
                                                                           40
71   CONTINUED:                                                      71


                            BUBBLES
                  It seems your revenge against the
                  Goosestepper might have to wait a
                  little longer than you'd hoped.
                      (a beat)
                  He's just been signed by Ferrari.

                            JAMES
                  WHAT??? But that's the best team in
                  the world. They could have ANYONE. Did
                  he pay his way in there, too?

                            BUBBLES
                  Apparently they took back Regazzoni
                  and he insisted they give Lauda a
                  trial. Thinks he's a genius. Setting
                  up the cars...

     JAMES stares...then is pulled away to pose in photographs with
     SUZY and her FAMILY.


72   EXT. FIORANO - NORTHERN ITALY - DAY                              72

     FERRARI's state-of-the-art practise facilities and private
     test-track in Northern Italy.


72A INT. FERRARI CONTROL ROOM                                        72A

     Closed circuit television, with 10 cameras and a complex track
     timing system and computers....


72B EXT. FIORANO - TRACK SIDE                                        72B

     ENZO FERRARI himself, the Commendatore, a formidable white-
     haired patriarch in Onassis dark glasses, reads newspapers,
     sitting by the race tracks, barely looking up as two red
     Ferrari's roar round the track...

     LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO, the young, dynamic, aristocratic manager
     of the Scuderia, by contrast, watches eagle-eyed..


72C EXT. FIORANO - TRACKSIDE - LATER                                 72C

     The two cars stop, and NIKI and CLAY REGAZZONI gets out. NIKI
     talks (in a mix of Italian and English) to his MECHANIC,
     giving them typically blunt feedback...

                            NIKI
                  It's terrible! Drives like a pig!




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          41
72C CONTINUED:                                                      72C


                           MECHANIC
                 Sssshhh! You can't say that!

                            NIKI
                 Why not?

                           MECHANIC
                 It's a Ferrari!

                           NIKI
                 I've driven better milk floats. It
                 understeers like crazy and the weight
                 distribution is a disaster...

     The MECHANIC gulps, then walks over to where the terrifying
     COMMENDATORE and LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO are sitting, and passes
     on the information...

                           MECHANIC
                 He says the car is magnificent, a
                 masterpiece, but he has suggestions
                 for one or two minor refinements...


73   INT. FERRARI PRESS CONFERENCE - DAY                             73

     A large press conference, with motoring JOURNALISTS and
     television CREWS from all over the world attending...

     ENZO FERRARI and LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO addresses the conference
     (in Italian) which is translated by a translator...

                           ENZO
                 We are happy to welcome back to the
                 Ferrari family our good friend, Clay
                 Regazzoni...and also to introduce,
                 from Austria Niki Lauda..

     A burst of flash photography. NIKI and REGAZZONI sit side by
     side.


74   EXT. ITALIAN COUNTRY ROADS - DAY                                74

     A car drives fast on country roads in Northern Italy...


75   INT. CAR - SAME TIME                                            75

     CLAY REGAZZONI is driving, NIKI is in the passenger seat...

                           REGAZZONI
                 "Ferrari Family". "Our good friend,
                 Clay Regazzoni".
                           (MORE)



                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         42
75   CONTINUED:                                                     75

                            REGAZZONI (contíd)
                  You're friend and family to the
                  Commendatore as long as you win. The
                  minute you don't..
                      (mimes execution)

                            NIKI
                  I understand. It's business. I would
                  be the same.

                            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
                  Not me. If I thought I had more talent
                  and could earn better money doing
                  something else, I would.

                            REGAZZONI
                  But how do you know you will make
                  money here? You haven't yet.

                            NIKI
                  Not yet. But I will.
                      (smiles)
                  If you can, I can.

     REGAZZONI shakes his head, can't help smiling...

                            REGAZZONI
                  You know, are you ever NOT an asshole?

     NIKI laughs...

                            NIKI
                  Why am I an asshole? You know by now
                  I'm both quicker than you and better
                  at setting up the car. You can't deal
                  with that, then you're the asshole.

                               REGAZZONI
                  Screw you.

     REGAZZONI pulls up outside the house...

                            REGAZZONI (contíd)
                  I brought you along today because you
                  seem like a lonely kind of guy. I
                  thought if I introduce you to some
                  nice people, it'd be good for you.
                  Forget it. Make your own friends.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           43
75   CONTINUED: (2)                                                 75


     REGAZZONI walks ahead, disappears through the front door,
     where he is warmly welcomed, and invited into a party.

     NIKI calls after him...

                          NIKI
                I'm sorry. C'mon, Clay...


76   EXT. COUNTRY HOUSE - NORTHERN ITALY - DAY                        76

     NIKI stares through the window. Inside: a very appealing
     looking bunch - young, good-looking, cool, sexy GUESTS - all
     having a good time..

     By contrast: NIKI catches his own reflection in the glass
     reflection. Pale. Intense. The outsider.

     Inside: REGAZZONI is surrounded by friends, telling a story.
     Everyone laughs.

     NIKI watches. Then turns to walk away. As he goes, the front
     door opens...

     And a beautiful dark-haired woman (MARLENE) emerges loading
     several BAGS into a car. Brunette, tan. Wearing a white dress.

                          NIKI
                Are you leaving?

                          MARLENE
                Yes.

                          NIKI
                Can you give me a lift to the nearest
                town? Anywhere with a train station.

                          MARLENE
                Sure. Nearest town is half an hour's
                drive. Get in.

77   OMITTED                                                          77


78   EXT. ROAD - DAY                                                  78

     The car drives. The radio plays. Marlene sings along. NIKI
     can't help noticing something. He turns down the music.
     MARLENE's smile fades..

                          MARLENE
                What are you doing?




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                44
78   CONTINUED:                                            78


                            NIKI
                  You hear that noise when you
                  accelerate?

                             MARLENE
                  No.

                            NIKI
                  Your drive belt is loose.

                             MARLENE
                  My what?

                            NIKI
                  Alternator. And when you brake, your
                  foot goes all the way down. Means
                  there's air in the system.

                            MARLENE
                  Anything else?

                            NIKI
                  No. Apart from the rear brakes are
                  imbalanced. The front right wheel is
                  flat, and it feels like a crack in the
                  engine block...which explains why
                  you're drifting so much.

                            MARLENE
                  How can you tell?

                             NIKI
                  My ass.

                             MARLENE
                  What?

                            NIKI
                  God gave me an OK mind, but a really
                  good ass, which can feel everything in
                  a car.

                            MARLENE
                  You don't know what you're talking
                  about. The car is fine. And it just
                  had a service a week ago.

                            NIKI
                  Not a good one.

                            MARLENE
                  A very good one. From a proper garage.
                  It cost a fortune. This car is good as
                  new. Relax.
                                                                          45



79   EXT. MOTORWAY - HARD SHOULDER - DAY                             79

     White smoke pours from the engine. The car has broken down.
     Bonnet up. NIKI has tried fixing it, but to no avail.

     NIKI has a fan belt in his hand, but it's all but
     disintegrated under the heat of the over-worked engine.

     NIKI's hands are covered in oil. He is pushing a pen into a
     large crack in the engine, slick with oil and grease.

                          NIKI
                Nothing I can do here. The car needs a
                garage.

                          MARLENE
                I'm sorry. You're not in a hurry, are
                you?

                          NIKI
                No. As long as I'm back in Maranello
                by Monday morning.

     NIKI walks out into the road. Sticks out his thumb...

                          MARLENE
                So who are you anyway?

     MARLENE breaks into GERMAN...(we see sub-titles)...

                          MARLENE
                You're from Vienna, aren't you. We can
                speak German. How do you know Curd?

                          NIKI
                Who's Curd?

                          MARLENE
                Curd Jurgens. The actor. It's his
                house. He is, or was until yesterday,
                my boyfriend. I must have been mad!
                There is something very attractive
                about an older man when they behave
                like one. But when they behave like a
                frightened child..

     MARLENE gets to her feet...

                           MARLENE
                C'mon, let me do this. Otherwise we'll
                never get out of here. We're in Italy,
                after all.

     MARLENE indicates that NIKI should take a back seat, hitches
     up her skirt, showing long, tanned legs..



                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          46
79   CONTINUED:                                                      79


     SSSCCCREEEEEEEEECCCCCHHHHHHH!!!!!

     Immediately a passing car screeches to a halt, then reverses
     noisily to pull level. MARLENE smiles at NIKI...

                            MARLENE
                  Not bad, eh? Three seconds. Admit it,
                  you're impressed..!

     MARLENE smiles flirtatiously at the handsome, young Italian
     MEN driving the open-topped sports car..

                            MARLENE
                  Ciao, Regazzi...!

     But the Italian MEN walk right past her, not seeing her, as if
     she's invisible, and stare at NIKI...

                            ITALIAN MAN
                      (in Italian)
                  Excuse me...are you Niki Lauda?

                            NIKI
                  Yes.

                            ITALIAN MAN
                      (in Italian)
                  Oh, my God...!!! I told you it was
                  him..!!!
                      (blown away)
                  Do you need a ride?

                            NIKI
                  Yes, we do...

     The ITALIAN MAN gestures to his car, as his friend loads
     MARLENE's luggage inside...

                            ITALIAN MAN
                  An honour, please!!! But on one
                  condition..

     The ITALIAN MAN whisper in NIKI's ear. MARLENE stares, not
     understanding, as NIKI protests, but then slowly, reluctantly
     gets into the car. He starts the engine.

     MARLENE watches as the ITALIAN MEN strap themselves in with
     the seat-belts, tightening them...giggling like schoolboys..

                            MARLENE
                  Will someone please tell me what's
                  going on?

     MARLENE turns to NIKI...




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        47
79   CONTINUED: (2)                                                79


                          MARLENE
                Who are you, anyway? What do you DO?

                          ITALIAN MAN
                You don't know? He's a Formula I
                driver. Who just signed for Ferrari!

                          MARLENE
                Him? Never. Impossible!

                            ITALIAN MAN
                Why?

                          MARLENE
                Formula 1 drivers have long hair, are
                sexy, have shirts open to here..

     MARLENE indicates...

                          MARLENE
                Anyway, look at the way he's driving!!
                Like an old man!!

     It's true. NIKI is driving in the slow lane. Like a pensioner.

                          NIKI
                No need to drive fast. It only
                increases the percentage of risk.
                We're not in a hurry. No one is paying
                me. Right now, with zero incentive or
                reward, why would I drive fast?

     MARLENE looks at him with her dark green eyes...

                          MARLENE
                    (in German)
                Because I'm asking you to.

                          NIKI
                    (in German)
                And do you always get what you want?

                          MARLENE
                    (in German)
                Usually.

     NIKI stares, trying to resist...but cannot. He does a
     lightning double-declutch...

     "SLAM", NIKI's foot hits the floor, the engine screams, the
     rev counter flies to the right...

     And the open-topped sports car lurches into warp-drive...




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                           48
79   CONTINUED: (3)                                                  79


     MARLENE is thrown back hard in her seat, "Jesus", her eyes
     widen in terror and amazement..

                          MARLENE
                Oh, my God...!!

     The ITALIAN MEN scream in excitement, holding on for dear life
     as NIKI, his heart not a beat over 60, takes the car to
     breaking point, in a way it's never been driven before...

     NIKI overtakes everyone on the motorway, fearlessly weaving
     between cars at twice their speed..

     We CLOSE on NIKI's eyes, remaining dead calm as his passengers
     scream all around him, as he accelerates through the other
     cars on the motorway...

     His EYES remain calm, his WHEELS a blur of speed, and we...

                                                       MATCH CUT TO:


80   EXT. USA GP - WATKINS GLEN - 5TH OCTOBER 1975 - TRACK - DAY      80

     Calm EYES, and WHEELS moving in a blur of speed. We're in the
     middle of a Grand Prix, and NIKI is driving at the limit...

     CAPTION: "1975".

     Ahead of him: a familiar sight. The back of JAMES HUNT's
     Hesketh..


81   EXT. PITS - DAY                                                  81

     MARLENE watches on TV in the pits as NIKI is engaged in an
     epic tussle with JAMES...

     Commentators note the improvement in JAMES's technique,
     maturity and performance. But then, "Puff", a plume of smoke
     comes out of JAMES's engine. The engine has blown...

     Immediately JAMES loses speed, and NIKI sails past, overtaking
     effortlessly. Taking the chequered flag.

     Television commentary in various languages tells us: NIKI
     LAUDA has become world champion...


82   EXT. FERRARI PITS/USA GP TRACK SIDE - DAY                        82

     NIKI's car pulls in, to be mobbed by jubilant MECHANICS as he
     gets out of his car, removing his helmet, embraced by a
     delighted LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO...




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                          49
82   CONTINUED:                                                     82


     ...then falling into a passionate kiss with MARLENE...

     Champion of the World, he is immediately swallowed up by
     REPORTERS who are demanding interviews in Italian, German,
     English...


83   EXT. USA GP/PADDOCK - DAY                                       83

     An impromptu party in the paddock area. The victor's garland
     still round his neck, proudly holding the FIA World Champion
     trophy, his hair matted with champagne, NIKI passes through
     the crowds, accepting everyone's congratulations..

     He runs into JAMES, who's in bare feet as usual. MARLENE is
     pulled away to talk to someone else..

                            JAMES
                  Congratulations.

                               NIKI
                  Thank you.

                            JAMES
                  Though with a car like that, the rest
                  of us never stood a chance...

                            NIKI
                  Maybe the fact the car is so good
                  might have something to do with me.

                            JAMES
                  You're still in a Ferrari. And I'm
                  still in a Hesketh. On equal terms,
                  the way it was in Formula 3, I'd beat
                  you, and you know it.

                            NIKI
                  Never. You might get lucky and win one
                  race. Maybe two. Because you're
                  aggressive. But in the long run, over
                  the course of a season, no chance.

                            JAMES
                  Why's that?

                            NIKI
                  Because you're not serious. You're
                  just a party guy. Which is why
                  everyone likes you.

                            JAMES
                  Now try saying that and tell me you're
                  not jealous.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          50
83   CONTINUED:                                                     83


                            NIKI
                  But all that affection, all those
                  smiles is also a sign of their
                  disrespect! They don't fear you.
                  Whereas compare that to me...

                            JAMES
                  Whom no one likes...

                            NIKI
                  Right..

                            JAMES
                  Not even his own team-mates..

                            NIKI
                  Right! Because I'm relentless. I don't
                  screw up. I go to bed early. I look
                  after myself, look after my car. And
                  then, soon as the race is finished, I
                  go home. You should go home more
                  often, too. I heard you got married.

                            JAMES
                  I did.

                            NIKI
                  So where is she?

                            JAMES
                  In New York. Working.

                            NIKI
                  You know I've never seen you with her,
                  once...

     NIKI turns to MARLENE, "Let's go"..


84   EXT. EASTON NESTON - DAY                                        84

     JAMES's Mini roars furiously up the long gravel driveway
     towards Easton Neston. Screeches to a halt.

     JAMES gets out of the car. Is greeted by staff, whom he
     uncharacteristically ignores, storming past...


85   INT. EASTON NESTON - WORKSHOP - DAY                             85

     JAMES walks into the workshops where BUBBLES HORSLEY is busy
     doing something...




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           51
85   CONTINUED:                                                    85


                            JAMES
                  Right, whatever it takes to beat
                  Lauda, just say it, your word is my
                  command. I'll do it. There are no
                  lengths to which I will not go. And I
                  mean it this time...

     JAMES stops, noticing BUBBLES's expression...

                            JAMES
                  What's the matter?

     Then JAMES notices what BUBBLES is doing. He's packing.

                            JAMES
                  What are you doing?

     Then JAMES notices the lack of activity in the workshops. None
     of the usual mechanics, or engineers..

                            JAMES
                  Where is everyone?

     BUBBLES looks up. Unsure how to break it to him.


86   INT. DRAWING-ROOM - EASTON NESTON - DAY                          86

     An old drawing-room. The open fire roars. But HESKETH is
     uncharacteristically quiet. Defeated..

                            HESKETH
                  Do you know what the date is today?

                            JAMES
                  November 14th.

                            HESKETH
                  Do you have any idea of the
                  significance of that date?

                            JAMES
                  I'm assuming it refers to some animal
                  you are allowed or no longer allowed
                  to slaughter on your estate.

                            HESKETH
                  Actually it's the deadline for
                  securing sponsorship for the
                  forthcoming Formula 1 season.
                      (a beat)
                  Which elapsed at midnight last night.
                  And we didn't attract any.




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                          52
86   CONTINUED:                                                     86


                            JAMES
                  So? We aren't looking for sponsorship.
                  Condoms and cigarettes. Vulgar, right?

                            HESKETH
                  Right. Except we are. Or were. I've
                  made something of a miscalculation.
                  The economics. Formula 1. Reality
                  thereof. Turns out not like the lower
                  divisions at all.

                            JAMES
                  What are you saying?

                            HESKETH
                  I'm saying it's over, Superstar. The
                  banks have stepped in. Read me the
                  riot act. Started laying everyone off.
                  Probably have to sell this place. Fun
                  while it lasted, would do it all again
                  and all that...
                      (ashen)
                  I daren't tell you the actual figures.

     JAMES stares at a devastated HESKETH...

                            JAMES
                  Christ.


87   INT. JAMES'S FLAT - LONDON - NIGHT                              87

     JAMES is on the phone to his brother PETER, while playing
     Scale-electrix cars on a track alone, barefoot...

                            JAMES
                  I need a drive, Pete. Need you to find
                  me a drive.
                      (listens)
                  What does that mean? "My reputation
                  precedes me?"

     "Crash", the electric toy car crashes...

                             JAMES
                      (listens)
                  Really? Is that what they said?
                      (a beat)
                  Did they at least say a "Quick
                  arsehole?"
                      (listens)
                  Bollocks to Lotus. Find me someone
                  else. I'll go mad otherwise.

     "Click", JAMES hangs up. SUZY walks in. Sees his mood..



                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         53
87   CONTINUED:                                                     87


                            SUZY
                  Don't worry. Something will turn up.

     JAMES opens a bottle of Scotch, pours himself a drink...

                            SUZY
                  But I doubt that will help in the
                  meantime.

     JAMES knocks back the drink...

                            SUZY
                  Why don't we go away for the week-end?
                  Before I leave again for New York?

     JAMES carries on drinking..

                            SUZY
                  Talk to me, James. Don't make a
                  stranger of me.

     JAMES doesn't react...

                            SUZY
                  I can't watch this.

     SUZY picks up her coat, and bag..

                            JAMES
                  What were you hoping for? A well-
                  adjusted knight in shining armour?

                            SUZY
                  No danger of that....

                            JAMES
                  Let me give you some advice.

                            SUZY
                  I'm all ears...

                            JAMES
                  Don't go to men who are willing to
                  kill themselves driving in circles
                  looking for normality.

                            SUZY
                  Well, I certainly didn't get that...

                            JAMES
                  Should have gone for one of my
                  brothers.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                           54
87   CONTINUED: (2)                                                87


                          SUZY
                There goes that self-pity again.
                How striking it is -

                          JAMES
                What's that? Tell me..

                          SUZY
                The gulf between appearance and
                reality. Look at you, all sunshine
                blonde beauty and smiles...yet the
                reality is...a frightened, immature,
                depressed, self-pitying child...

                          JAMES
                At least there's SOMETHING behind the
                facade.

                          SUZY
                With a nasty temper..

                          JAMES
                Fuck off to New York, dear. There must
                be a moisturizer or eye shadow
                somewhere that needs your vapid mush
                to flog it.

                          SUZY
                How quickly beauty can turn ugly.

                          JAMES
                Agreed. Repellent.

     SUZY stares...and goes. JAMES carries on drinking.

88   OMITTED                                                          88

89   OMITTED                                                          89


90   INT. JAMES'S FLAT - FOLLOWING MORNING                            90

     The following morning. The phone rings. Piercing the darkness.
     JAMES, clearly the worse for wear, is talking to his beloved
     budgies...

                          JAMES
                Good girl...

     A surprising vulnerability, and childlike innocence about
     JAMES. He strokes the birds with real tenderness..

     The phone continues ringing. JAMES picks it up...




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                           55
90   CONTINUED:                                                      90


                            JAMES (INTO PHONE)
                  Hello?

     JAMES listens, then hears something on the phone that makes
     him sit up...

                            JAMES (INTO PHONE)
                  Who? McLaren?

     JAMES is waking rapidly now..

                            JAMES (INTO PHONE)
                  Just get me in a room with them, Pete.
                  Say anything. Today? Yes, I can do
                  today.
                      (checks watch)
                  I can be there in an hour.

     JAMES starts scribbling down the address.


91   EXT. MCLAREN HQ - TO ESTABLISH                                   91

     The headquarters of McLaren Racing in Colnbrook, Bucks.

     A small, unassuming building on the Poyle Trading Estate. Bare
     brickwork surrounds a brash yellow facade, with the words
     `MCLAREN RACING' in large white letters.


92   INT. MCLAREN HQ - BOARDROOM - DAY                                92

     A large boardroom. Team Director TEDDY MAYER (American, from
     Pennsylvania, short, lawyerly, 50's - hair turning grey) sits
     at the head of the table.

     Next to him is Aussie Marlboro spokesman JOHN HOGAN and
     McLaren Team Manager and chief mechanic ALASTAIR CALDWELL.

     The atmosphere is tense, uncomfortable...

                            MAYER
                  I'll come straight to the point. Our
                  esteemed lead driver...

                            CALDWELL
                  Fitti-fucking-paldi..

                            MAYER
                  Has ditched us for another team at the
                  last minute..

                            CALDWELL
                  In November. Fucking outrageous.




                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                         56
92   CONTINUED:                                                     92


                            MAYER
                  And we need a replacement. Asap.
                  Thankfully a few hands have already
                  gone up. Good people...

                            CALDWELL
                  Like Jackie Ickx.

                            JAMES
                  I'm quicker than Jackie.

                            MAYER
                  But he's consistent, dependable.
                  Sponsor friendly. He'll dress up nice.
                  Say the right things.

                            JAMES
                  What do you want? A driver or a
                  brushes salesman?

                            MAYER
                  We want to be successful.

                            JAMES
                  So do I. But I measure that in podium
                  finishes and beating Niki Lauda not
                  being a show pony for sponsors.

                            MAYER
                  I've heard about this thing with
                  Lauda.

                            CALDWELL
                      (rolls eyes)
                  Everyone has..

                            MAYER
                  You really think you can beat him?
                  He's World Champion.

                            JAMES
                  I beat him in Formula 3.

                            CALDWELL
                  This season alone he's had eight
                  podiums, five wins, you've had what?

                            HOGAN
                  One.

                            JAMES
                  Only because I've been in the wrong
                  car. I beat him when the playing field
                  was level. I'd beat him again in a
                  McLaren.
                            (MORE)


                                                           (CONTINUED)
                                                                          57
92   CONTINUED: (2)                                                  92

                          JAMES (contíd)
                It's the only car out there as good as
                the Ferrari. Which is why I'm here,
                begging.

     JAMES stares imploringly..

                          JAMES
                I'll do whatever you ask. Even put on
                a suit, talk to sponsors and say the
                right thing. I promise.
                    (a beat)
                Just give me the drive...

     CALDWELL, HOGAN and MAYER look at one another...

93   OMITTED                                                         93

94   OMITTED                                                         94

95   OMITTED                                                         95

96   OMITTED                                                         96

97   OMITTED                                                         97


98   EXT. SOUTH AFRICA GRAND PRIX - KYALAMI - 6TH MARCH 1976- DAY    98

     Various shots, to establish. South Africa in the apartheid
     era. We notice black race FANS unable to get into the track..

     CAPTION: "THE 1976 FORMULA 1 SEASON"

                          COMMENTATOR
                ...welcome to the Kyalami Racetrack
                where the big news is..


99   EXT. SOUTH AFRICA - KYALAMI RACE TRACK - DAY                    99

     Crowds flood to the spectator stands. The pit lane stretches
     into the distance, filled with cars, drivers and mechanics...

                          COMMENTATOR
                ...that Britain's James Hunt in his
                first race for Mclaren has qualified
                fastest, beating Niki Lauda's Ferrari
                to pole by two hundredths of a second.
                In the crowds to watch the race none
                other than movie stars Richard Burton
                and Liz Taylor...

     We pick out RICHARD BURTON and LIZ TAYLOR waving to screaming
     FANS.
                                                                         58



100 EXT. STARTING GRID - KYALAMI - DAY                             100

   NIKI and JAMES's cars lined up in positions 1 and 2 on the
   starting grid. JAMES proudly indicates to NIKI...

                            JAMES
               New car.

                            NIKI
               I noticed.

                         JAMES
               Pole position.

                         NIKI
               I noticed that, too.

                         JAMES
               Level playing field now, my ratty
               little friend.

                         NIKI
               Let's see where we are at the end of
               lap one.

   NIKI calls after JAMES as he walks to his car...

                         NIKI
               Let's see where we are in six races
               time!!

   JAMES turns, makes a ratty face at NIKI. Protruding teeth.


101 EXT. VIP GRANDSTAND - DAY                                      101

   RICHARD BURTON and LIZ TAYLOR are shown into the VIP area of
   the paddock. They take their seats.

                         LIZ TAYLOR
                   (bored already)
               Will this take very long?

   An OFFICIAL introduces BURTON to various people - among them
   SUZY HUNT...

                         OFFICIAL
               Richard Burton...Suzy Miller, also
               known as Mrs. James Hunt.

                            BURTON
               Who?

   There it is. The deep, dark, sonorous Welsh baritone
   voice...scarred by alcohol and cigarettes...



                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         59
101 CONTINUED:                                                    101


                            SUZY
                  James Hunt. One of the racers.

                            BURTON
                  Forgive me. Richard.
                      (extending hand)
                  Also known as Mr. Elizabeth Taylor.

   He indicates LIZ who is deeply bored..

                            LIZ TAYLOR
                  What does a girl have to do to get a
                  drink around here?

   SUZY smiles. Their eyes meet. And no eyes are more beautiful
   than SUZY's. An immediate connection between them.

   Their hands hold a fraction too long as they shake...

102 OMITTED                                                        102

103 OMITTED                                                        103


104 EXT. RACE TRACK - DAY                                          104

   NIKI's car roars past the finishing line first. JAMES closely
   behind...

   CAPTION: "SOUTH AFRICA. LAUDA WINS. HUNT SECOND."


104AEXT. PODIUM    - KYALAMI - DAY                                104A

   JAMES and NIKI are on the podium together...

                            JAMES
                  My car wasn't right today. Next time
                  I'll have you..

                            NIKI
                  Yeah, yeah...

105 OMITTED                                                        105

106 OMITTED                                                        106

107 OMITTED                                                        107


108 EXT. SPANISH GRAND PRIX - JARAMA, 2ND MAY 1976- DAY            108

   JAMES's car takes the chequered flag, finishing first!!!
                                                                         60



108AINT/EXT. MCLAREN PITS                                         108A

   In the pits: TEDDY MAYER, ALASTAIR CALDWELL and JOHN HOGAN
   leap to their feet in delight. Punching the air. Victory..

   CAPTION: "RACE 3. SPAIN. HUNT WINS..."


108BEXT. SPANISH GRAND PRIX PODIUM/ PITLANE                       108B

   Afterwards: JAMES and NIKI are on the podium together...

                         JAMES
               What did I tell you? Car fixed. Equal
               terms. You'd better get used to this.

   JAMES walks off, to celebrate with the McLaren team...

   NIKI stares darkly - threatened - watching JAMES go..

   ...then goes to talk to LUCA DE MONTEZEMOLO and the FERRARI
   team.

   CAPTION: "...BUT IS THEN DISQUALIFIED".


109 EXT. SPANISH GP PADDOCK/ PARC FERME- DAY                      109

   A huge furore as several OFFICIALS and FERRARI TEAM MEMBERS,
   and TV CREWS surround JAMES's car...

   Raised voices debating the width of the car, HUNT furious,
   people almost coming to blows...

                         OFFICIAL
               The car is too wide..

                         JAMES
               Five eighths of an inch..!

                         OFFICIAL
               Which makes it illegal! If you want to
               compete, you have to change it.

                         JAMES
               What? You can't just `change it'. That
               means rebuilding the car. Who lodged
               the complaint? It was Ferrari, wasn't
               it?

   The two rival PIT CREWS, (McLaren and Ferrari), scream abuse
   at one another in Italian and English - a highly charged and
   explosive atmosphere....

   CAPTION: "LAUDA GETS MAXIMUM POINTS"



                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         61
109 CONTINUED:                                                    109


   NIKI watches from the inside of the FERRARI TRAILER.


110 INT. MCLAREN WORKSHOP - NIGHT                                  110

   The McLaren MECHANICS, supervised by Alastair Caldwell, are
   making adjustments to the car to make it `legal'..

                           MAYER
                 ...we have to move the wing forward.
                 To make it legal...

                           CALDWELL
                 But that'll have a knock-on effect on
                 the oil coolers..

   JAMES watches - already fearing the worst - as the car is
   stripped down, effectively being rebuilt...


111 OMITTED                                                        111


111AEXT. WATKINS GLEN 1976 - DAY                                  111A

   "BANG", JAMES's car shudders violently, the wheels shake as
   the drive shaft snaps...

   CAPTION: "RACE 4. LAUDA WINS. HUNT RETIRES."


111BEXT. MONACO GRAND PRIX 1976- DAY                              111B

   "BOOM", a loud explosion. A thick plume of black smoke billows
   from the engine...

                           JAMES
                 No! No! No!

   CAPTION: "RACE 5. LAUDA WINS AGAIN. HUNT RETIRES."


111CEXT. BELGIUM GP 1976 - ZOLDER - DAY                           111C

   "CRASH" - JAMES spins out...and a tyre bounces along the
   track...JAMES's car has crashed into a wall...

                           JAMES
                 I can't stand it...

   The tyre continues bouncing, people diving out of it's path,
   before the tyre finally smashes into a hot-dog stand...

   CAPTION: "RACE 6. LAUDA WINS AGAIN. HUNT RETIRES."




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         62
111CCONTINUED:                                                   111C


112 OMITTED                                                        112


113 EXT. BELGIUM GRAND PRIX - ZOLDER - PITLANE - DAY               113

   JAMES storms back into the pits, screaming at MAYER, CALDWELL
   and the MECHANICS...

                           JAMES
                 What's happened? What have you DONE??
                 The car's evil! It's undriveable..!

   CAPTION: "LAUDA 56 POINTS, HUNT 6"


113AINT. PADDOCK/PRESS TENT - DAY                                 113A

   Later: the victorious NIKI, wearing the garland, is all
   smiles, giving `winner' interviews, surrounded by MARLENE and
   a delighted LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO.

   JAMES is also giving interviews, but in a total fury.
   Vibrating with anger. Still complaining about the
   disqualification. Complaining about a conspiracy. Complaining.

   NIKI finishes talking to JOURNALISTS, and walks off, through
   crowds, and bumps into JAMES..

                           NIKI
                 So...six races in. How's it going so
                 far?

                           JAMES
                 Fine! Just got a little problem with a
                 bad loser rat and his team of Italian
                 saboteurs who've destroyed my car.

                           NIKI
                 What are you talking about?

                           JAMES
                 I won that race in Spain. And you know
                 it.

                           NIKI
                 In an illegal car.

                           JAMES
                 The aerofoil was five eighths of an
                 inch too long!! Something that doesn't
                 have the slightest effect on car
                 speed. You complained. Now we've had
                 to totally rebuild the car and it's
                 become a monster.




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         63
113ACONTINUED:                                                   113A


                           NIKI
                 At least it's a LEGAL monster.

                           JAMES
                 A car that was beating you week in
                 week out, so you have to resort to
                 this. Cheating.

                           NIKI
                 He drives in an illegal car and he
                 calls ME the cheat? Let me tell you:
                 two weeks before that race in Spain,
                 we put 20-inch rims on the rear
                 wheels. We get an extra half second
                 speed on each lap!! But the Old Man
                 tells me we can't use those rims, they
                 make the car too wide. Against the
                 rules. So we go back to 19-inch rims
                 making the car slower again. Rules are
                 rules. For all of us. You're just a
                 bad loser who can't accept that.
                     (tapping head, to MARLENE)
                 Komm, he's crazy. Sick in the head.

   NIKI turns to MARLENE, speaks in German...

                           NIKI
                 Den Trottel lassen wir alleine..
                     (Let's go. Leave this jerk
                      alone.)
                 No wonder she left him...

   NIKI and MARLENE go. JAMES is left staring. Not understanding.


114 INT/EXT. ZOLDER PADDOCK/ MCLAREN TRUCK - DAY                   114

   JAMES walks into the crowded MCLAREN pits. Sees TEDDY MAYER
   and ALASTAIR CALDWELL...

                           JAMES
                 Is there something I should know about
                 Suzy? Where is she? Wasn't she
                 supposed to be here today?

   CALDWELL nervously indicates the Sunday newspapers...

                           CALDWELL
                 We kept it from you. Didn't want to
                 tell you before the race...

   JAMES looks at the newspapers, then his expression changes.




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         64
114 CONTINUED:                                                    114


   Lurid headlines about SUZY HUNT in New York with RICHARD
   BURTON. Pictures all over the front pages of RICHARD BURTON,
   ELIZABETH TAYLOR, SUZY and JAMES. JAMES's face falls..

                           JAMES
                 Jesus.


115 EXT. RUNWAY - DAY                                              115

   A jumbo jet roars down the runway and takes off...

116 OMITTED                                                        116


117 EXT. MANHATTAN - DAY                                           117

   The unmistakable skyline. Among the ten thousand craggy
   rooftops and skyscrapers...

   A grand, five-star hotel overlooking Central Park in
   Manhattan's mid-town district...


118 EXT. HOTEL - MANHATTAN - DAY                                   118

   A huge collection of paparazzi SNAPPERS and Journalist HACKS
   is camped outside the hotel.

   Immediately a surge of activity, "Here he is"...

   A burst of flashlights and a volley of questions from the
   JOURNALISTS as JAMES - gets out of the taxi and runs the
   gauntlet of humiliation...

   ...into the hotel..

119 OMITTED                                                        119

120 OMITTED                                                        120


121 INT. HOTEL SUITE - DAY                                         121

   A large hotel suite. There are flowers everywhere. Newspapers
   are all over the table.

   JAMES sits opposite SUZY. He sees an expensive gift; recently
   opened. A diamond necklace..

                           JAMES
                 That from him?

   SUZY nods. Even the uninitiated eye can tell: it's worth a
   fortune.



                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        65
121 CONTINUED:                                                    121


                           SUZY
                 Why have you come here, James?

                           JAMES
                 To get you back.

                           SUZY
                 You don't want me back...you never
                 wanted to be married in the first
                 place. You did it because you hoped it
                 might change you...settle you down...
                 help with the racing. Not because you
                 loved me. And who knows, if it had
                 been just the drinking, or the dope,
                 or the infidelity, or the moods...it
                 might even have worked...but when it's
                 all of them?

                           JAMES
                 I know. I'm terrible.

                           SUZY
                 No, you're not terrible. You're
                 just...who you are...at this point in
                 your life. And God help anyone that
                 wants more.

                           JAMES
                 Will he be able to give you more? He
                 has quite the bad boy reputation
                 himself.

                           SUZY
                 What's important is how it feels to
                 me. And it feels like he adores me.

   A flicker behind JAMES's eyes. Failure.

                           JAMES
                 Right.

                           SUZY
                 He's aware of the delicacy of the
                 situation, and how it looks. Having
                 raided your larder. Plundered your
                 safe. Smash and grab, and so forth. So
                 he's assured me he'll take care of the
                 financial side. And will be very
                 generous.

   JAMES manages a brave smile.

                           JAMES
                 Fine. I'll give him a call.




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         66
121 CONTINUED: (2)                                                121


                         SUZY
               No. His lawyers will contact you.

   JAMES notices the vast unmade bed. Where, until recently, two
   people had slept.


121AEXT. HOTEL - MANHATTAN - DAY                                  121A

   JAMES emerges from the hotel - into the storm of paparazzi
   again. He manages a brave smile...

                         JAMES
               It's all very amicable. My wife has
               found herself a new backer...I mean
               lover...which makes her happy..
                   (laughter)
               Mr. Burton has found a way of feeling
               young again...let's hope his pockets
               are deep...they'll need to be...
                   (laughter)
               And I've found a way to be single
               again without it costing me a penny,
               which has to go down as the biggest
               win of my career.

   Laughter from the JOURNALISTS who are hungrily writing down
   the copy. But JAMES's hollow smile fools no one...


122 INT. JUMBO JET - FIRST CLASS - DAY                             122

   JAMES sits alone in the first class section. A loser on the
   track, and a loser in love, too. Being played out in the full
   glare of publicity. On the front pages. Being read by everyone
   on the plane.

   A STEWARDESS looks over, catches his eye. Smiles.


123 INT. JUMBO JET - WC - DAY                                      123

   JAMES and the STEWARDESS fucking. Hard.

   Nothing to do with pleasure. An analgesic - a way of blocking
   out the pain. JAMES catches his own reflection in the mirror.
   Teeth clenched. Eyes burning with anger and self-loathing...

   OVER THIS: we fade in the ROAR of car engines...


123AINT. FRENCH GP 1976 - PAUL RICARD - 4TH JULY 1976             123A

   JAMES's teeth still clenched. Eyes still burning with anger.
   Driving flat out. At the limit.



                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         67
123ACONTINUED:                                                   123A


   Suzy's words still ringing in his ears.

   Make that beyond the limit. At the point of no return. The car
   shaking. Weaving recklessly through other cars...

   Where death has become a real option.

   Because he doesn't care anymore. Because it's all he deserves
   anyway...

   And in that moment, in reaching his lowest point, JAMES has
   unwittingly stumbled on the one thing that gives him an
   advantage over everyone else...

   The fact that he doesn't care. The fact that death has become
   an option. The fact that there is no risk he is not prepared
   to take...

   So every corner is tighter, every braking point later, every
   gap is an opening, no matter how tiny...


124 EXT. FRENCH GRAND PRIX 1976 - PAUL RICARD - DAY                124

   The chequered flag waves as JAMES's car roars across the
   finish line...

   JAMES screams with released rage....

   CAPTION: "RACE 7. HUNT WINS. LAUDA's ENGINE BLOWS UP"


125 INT. MCLAREN PITS - PAUL RICARD - DAY                          125

   Afterwards: TEDDY MAYER, ALASTAIR CALDWELL and JOHN HOGAN
   celebrate in delight...cheering...

126 OMITTED                                                        126


126AEXT. BRITISH GRAND PRIX - 18TH JULY 1976- DAY                 126A

   NIKI's car is pursued by JAMES's. They disappear behind a
   copse of trees. Out of sight.

   When they re-emerge, JAMES is ahead of NIKI, having overtaken
   him - to the delight of the partisan crowd.

   The chequered flag waves again as JAMES's car roars across the
   finish line...

   CAPTION: "RACE 8. HUNT WINS. LAUDA 2nd."

   JAMES screams in catharsis and triumph. Teeth clenched. Eyes
   wide and staring with concentration.



                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                         68
126ACONTINUED:                                                   126A


   We notice SCREAMING GIRL FANS cheering him now.

127 OMITTED                                                        127


128 EXT. FIA HEADQUARTERS - DAY                                    128

   A blazer-wearing FIA OFFICIAL addresses a room full of sports
   and motoring JOURNALISTS, TV CREWS, etc...

                           FIA OFFICIAL
                 Following an inquiry into the
                 disqualification of driver James Hunt
                 from the Spanish Grand Prix, it has
                 been decided to overturn this
                 disqualification...and to restore his
                 victory, and reinstate his points..


129 INT. MCLAREN HQ - BRANDS HATCH -DAY                            129

   JAMES, TEDDY MAYER, ALASTAIR CALDWELL, and all the MECHANICS
   are watching on TV...

   Huge celebrations. Cheering and whooping. SCREAMING GIRLS.

130 OMITTED                                                        130


131 EXT. BRAND'S HATCH - PRESS TENT - DAY                          131

   A crowded PRESS room. In opposite corners of the room, JAMES
   and NIKI are giving interviews to different PRESS and TV
   journalists. Stirling Moss is talking to JAMES...

                           STIRLING MOSS
                 ...James, a few weeks ago, you were
                 out of the running for this season
                 completely, now you're right back in
                 it. What's changed...?

   Screaming GIRLS in the background, shouting "James, we love
   you." JAMES stares across the room at NIKI...

                           JAMES
                 A combination of factors, not all of
                 which I'm prepared to discuss here.
                 Justice being done re: the
                 disqualification in Spain helps, and
                 having my old car back of course...

   In the other corner: NIKI is doing his interviews in German,
   (we see sub-titles)...




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         69
131 CONTINUED:                                                 131


                           JOURNALIST
                 Mathematically in theory it's now
                 possible for Hunt to catch you. Are
                 you worried?

                           NIKI
                 Not at all. For him to catch me, he'd
                 have to win all the remaining races,
                 and I'd have to lose them. And pigs
                 would have to fly.

   Laughter among the confident GERMANS.

                           NIKI
                 Now if you'll excuse me, I have a
                 private family matter to attend to.

   NIKI takes MARLENE's hand, and leads her away.


132 EXT. VIENNESE REGISTRY OFFICE - DAY                            132

   To establish: the Viennese skyline.


133 INT. REGISTRY OFFICE - DAY                                     133

   NIKI and MARLENE get married. In stark contrast to JAMES's
   wedding...it's a small, intimate affair. Modest. Not showy.
   Away from the cameras. Just them. And a witness from the pub.


134 EXT. AIRFIELD - DAY                                            134

   A small aeroplane takes off...


135 INT. AEROPLANE - DAY                                           135

   NIKI and an INSTRUCTOR are in the plane. In the cockpit. With
   MARLENE, who watches...

   NIKI is learning to fly.

   MARLENE watches as NIKI soaks up the instruction, asking
   questions, happy. It's another side to him, completely.


136 EXT. IBIZA - NIGHT                                             136

   NIKI and MARLENE in a pool. In Ibiza. Playing. Laughing.
   Honeymooning.

   Then NIKI's expression changes. His smile fades.
                                                                         70



137 INT. BEDROOM - HOUSE - IBIZA - NIGHT                           137

   MARLENE is fast asleep. She wakes, to discover the bed is
   empty beside her..


138 INT. HOUSE - IBIZA - NIGHT                                     138

   MARLENE walks through the house, looking for NIKI. Then finds
   him on a balcony...alone..

                         MARLENE
               Come to bed.

   MARLENE notices his mood. It's different.

                         MARLENE
               What's the matter?

                         NIKI
               It's the enemy, you know. Happiness.

   NIKI looks up at MARLENE...

                         NIKI
               It weakens you. Puts doubt in your
               mind. Because all of a sudden you have
               something to lose..

   MARLENE stares at him.

                         MARLENE
               When you call happiness an enemy, then
               it's too late.
                   (a beat)
               Then you have lost already.

   MARLENE turns, and goes..

   NIKI is left alone. We can tell from his expression, he is
   struggling with something for the first time. Fear.


139 EXT. NURBURGRING - DAY                                         139

   The notoriously difficult and treacherous German race track.

   Testing is underway. A CAR (from one of the other teams)
   skids, and crashes violently.
                                                                         71



139AEXT. NURBURGRING - CRASH SITE - DAY                         139A

   AMBULANCES arrive. The Driver is badly hurt. Screaming in
   pain. His leg is crushed. Bone is sticking out. A brutal
   compound fracture. He is taken away.


139BINT/EXT. NURBURGRING PITLANE - DAY                          139B

   In the pits, everyone is shaken. JAMES, REGAZZONI, and other
   DRIVERS nervously talk among themselves as the Ambulance races
   past.

   NIKI's face: visibly pale. More frightened than ever.


140 EXT. NURBURGRING - DAY                                         140

   Race-day. Huge crowds arrive at the Nurburgring. And rain.
   Heavy rain falling.

   Television commentary informs us about the Nurburgring's
   terrible reputation as a `graveyard' track.


141 EXT. NURBURGRING - DAY                                         141

   JAMES arrives at the race track, to find ALASTAIR CALDWELL
   waiting for him, a concerned look on his face...

                         CALDWELL
               We've just been told, a driver's
               meeting has been called.

                         JAMES
               Who by?

                         CALDWELL
               Niki.

   JAMES's face. Instantly suspicious.


142 INT. MEETING ROOM - NURBURGRING RACE TRACK - DAY               142

   About sixty people, (26 DRIVERS and all the different team
   REPRESENTATIVES), are assembled in the room, where a blazered
   FIA OFFICIAL and a member of the DRIVERS SAFETY COMMITTEE are
   sitting behind a table...

   A buzz of anticipation and curiosity. What's going on? What is
   all this about? NIKI gets to his feet, raises his hands
   calling for silence...




                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                        72
142 CONTINUED:                                                    142


                           NIKI
                 Thank you. I called this meeting
                 because as all drivers know the
                 Nurburgring is a race track from the
                 Stone Ages. The most stupid, barbaric,
                 outdated, dangerous, track in the
                 world. You've all seen the rain which
                 has been falling this morning. Those
                 of you with experience know the Ring
                 needs perfect conditions to be even
                 remotely acceptable in terms of risk.
                 As you can see today is anything BUT
                 perfect, so I called this meeting to
                 take a vote to cancel the race.

   A ripple of astonished reactions among the drivers..

                            NIKI
                 There would be no change to the
                 situation as far as points is
                 concerned. The race would simply be
                 cancelled.

   TEDDY MAYER looks over at FERRARI representatives....

                           MAYER
                 This is bullshit...

   Another DRIVER (GUY EDWARDS) gets to his feet...

                           EDWARDS
                 If the race is cancelled, none of us
                 get our race fees...

                           NIKI
                 It's true. You leave without your fee,
                 but you might leave with your LIFE.

   Another voice pierces the controversy...

                           VOICE
                 It also means you would effectively
                 win the championship.

   It's JAMES HUNT, who is standing up...

                           JAMES
                 So I can see why this suits you just
                 fine.

                           NIKI
                 Why? There would be no points for me
                 either...




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                       73
142 CONTINUED: (2)                                               142


                         JAMES
               But there would be one race less where
               I, or anyone else, could catch you.

   Uproar in the room...

                         BRETT LUNGER
               James is right! This is just tactics!

                         ARTURO MERZARIO
               Ferrari's dirty tricks! We've seen it
               before!

                         HARALD ERTL
               Maybe it's just that he's frightened?

   Laughter among the DRIVERS...

                         NIKI
               Which asshole said this?

   Silence. No hand goes up. No one has the courage to own up.

                         NIKI
               Yes, I am frightened. Always a little
               bit when I race. I accept every time I
               get in my car there is 20% chance that
               I could die. But not one per cent
               more. And today, with the rain the
               risk IS more. How dare you accuse me
               of lack of courage? Let me remind you.
               I have the track record here. I am the
               only person in history to do the Ring
               in under 7 minutes. So actually it's
               to my ADVANTAGE to race here today.
               Because I'm quicker than all of you.

   A stunned silence. One voice pierces the room...

                         JAMES
               Fine. Then let's race!

   It's JAMES who stares at NIKI: a ripple of excitement and
   enthusiasm among the other drivers...

                         JAMES
               There's a hundred thousand fans out
               there who would never forgive us if we
               didn't.

                         MERZARIO
               And some of us need our race fees!!




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         74
142 CONTINUED: (3)                                                142


                         FIA OFFICIAL
               All those in favour of cancelling the
               race?

   NIKI puts his hand up. One or two other racers, too...

                         FIA OFFICIAL
               All those in favour of racing?

   JAMES puts his hand up. Clearly the more popular, charismatic
   figure among the DRIVERS, everyone else follows.

                         FIA OFFICIAL
               Gentlemen, start your engines!!

   A clear victory for JAMES. He has swung the room.

   Everyone leaves the room. JAMES and TEDDY MAYER give one
   another a discreet hi-five...

   But we rack focus through the crowd to see NIKI staring at
   JAMES accusingly...holding his gaze.


143 EXT. STARTING GRID - DAY                                       143

   "RRRROAAAR", an explosion of noise, as we widen and find
   ourselves on the starting grid of the German Grand Prix.

   An OFFICIAL walks through the cars holding aloft a sign, "One
   Minute"...

   Deafening, angry thunder, as cars rev their engines.


143AAN EYE FLICKERS - WIDE OPEN - STARING INTENTLY                143A

   A pupil dilates and contracts in the light. The eye stares.
   Blinks. Thinks. Making evaluations..


144 EXT. CLOUDY SKY - GERMANY - DAY                                144

   This time the eye belongs to JAMES. He stares up at the
   clouds.

   His eyelids flicker. Thinking. Agonizing. Wrestling with an
   all important decision...

   Is it going to carry on raining? Or become dry?

   ALASTAIR CALDWELL comes up to JAMES, and shouts above the
   noise - no time to plug his headset in...




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        75
144 CONTINUED:                                                    144


                           CALDWELL
                 Jochen's going on slicks. You want to
                 change?

   JAMES looks in his wing-mirror back to his colleague, JOCHEN
   MASS's car, number 12, several rows behind him.

   White helmet. A team of Mclaren MECHANICS hastily changing the
   tyres to bald, dry tyres - ('slicks'). Then JAMES looks over
   at the car beside him...

                           JAMES
                 Has Niki changed?

                           CALDWELL
                 No. He's going on wets.

   NIKI's car: surrounded by Italian Ferrari MECHANICS.

                           JAMES
                 Then we go on wets, too.

   JAMES pulls down his visor...as he and NIKI's eyes meet for a
   split-second, then...

   The STARTER waves the flag. They're off!

   JAMES's foot hits the floor - his engine screams at almost
   9,000 rpms, drowning out the roar of the 180,000 crowd. The
   car is catapaulted forward, the wheel-spin leaving livid black
   scars on the asphalt..

   JAMES and NIKI both make good starts, and are neck and neck,
   but within seconds there's a McLaren right behind them,
   gaining fast.

   JAMES realizes it's his team-mate, JOCHEN MASS in a white
   helmet. Number 12. On his slick tyres.

   MASS was right to gamble on the track drying out. JAMES curses
   under his breath...

                            JAMES
                 Shit...!

   JAMES screwed up. Made the wrong decision. He urgently needs
   to change tyres. With barely one lap completed...

   He swerves angrily into the pits..
                                                                         76



145 INT. PITS - DAY                                                145

   Commentary from all the world's TV stations explaining the
   crazy, panicked situation as JAMES comes into the pits to
   change to dry tyres.

   The McLaren team frantically changes the tyres. Four men with
   air guns, two men with rapid-duty jacks.

   ALASTAIR CALDWELL appears, talks to JAMES..

                         CALDWELL
               See? I told you to go on slicks!! You
               didn't take my advice...

                         JAMES
               Shut up! Where's Niki?

                         CALDWELL
               Behind you! He made the same mistake!

   JAMES looks in his mirror to see NIKI's red helmet behind him
   in the pits, then...

   "Thump", new (slick) tyres hit the tarmac. JAMES gets the
   signal, `Clear!'

                         CALDWELL
               Go! Go!! Go!!

   JAMES's foot hits the floor. He roars out, with new tyres,
   leaving NIKI behind him in the pits...


146 EXT. NUBURGRING - DAY                                          146

   Archive commentary: from the world's TV stations informs us
   that JAMES roars up into 3rd position..


147 INT. JAMES'S CAR - DAY                                         147

   JAMES gives it everything he's got. Tearing through the gears,
   breaking as late as he can, engine screaming.

   The world flies past in a blur. The steering wheel shakes. The
   car cannot be driven any harder. No thought for safety. No
   thought of failure..

   Failure is unimaginable. Unconscionable.

   He turns into the final straight, then stops when he sees
   something ahead.




                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                          77
147 CONTINUED:                                                     147


   Flags. Red flags. RACE MARSHALLS. Something has clearly
   happened. An accident..

   The race is being stopped. JAMES brakes, slowing down. He
   pulls level with a uniformed MARSHALL..

                              JAMES
                 What's up?

                           MARSHALL
                 Accident. Bad one.

                              JAMES
                 Who?

                           MARSHALL
                 We don't know yet.


148 INT. NIKI'S CAR - SAME TIME                                     148

   NIKI's POV: a continuation of the opening scene. Burning smoke
   fills NIKI's helmet, burning his lungs. He cries out in agony.

                           NIKI
                 AAAAARRRRGHGHGGHGH!!!!

   We can just make out the barely recognizable figures of the
   other DRIVERS rushing towards him, as their hands get burnt in
   the flames as they try unsuccessfully to undo his seatbelt...

   We notice it is the same DRIVERS that were critical of NIKI in
   the driver's meeting. HARALD ERTL, BRETT LUNGER, ARTURO
   MERZARIO, GUY EDWARDS...

   Fire extinguishers blast at the car. Covering NIKI's helmet.
   Filling his lungs with chemicals, along with the smoke and
   fumes, blurring his vision, as he screams horribly..

   The sound of panicked TV COMMENTARY in different languages.
   Screaming voices. Panicked reactions.

   Then sound fades. As NIKI blacks out - losing consciousness.

                                                        FADE TO BLACK:

   OVER THIS: the hypnotic sound of helicopter blades...

                           NIKI (V/O)
                 August 1st, 1976, I discovered comas
                 exist for a reason.
                                                                         78



149 EXT. MANNHEIM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL - DAY                        149

   NIKI's POV: the door to a helicopter opens, as it arrives at
   Mannheim University Hospital...

   The sound of shouting voices. Hospital STAFF pull reach
   towards NIKI, pull his stretcher out.

   NIKI's internal voice groans: cries out at the pain.

                         NIKI (V/O)
               Some things are better not remembered.


150 INT. MANNHEIM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL - DAY                        150

   "Crash", doors burst open and NIKI is rushed into emergency.
   Neon ceiling lights pass overhead...

   The sound of difficult breathing.

   His stretcher is surrounded by DOCTORS, talking urgently,
   making quick assessments..

   NIKI's POV: fading in and out of consciousness.

   Bursts of concerned, urgent, overlapping dialogue among the
   German DOCTORS which NIKI can barely make out..


151 INT. INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - MANNHEIM HOSPITAL - DAY             151

   Two narrow, barely open slits of light. NIKI's swollen eye-
   lids. NIKI's POV: barely making out MARLENE standing beside
   the senior burns specialist DOCTOR. NIKI hears voices...

                         DOCTOR
               It's not the burns to his face that
               are the danger. It's the burns to his
               lungs. His blood oxygen level is
               currently...

                         NURSE
               6.8.

                         DOCTOR
               Which is not enough to maintain
               life...

   NIKI slips out of consciousness again. MARLENE is distraught,
   in tears.

152 OMITTED                                                        152

153 OMITTED                                                        153
                                                                         79



154 TELEVISION NEWS - FULL-FRAME                                   154

   TV news: giving the latest information on NIKI's condition.


155 INT. JAMES'S APARTMENT - LONDON - NIGHT                        155

   JAMES sits watching the news on TV in his apartment, while
   feeding his budgerigars, (the collection has grown)..

   He feels terrible. He goes to his desk, pulls out paper and
   pen...

   JAMES tries to find the right words, tries to write, tries to
   put his feelings on paper, but words in general, and letters
   in particular have never been his thing...

   JAMES scrunches up the pieces of paper, throws it away. The
   budgerigars, sensing his distress, flutter and peep..


156 INT. INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - DAY                                 156

   NIKI's P.O.V: feels someone touching his forehead and his
   hands with oil...and the sound of a WOMAN weeping...

                         PRIEST
               ...durch diese heilige Salbung helfe
               dir der Herr in seinem reichen
               Erbarmen, er stehe dir bei mit der
               Kraft des Heiligen Geistes...

   NIKI's eyes barely crack open, barely manage to focus to see
   an ELDERLY PRIEST is giving him the last rites in German..

   The sound of MARLENE crying somewhere in the room.

                         PRIEST
               Der Herr der dich von Sunden befreit,
               rette dich in seiner Gnade richte er
               dich auf...

   NIKI strains to move. A sense of excruciating pain.

   He fights to open his eyes, give an indication...ANY
   indication of the fact that he is hearing this, and is alive
   and able to fight for life...

   But to no avail. The PRIEST continues giving last rites.
   MARLENE continues to cry. The PRIEST touches NIKI's
   shoulder...

                         NIKI (V/O)
               I'm here! Can't you tell? I'm here!




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         80
156 CONTINUED:                                                   156


   NIKI screams inside. Wanting to be heard. Wanting to give them
   a sign. He's OK. He's still there. But it's no use.

   NIKI blacks out again. The pain is too great.

                                                      FADE TO BLACK:


157 INT. CORRIDOR - HOSPITAL - DAY                                 157

   Sunrise: MARLENE has been sitting in the hospital all night
   supported by members of FAMILY and several FRIENDS.

   Niki's MOTHER and FATHER. CLAY REGAZZONI.

   Presently: the door to the intensive care unit opens and a
   DOCTOR comes out, beckoning her...

                           DOCTOR
                 Frau Lauda? Bitte kommen Sie! He's
                 awake! And just spoke!

   MARLENE scrambles to her feet...

                           MARLENE
                 What did he say?

                           DOCTOR
                 "Tell the Priest to fuck off! I'm
                 still alive!!"

   MARLENE covers her mouth, laughs nervously, already in tears.
   She and the DOCTOR rush into the intensive care unit.


158 EXT. INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - DAY                                 158

   Shooting through the window we see MARLENE approach NIKI's
   bed. She sees NIKI..

   And gasps. Trying to control her expression. Not give away to
   him how horrified she is.

   NIKI's face: is grotesque. His head has swollen to double it's
   size. The skin has burned off on his head, his eyes.

   MARLENE bravely composes herself. Then, without displaying the
   shock she feels - she goes over and kisses him.

159 OMITTED                                                        159
                                                                         81



160 INT. NIKI'S HOSPITAL ROOM/TELEVISION COVERAGE FULL FRAME -DAY 160

   The starter's flag drops. On television we see the Austrian
   Grand Prix start.

   NIKI watches the race on television, while beginning his rehab
   in bed, in pain as bandages are changed..

   ON TV: JAMES narrowly misses out on a podium, but still gains
   on NIKI in his points total...

   CAPTION: "RACE 11. HUNT FINISHES 4th"


161 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY - (A WEEK LATER)                           161

   NIKI continues his rehab in the hospital, now out of bed...

   ON TV: the starter's flag drops. Another Grand Prix starts.
   This time at Zandvoort, in the Netherlands..

   NIKI watches the race on television as DOCTORS put a vacuuum
   pump into his lungs. It's AGONY. JAMES leads, driving the
   perfect race...

                         YOUNG GERMAN DOCTOR
               We need to vacuum the lungs. Without
               this, they can't heal. But it will
               hurt.

   An unimaginably painful pump is forced down his burned lungs,
   to try to hoover out the impurities..

   COMMENTATORS ON TV: talk about how HUNT is catching up with
   LAUDA on points. It spurs NIKI on, through gritted teeth.

                         NIKI
               Aaarrrggghhhh...

   The chequered flag. JAMES crosses the line in first position.

   CAPTION: "RACE 12. HUNT WINS."

   The DOCTORS tell NIKI he's had enough vacuum treatment. He's
   had more than enough pain. But NIKI waves them aside...

                          NIKI
               Again!!

   The DOCTOR nods. The vacuum is turned on again.

   NIKI screams in agony. Eyes bulging. MARLENE and NIKI's family
   cannot bear to watch...




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         82
161 CONTINUED:                                                    161


   He watches as ON TV: JAMES is on the victory podium spraying
   champagne.


162 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY                                            162

   NIKI continues screaming in pain, watching the Canadian GP on
   TV as..

   CAPTION: "RACE 13 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX. HUNT WINS AGAIN"

   For the first time, JAMES has taken the lead in points. NIKI
   stares at the TV: his expression changes.

163 OMITTED                                                        163


164 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY                                            164

   NIKI screams again. MARLENE, NIKI's family and the DOCTORS are
   deeply distressed, cannot bring themselves to watch, as...

                           NIKI
                 Aaaaarrrrggghghhhhhh!!

   We WIDEN to reveal what NIKI is doing. What has caused these
   unbearable, bloodcurdling screams of agony..

                           NIKI
                 I know what you're all thinking...

   Now we see. With great difficulty NIKI has put his racing
   helmet on for the first time. Pressing into his open burn
   wounds...

                           NIKI
                 But if you love me - all of you - you
                 won't say a word.

   He is almost unconscious with pain. His legs are weak. But he
   has done it...


165 EXT. ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - MONZA - 12TH SEPT 1976 -DAY          165

   The Italian Grand Prix. TELEVISION COMMENTARY sets the scene.

   JAMES and the MCLAREN TEAM arrive in the pits to see a vast
   commotion going on elsewhere...

                           JAMES
                 What's going on?

                           CALDWELL
                 Jesus. It's Niki.



                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         83
165 CONTINUED:                                                    165


                           JAMES
                 What about him?

                           CALDWELL
                 He's here! He's racing!

                           JAMES
                 What?? They said he was half-dead.

   JAMES stares. Shaken.


166 EXT. MONZA PITLANE/ FERRARI PITS - DAY                         166

   JAMES pushes through the pitlanes, until he reaches the
   crowded FERRARI pits. He sees a racer in the background. The
   name LAUDA on his overalls...

                           JAMES
                 Niki?

   NIKI turns round. JAMES sets eyes on him for the first time.

   JAMES reels, visibly horrified by his appearance. His bandages
   are blood stained. He has no hair. Looks grotesque..

   NIKI sees the horror in JAMES's face. Sees the shock. The
   horror. And recognizes in that moment, this is how it's going
   to be - this is how people will respond to him - forever.

                           NIKI
                 Wow. It's that bad, huh?

   JAMES opens his mouth. Tries to say something.

                           NIKI
                 In the hospital I told them to tell me
                 straight, no bullshit - how bad it
                 would be. My appearance. They said
                 with time it'd be fine. But it won't.
                 I can tell, seeing your reaction. I am
                 going to spend the rest of my life
                 with a face that frightens people.

   NIKI stares at JAMES, at his rival's beauty, his blonde,
   tanned perfection. His matinee idol, movie star looks...

                           NIKI
                 That's a tough one to get used to.

                            JAMES
                 I wrote you a letter at the time. To
                 apologize.
                     (a beat)
                            (MORE)



                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         84
166 CONTINUED:                                                    166

                           JAMES (contíd)
                 The driver's meeting in Germany?
                 Before the race? I swayed the room.

                           NIKI
                 Yes. You did.

                           JAMES
                 That race should never have gone
                 ahead.

                           NIKI
                 No.

                           JAMES
                 So in some ways...I feel responsible
                 for what happened. I'm sorry.

                            NIKI
                 Trust me, watching you win those
                 points and all those races while I was
                 in hospital fighting for my life...you
                 were equally responsible for getting
                 me better.

   Ouch. That could have been meant generously. But in this case
   it wasn't. It was a cold slap in the face.

   NIKI turns and goes.


167 INT. MONZA GRAND PRIX - PRESS CONFERENCE - DAY                 167

   A packed press conference. The world's media. NIKI's accident
   and recovery (as a story) has reached way beyond F1 race fans.
   This is front page news around the globe..

   NIKI walks out onto the podium - all eyes staring at him - the
   sense of a ghoulish, voyeuristic freak show....

   NIKI sits on the podium, in front of microphones, flanked on
   both sides by FERRARI drivers and top brass. But no one wants
   to talk to them. Everyone's here to talk to NIKI..

                           JAPANESE JOURNALIST
                 How are you feeling, Niki?

                           NIKI
                 Fine.

                           AMERICAN JOURNALIST
                 Can you confirm for us exactly which
                 procedures you have had? And the
                 expectations for your recovery?




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        85
167 CONTINUED:                                                    167


                           NIKI
                 Sure. I had a skin graft operation
                 where they put half my right thigh in
                 my face. It doesn't look too good but
                 one unexpected advantage is it's
                 impossible to perspire through a skin
                 graft, so sweat will never run in my
                 eyes again - which is good for a
                 driver.

   Laughter. At the back of the hall, JAMES HUNT creeps in,
   (unseen by anyone, disguised in a hat), to listen.

                           BRAZILIAN JOURNALIST
                 When they heard about your condition,
                 Ferrari immediately hired another
                 driver, Carlos Reutemann.

                           NIKI
                 Ja. Before even my first operation.

                           JAPANESE JOURNALIST
                 Is he your replacement now?

                           NIKI
                 No. Just another team-mate. Keen to
                 make an impression. So let's see where
                 Mr. Reutemann finishes today.

   Laughter.

                           JAPANESE JOURNALIST
                 James Hunt and McLaren have caught up
                 a lot while you were away.

                           NIKI
                 Yes.
                     (a beat)
                 Is there a question now? Or are you
                 just trying to piss me off?

   Laughter.

                           JAPANESE JOURNALIST
                 You think you can still win?

                           NIKI
                 Of course. I have the better car. I'm
                 the better driver. But he's a clever
                 guy and has used the time well while I
                 was lying half-dead in hospital to win
                 some points..

   Laughter.




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         86
167 CONTINUED: (2)                                               167


                          BRITISH JOURNALIST
               What did your wife say when she saw
               your face?

                         NIKI
               She said, "Sweetie, you don't need a
               face to drive. Only a right foot."

   Laughter.

                         BRITISH JOURNALIST
               I'm being serious. Do you really think
               your marriage can survive? With the
               way you look now?

   Silence. NIKI squints into the lights..

                         NIKI
               And I'm being serious, too. Which
               asshole said this? Jesus..

   No one moves. NIKI, disgusted, rips off his microphone..

                         NIKI
               Fuck you. Press conference over.

   NIKI walks out. The Press Conference breaks up...

   JAMES sees the REPORTER who asked the question, laughing with
   his friends. JAMES watches as the REPORTER leaves...


168 INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PRESS CONFERENCE - SAME TIME             168

   JAMES goes after the REPORTER, and calls him..

                         JAMES
               Hey..!

   The REPORTER turns, recognizes JAMES..

                         JAMES
               I've got something for you on that
               last question...

   The BRITISH JOURNALIST smiles, "Great, thanks James!" Pulls
   out a tape recorder. JAMES takes him to one side, then...

   "WHACK, WHACK, WHACK" - JAMES punches his lights out, then
   takes the tape recorder, stuffs it into the JOURNALISTS mouth.

                         JAMES
               Now go home to your wife and ask her
               how YOU look!!




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         87
168 CONTINUED:                                                    168


   "CRASH" a final, sickening blow splits the REPORTER's nose..

                          JAMES
                 Prick!


169 EXT. STARTING GRID - MONZA - DAY                               169

   JAMES walks out to his car. TV CREWS. Banks of PHOTOGRAPHERS.
   Commentators talk in different languages.

   Everyone talking about NIKI's comeback.

   NIKI is in his car. The MECHANICS are talking to him in
   Italian...

   But NIKI hears nothing. He looks at the steering wheel, the
   shell of the car, the gear stick. And then we see..

   His hands are shaking violently. He's utterly terrified.

   The light turns green. They're off!

   Other cars (including JAMES's), roar forward. But NIKI is
   frozen.


170 EXT. TRACK - DAY                                               170

   NIKI's mind is a mess - terrified - he starts slowly...finding
   his courage..

   COMMENTATORS point out it's madness. It was clearly too soon.
   Ferrari were right to hire a replacement. NIKI is a wreck..

   NIKI suffers terrible flashbacks from his accident...

   NIKI shakes himself out...gradually building up speed -
   ignoring the cars overtaking him all around him...

   NIKI begins to accelerate. Gently at first. Then a bit more.
   Trusting himself. Gaining confidence..

   Blocking out further flashbacks...


170AINT. HOSPITAL - DAY                                           170A

   Watching NIKI from the hospital where he had his treatment is
   the DOCTOR who treated him...
                                                                         88



170BEXT. TRACK - DAY                                             170B

   COMMENTATORS look up. Notice NIKI's slow increase in speed.
   What's this? Maybe there's life in him yet...

   NIKI changes gears smoothly. He begins to overtake. The old
   feelings come back..


170CEXT. PADDOCK/PITS - SAME TIME                                170C

   MARLENE watches from the pits. Can hardly bring herself to
   look...


170DEXT. TRACK - DAY                                             170D

   COMMENTATORS begin to get excited. LAUDA has started to
   overtake the back-markers...

   An incredible sequence. As NIKI gains more confidence, more
   speed, and begins to work his way through the field..

   COMMENTATORS now buzzing with excitement. This is incredible,
   as NIKI overtakes first CARLOS REUTEMANN, the driver hired to
   replace him, then others, working his way through the field...


170EINT. JAMES'S CAR - SAME TIME                                 170E

   JAMES sees NIKI coming up behind him. Cannot believe his eyes.
   JAMES move to block NIKI's path...

   NIKI attacks fearlessly. Despite terrible pain. NIKI moves to
   overtake JAMES.

   Utterly intimidated by NIKI's bravery, JAMES panics, and loses
   control of the car. He spins out..

   COMMENTATORS cannot believe their eyes. HUNT's blown it!
   LAUDA's overtaken him!

   It's a miracle. It defies belief. As NIKI crosses the line....

   CAPTION: "RACE 15. NIKI 4th. JAMES RETIRED."

171 OMITTED                                                        171


172 EXT. MONZA - DAY                                               172

   The Italian crowds are ecstatic. Delirious. NIKI is a national
   hero. Lazarus back from the dead. Superhuman.




                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                         89
172 CONTINUED:                                                    172


   TV commentary in different languages elaborates on what an
   extraordinary, superhuman achievement they have just seen...

   CAPTION: "LAUDA 68 POINTS. HUNT 65 POINTS."

                           STIRLING MOSS
                 What a race! What a man! What a
                 season! Now it all boils down to the
                 final race in Japan!

   Hunt walks past, staring at a triumphant Niki.


172AINT. HOSPITAL - SAME TIME                                     172A

   The DOCTOR in the hospital shakes his head, cannot believe
   what he has just witnessed...


172BEXT. PITS - SAME TIME                                         172B

   The Ferrari Mechanics that had initially so disliked NIKI, are
   overwhelmed by what he has achieved...


172CEXT. TRACK - DAY                                              172C

   A reluctant, modest NIKI carried on shoulders, surrounded by
   LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO, MARLENE and the PRESS...

                                                              CUT TO:


173 EXT. FUJI SPEEDWAY - JAPAN - DAY                               173

   Mount Fuji towers imperiously, dramatically above the Japanese
   race track, dominating the skyline on a clear day..

   Television cameras and press photographers assemble at the
   race track for the biggest sporting event of the year...


174 INT. JAMES'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT                                174

   JAMES sits alone in his hotel suite. Speaking to an old,
   trusted friend at the other end...

                           JAMES (ON PHONE)
                 The man was in a coma. His doctors
                 pronounced him dead!! Then he comes
                 back and does THAT???
                                                                       90



174AINT. BUBBLES HORSELY HOME - MORNING                         174A

   BUBBLES HORSLEY back at home in England. At a breakfast
   table..

                         BUBBLES (ON PHONE)
               What did you expect? That Niki would
               give you the championship lying down?
               Of course not. He's a fighter. He's
               going to come at you with everything
               he's got. But you can do this. As a
               driver, you're his equal - better,
               maybe. And God knows you're quick and
               brave enough. You just..

                         JAMES (ON PHONE)
               What?

                         BUBBLES (ON PHONE)
               Need to find the respect for yourself
               to close out when it really matters.
               You don't much like yourself, James -
               that's the problem, therefore don't
               believe you deserve it.


174BINT. JAMES'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT                             174B

   A knock at JAMES's hotel room door..

                         JAMES
               I've got to go.

   JAMES hangs up, and goes to the door. He snaps it open to
   reveal..

   Two gorgeous-looking BOAC Stewardesses standing outside. Smart
   blue blazers, short skirts, white gloves, blue caps..

                         STEWARDESS
               Hi. We've come for the party?

                         JAMES
               What party?

                          STEWARDESS
               The party we were told was going on in
               room 2109.

   Sure enough: on JAMES's door, the number 2109.

                         JAMES
               Who sent you here?




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         91
174BCONTINUED:                                                   174B


                           STEWARDESS
                 A man. On the phone. He didn't give
                 his name.

                           JAMES
                 This man. Did he speak with an accent?

                           STEWARDESS
                 Yes. German accent.

   JAMES can't believe it. NIKI.

                           JAMES
                 I'm afraid it was a joke..

                           STEWARDESS
                     (liking the look of JAMES)
                 Awwww. Pity.

                           JAMES
                 Sorry, ladies. Any other time. Not
                 tonight.

   JAMES closes the door. Goes back into his hotel room. Then,
   after a moment...

   He snaps open the door. The STEWARDESSES are about to
   disappear into the elevator...

                           JAMES
                 Wait..!


175 EXT. TOKYO SKYLINE - DAWN                                      175

   The following morning, day barely breaks. The skies are
   ominously dark over Tokyo. Thick, black clouds.

   It's raining heavily...


176 INT. NIKI'S BEDROOM - HOTEL - DAY                              176

   NIKI wakes up and looks out of the window. Sees the heavy rain
   which is falling outside...

   His expression changes.


177 INT. JAMES'S BEDROOM - HOTEL - DAY                             177

   JAMES wakes up. Flinches. JAMES looks around, bleary-eyed.
   Hungover.

   He's in a room that looks like a bomb has hit it.



                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                         92
177 CONTINUED:                                                    177


   The two STEWARDESSES are still asleep in the bed beside him.
   Uniforms discarded on the floor.

   Memories are now flooding back. Jesus, what was he THINKING?
   JAMES leaps out of bed.


178 INT. NIKI'S ROOM - HOTEL - DAY                                 178

   NIKI is being massaged by WILLI DUNGL in his hotel room in
   preparation for the race.

   NIKI continues to stare out of the window. They speak in
   German. We see sub-titles..

                           NIKI
                 Can't see the mountain.

                           DUNGL
                 So?

                            NIKI
                 The locals here believe if you can see
                 the mountain in the morning, it brings
                 good luck.

   NIKI's POV: the view. Nothing but mist, dark skies and rain.

179 OMITTED                                                        179


180 EXT. JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - FUJI SPEEDWAY - 24TH OCT 1976 -DAY 180

   Inside the race track: puddles everywhere. The rain continues
   to fall. The circuit is covered in water...

   DRIVERS and the TEAMS arrive at the race track. JAMES and
   TEDDY MAYER and ALASTAIR CALDWELL among them...

   SPECTATORS are huddled under umbrellas. TV CREWS struggle to
   keep expensive equipment dry...

   An American VOICE comes over the tannoy...

                           TANNOY
                 All drivers to the control tower,
                 please. Immediately.

   JAMES looks at CALDWELL...
                                                                         93



181 INT. CONTROL TOWER - MEETING ROOM - DAY                       181

   A driver's meeting has been called. All the DRIVERS are in a
   small room, arguing and remonstrating with FIA OFFICIALS and
   blazer-wearing POWERS THAT BE...

   A Japanese official, (AKIYAMA), is trying to keep the peace...

                         AKIYAMA
               One at a time! Gentlemen, please!

   Local JAPANESE DRIVERS are complaining in Japanese, (we see
   sub-titles)...

                         TAKAHARA
               You can't send us out in that! It's a
               death sentence!

                         HASEMI
               You have to postpone the race!


181AINT. CONTROL TOWER - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE - SAME TIME             181A

   JAMES, MAYER and CALDWELL arrive in a corridor outside the
   meeting room...

                         MAYER
               Niki's talking to them about
               cancelling the race.

   JAMES's POV: he can see NIKI, his wounds horribly visible,
   remonstrating with the JAPANESE OFFICIAL about the dangerous
   track conditions...

   JAMES turns to TEDDY and ALASTAIR...

                         JAMES
               I don't want any part of this. I'm not
               going to be responsible for turning
               the room again.

                         CALDWELL
               But you have no option. You HAVE to
               race, James. It's your only shot. If
               you don't, Niki wins..

                         JAMES
               I'm not voting against Niki
               again....or forcing fellow drivers to
               risk their lives. Sorry. World
               Championship or not...

   JAMES raises his hands and walks off. CALDWELL shouts after
   him, "James, wait..!" Then MAYER reassures CALDWELL...



                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                         94
181ACONTINUED:                                                  181A


                           MAYER
                 Don't worry, this race is going ahead.
                 The TV rights have been sold all
                 around the world.

   MAYER can see that a vote is taking place in the room. Many of
   the drivers have their hands in the air, voting...

   The JAPANESE OFFICIAL is struggling to keep order in the room.

                           MAYER
                 The drivers can vote all they like.

   A round of applause in the room, as the DRIVERS vote to cancel
   the race. But unseen by the DRIVERS..

   The FIA OFFICIALS, TV NETWORK EXECUTIVES, and the blazered
   POWERS THAT BE are in dark, conspiratorial discussion..

   ...making the decision that the race goes ahead.


182 ARCHIVE TELEVISION FOOTAGE                                     182

   NEWSCASTERS from all over the world, in several different
   languages, announce that a decision has been made..

   The JAPANESE Grand Prix is definitely going ahead. The drivers
   have been called to the starting grid...

183 OMITTED                                                        183


184 INT. PITS - VARIOUS - DAY                                      184

   In the pits alongside JAMES...

   A series of shots of the other DRIVERS...being sent out like
   lambs to the slaughter...

   Visibly terrified, mouthing prayers, smoking last cigarettes,
   meditating, crossing themselves, hands shaking..

   Among them the JAPANESE DRIVERS. All laughter gone now.
   Realizing what they've got into. Risking their lives.

   Finally we come to rest on NIKI. Strangely calm.

   NIKI puts on his balaclava over his still-raw wounds, wincing
   with pain as he puts on his helmet..
                                                                        95



185 EXT. JAPANESE GP - STARTING GRID - DAY                        185

   JAMES is piggy-backed to his car by MECHANICS so his feet
   don't get soaked in the water pooling deep on the track.


186 EXT. JAPANESE GP - STARTING GRID - DAY                        186

   JAMES lowers himself into a car with puddles on the seat. He
   straps himself in.

   ALISTAIR CALDWELL approaches with a power-drill. Leans towards
   JAMES, with the screaming drill...

                         CALDWELL
               Keep still...

                         JAMES
               What are you doing???

   `ZZZZ", "ZZZZ", "ZZZZ", CALDWELL drill holes in JAMES's visor.

                         CALDWELL
               To let the condensation out.

                         JAMES
               But it will also let the water in.

                         CALDWELL
               Not if you're leading.

   CALDWELL stares at JAMES...

                         CALDWELL
               Trust me. This race is all about the
               start. Whoever's in front will see
               everything. Whoever's second...

   CALDWELL gestures, "Nothing"..

                            CALDWELL
               Good luck.

   They shake hands. JAMES starts the engine with a roar.


187 EXT. STARTING GRID - DAY                                      187

   NIKI's engine replies with a loud roar. He looks over at
   JAMES. JAMES turns to face NIKI..

   ALL SOUND GOES SILENT...

   ...as JAMES and NIKI stare at one another. All around them,
   the world slows down. Comes to a standstill.



                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                         96
187 CONTINUED:                                                   187


   THEIR EYES MEET...

   A connection between them. Unspoken realization of where they
   have both got to. What this moment means. For them both..

   It's what they have been waiting for. Working towards. All
   this time.

   NIKI raises his hand. In a gesture only JAMES sees. JAMES
   raises his in return. A private salute.

   Chivalric. From a bygone era. And in that moment, enemies
   become brothers. Two men. Risking their lives.

   THE TEN SECOND FLAG IS RAISED..

   The moment's truce is broken. They return to the task at hand.

   THE FLAG DROPS. THEY'RE OFF.


188 EXT. RACE - JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - DAY                          188

   HUNT's foot hits the floor. NIKI's foot hits the floor...

   JAMES gets the better start. His car aquaplanes like crazy,
   skating over the water, totally out of control...


189 EXT. FUJI PIT WALL - DAY                                       189

   CALDWELL and MAYER watch from the pit wall...

                           CALDWELL
                 Hold onto it, James..!


190 EXT. RACE - JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - DAY                          190

   Miraculously JAMES steadies the car...

   The spray from his wheels creates a curtain of mist. The other
   cars are wrapped inside it...

   But JAMES has a clear view ahead. He slams his foot down..

                           COMMENTATOR (V/O)
                 It's the perfect start for Hunt!


191 INT. NIKI'S CAR - SAME TIME                                    191

   NIKI can see nothing. Surrounded by spray, water, noise.




                                                       (CONTINUED)
                                                                         97
191 CONTINUED:                                                   191


   Other cars are spinning all around him. It's chaos. NIKI
   bravely accelerates into blindness...

                           COMMENTATOR (V/O)
                 But Lauda's car is right on his tail!
                 Barely visible in the spray..!


192 EXT. RACE - JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - DAY                          192

   JAMES goes to a corner, then his car twitches, aquaplanes
   again...badly...almost losing it completely...

                           COMMENTATOR (V/O)
                 Hunt turns too tightly! He almost lost
                 his car right there...!


193 INT. EASTON NESTON - DAY                                       193

   BUBBLES HORSLEY, ALEXANDER HESKETH and a number of the
   characters from the Hesketh Racing days are all watching...

                           HESKETH
                 Concentrate, Superstar!


194 INT. JAMES'S CAR - DAY                                         194

   JAMES struggles to hold onto his car. He steadies it,
   maintaining the lead.


194AINT. NIKI'S CAR - SAME TIME                                  194A

   JAMES's spray makes it impossible for NIKI to see. NIKI can't
   blink his eyes...it's agony.

   Half-blind, NIKI tries to overtake. Gives it everything he's
   got, breaking as late as he can, tearing through the gears...

   For NIKI the world flies past in a near-blind blur. The
   steering wheel shakes. The car cannot be driven any harder.

   But the visibility is terrible. The spray tears into his
   scarred eyes. He is unable to see anything but...

   MARLENE's beautiful face: staring at him. Smiling tenderly.
   Kissing him tenderly.

195 OMITTED                                                        195

196 OMITTED                                                        196
                                                                         98



197 EXT. RACE TRACK - JAPAN - SAME TIME                            197

   JAMES continues to race flat out. Engine screaming. Foot to
   the floor. His car aquaplanes again...almost skidding out...


198 INT. HOTEL - MANHATTAN - SAME TIME                             198

   SUZY HUNT is watching on television as RICHARD BURTON talks in
   the background on the telephone...

                         SUZY
                   (urging him on)
               Come on, James...


199 EXT. PITS - RACE TRACK - JAPAN - DAY                           199

   A sign is held up as JAMES races. Lap 39.

   But there are problems with the car. One of the tyres...

                         CALDWELL
               God! His front tyre! Look! It's
               completely frayed!

   CALDWELL and TEDDY MAYER watch in horror from the pits and on
   TV. They can see the shaking car..

                         COMMENTATOR
               Hunt's car has problems...it's
               shaking...the Englishman is definitely
               getting slower...


199AEXT. PITS - RACE TRACK - JAPAN - DAY                          199A

   ALASTAIR CALDWELL holds up a sign....

                         CHANGE TYRE

                         COMMENTATOR
               ...with just a few laps to go, McLaren
               are calling for Hunt to come into the
               pits to change tyres...

   JAMES's car roars past the pits, refusing to stop...

                         COMMENTATOR
               But Hunt is refusing! Simply ignoring
               his team's orders...! He's made the
               calculation that he can still hold
               onto the lead...!
                                                                         99



199BINT. EASTON NESTON - SAME TIME                               199B

   HESKETH and BUBBLES cover their eyes. Can't look...

                         BUBBLES
               James!! What are you doing???

                         HESKETH
               I can't bear it!


199CINT. JAMES'S CAR - JAPAN GRAND PRIX - SAME TIME              199C

   Suddenly, a Ferrari in JAMES's wing mirror. Unmistakably, even
   in the spray, he can see the distinctive RED HELMET...

   It's NIKI. JAMES's blood runs cold...

                         JAMES
               No! No! NO!!!!

   JAMES tries to fend NIKI off. Swerves this way and that. But
   his wounded car is now running at seventy per cent at best...

   ...and disaster!!! NIKI OVERTAKES HIM...

   JAMES screams in agony and frustration. He's lost it! And has
   no one to blame but himself! His own arrogance. And
   stubbornness. NIKI's overtaken him!

   THE CHEQUERED FLAG.

   JAMES roars past. Has finished in third place. But that is no
   consolation. NIKI has beaten him. As far as he's concerned..

   JAMES has lost. Lost everything.


200 EXT. PITS - DAY                                                200

   JAMES's car arrives in the pits. In a fury. At himself. For
   refusing to listen. What a disgrace. What shame. What a fool.
   But he is engulfed. JAMES gets out of his car, raging...

                            JAMES
               I'm sorry!

   But TEDDY MAYER is celebrating wildly. ALASTAIR CALDWELL, too.
   The world's media descends on JAMES...

                         MAYER
               Sorry?? What are you talking about??
               You did it!




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                       100
200 CONTINUED:                                                   200


                             JAMES
                 What?

                             MAYER
                 You WON!!

                           JAMES
                 Rubbish!! What about Niki?? He
                 overtook me!! I saw it!! A Ferrari
                 with a red helmet..

                           MAYER
                 That wasn't Niki. That was Regazzoni.

                             JAMES
                 What???

                           MAYER
                 Niki withdrew. Said it was too
                 dangerous, refused to drive!!
                     (gestures)
                 You're Champion of the World, kiddo!

   TEDDY MAYER takes JAMES's number `11' from the side of his
   car, and tears it in two, leaving number `1'.

   JAMES's face: as he realizes. Then explodes with happiness.


200AINT. EASTON NESTON - DAY                                     200A

   HESKETH and BUBBLES cheer in celebration...

                           HESKETH
                 He did it! He bloody well did it!


200BINT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT                                        200B

   A television plays in the Emergency Ward of the hospital.
   NURSIE catches sight of the victory, patients cheering and
   applauding...

   NURSIE allows herself a smile.


200CINT. HOTEL - MANHATTAN - SAME TIME                           200C

   BURTON is at the door in tuxedo, waiting to go. SUZY, dressed
   glamorously, smiles.

                           SUZY
                 Well done, James..

   Then turns the TV off. And follows BURTON out.
                                                                       101



200DEXT. JAPAN GRAND PRIX - DAY                                  200D

   JAMES is embraced by CALDWELL and MAYER.




201 EXT. FUJI PADDOCK - HELICOPTER - SAME TIME                     201

   Across the race-track, the sound of helicopter blades turning.
   JAMES looks over to see...

   NIKI in the helicopter with MARLENE and a PILOT. NIKI, now the
   ex-World Champion, looks over to see a triumphant JAMES
   surrounded by press, McLaren colleagues, etc

                         MARLENE
               Are you OK?

   NIKI turns, takes MARLENE's hand as he answers.

                         NIKI
               Fine. It's just one race.

   The helicopter lifts into the air, and flies off...


202 EXT. PADDOCK - SAME TIME                                       202

   JAMES watches as the helicopter carrying NIKI flies away, then
   turns to see...

   ...the world's press begins to descend on him, and the biggest
   party of JAMES HUNT's life is about to begin..

   In the background, the two JAPANESE DRIVERS are giving
   interviews again. They didn't just survive, MASAHIRO HASEMI
   got the fastest lap of the race, and NORITAKE TAKAHARA came
   9th...

   And at that moment, magically, the sun breaks through, and the
   snowy peak of Mount Fuji is finally revealed.


203 A QUICKFIRE MONTAGE                                            203

   Of newspaper headlines, television talk shows, lucrative
   endorsements, TV commercials, sponsorship, public billboards.

   JAMES's world championship victory has made him a rich man.
   His movie star looks make him an international STAR and
   marketing man's dream.

   Girls, more girls, and even more girls.




                                                         (CONTINUED)
                                                                         102
203 CONTINUED:                                                     203


   JAMES, dashing in a white suit, plays trumpet on the UK's most
   famous talk show...

                                                        FADE TO BLACK:


204 EXT. RUNWAY - DAY                                               204

   We're on the runway of an airport in Northern Italy.

   CAPTION: "THREE MONTHS LATER"

   A stretch limousine pulls up on the tarmac.

   A still-drunk JAMES HUNT and several good-looking WOMEN, rowdy
   FRIENDS (and hangers-on) spill out of the limo...

   They cross the tarmac towards their waiting private jet,
   passing other jets, when JAMES stops.

   He's seen something that has caught his eye.

   JAMES sends his FRIENDS on ahead to their waiting jet, and
   walks over to a small private jet, (a Learjet 35)...

                           JAMES
                 I heard you were spending more and
                 more time in one of these...

   A hunched PILOT doing final checks. The figure turns. It's
   NIKI. His wounds have healed a little, but it's still a
   painful sight...

                           NIKI
                 Do you fly?

                           JAMES
                 No.

                           NIKI
                 You should try it. If something goes
                 wrong up there, you're on the edge,
                 but have to stay within the rules.
                 Stick to regulations. Suppress the
                 ego. It's good discipline for the
                 racing.

                           JAMES
                 And there I was thinking you were
                 about to wax lyrical about the romance
                 of flight. I should have known better.

                           NIKI
                 What brings you here?




                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        103
204 CONTINUED:                                                    204


   JAMES indicates his rowdy, cool-looking friends..

                           JAMES
                 A friend's wedding. At least I think
                 it was a wedding. Might have been a
                 birthday. All a bit of a blur. How
                 about you? Been at Fiorano?

                           NIKI
                 Pre-season testing.

                           JAMES
                 Already? In February? You're
                 relentless.

                              NIKI
                 Thank you.

                           JAMES
                 I'm not sure I meant it as a
                 compliment.

                           NIKI
                 But it is one. Relentlessness is good.
                 Means you're a fighter. That you never
                 give up. Behind my back I know some of
                 you guys call me `The Rat.' Because I
                 look like one. It's meant as an
                 insult. But I don't mind it. Rats are
                 ugly, sure. And no one likes them. But
                 they're intelligent. With a strong
                 survival instinct.

   JAMES can't help smiling. That's NIKI.

                           NIKI
                 So when do you start testing? Next
                 week?

                           JAMES
                 Are you mad? I didn't just win the
                 biggest thing of my life so I could
                 get right back to work.

                           NIKI
                 Why? You need to. To prove to all the
                 people who will always say you only
                 won it because...

                           JAMES
                 Because what...? Because of your
                 accident? Is that other people, Niki?
                 Or you? I won. On the all important
                 day when it came down to it, we raced
                 on equal terms in equally good cars.
                           (MORE)


                                                          (CONTINUED)
                                                                        104
204 CONTINUED: (2)                                                204

                         JAMES (contíd)
               You bottled and I had the guts to see
               it through.

                         NIKI
               It's true. You won that race. And
               believe me if I had to lose that title
               to anyone, I'm happy it was you. But
               that doesn't change the fact you have
               to win again.

                         JAMES
               Why?

                         NIKI
               Because that's what it means to be a
               winner, no? It's a permanent
               condition. Never stops or goes away.
               It stays with you always.

                         JAMES
               That's winning? Sounds like losing to
               me. Some of life needs to be for
               pleasure, Niki. What's the use of
               having a million cups and medals if
               you never have any fun? How is that
               winning?

   The plane load of JAMES's friends call out..."C'mon, James!"

                         NIKI
               You're right. I could learn from you.
               In hospital the toughest part of my
               treatment was the vacuum. Pumping the
               shit out of my lungs. It was agony.
               While doing it, I was watching
               television...you winning all those
               races...and I was cursing you.. "That
               bastard, Hunt", I would shout, "I hate
               that guy." one day the doctor said,
               "Mr. Lauda, may I offer one piece of
               advice? Stop thinking of it as a curse
               to have been given an enemy in life.
               It can be a blessing, too." I said,
               "Who are you, Confucius?" He said, "A
               wise man gets more from his enemies
               than a fool from his friends." And you
               know, he's right. Look at us. We were
               a pair of kids when we first met.
               Hotheaded jerks in Formula 3. Headed
               nowhere. Now we're both Champions of
               the world. Not bad.

                         JAMES
               No, not bad.




                                                        (CONTINUED)
                                                                       105
204 CONTINUED: (3)                                               204


                         NIKI
               So don't let me down now. I need you
               busting my balls. Get back to work.

                         JAMES
               I will, Niki. But I intend to enjoy
               myself first. And so should you. You
               think you can?

   NIKI stares. A blank look..

                         JAMES
               See you on race day, Champ.

                         NIKI
               You will. Champ.

   JAMES goes. NIKI watches him, pulled into his plane by his
   laughing, cool FRIENDS. An unmistakable flicker of envy in his
   eyes.

   Then NIKI turns, alone, and resumes his safety checks.


205 EXT. RUNWAY - AIRFIELD - DAY                                  205

   JAMES's plane roars down the runway and takes off into the
   azure blue sky...

                                                      FADE TO BLACK:

   CAPTION: "JAMES RETURNED THE FOLLOWING SEASON, BUT WAS NEVER A
   CHALLENGER AGAIN. HE RETIRED IN 1979. AFTER SHORT CAREERS IN
   BROADCASTING AND BUDGIE BREEDING HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK.
   AGED 45."

   CAPTION: "NIKI LAUDA WENT ON TO BECOME WORLD CHAMPION IN 1977.
   AND AGAIN IN 1984. HE NOW RUNS A SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIAL
   AIRLINE. HE STILL CLAIMS TO HAVE NO FRIENDS."



                                   The End

Rush



Writers :   Peter Morgan
Genres :   Action  Drama


User Comments







Index    |    Submit    |    Links    |    Link to us    |    RSS Feeds    |    Disclaimer    |    Privacy policy