Leclerc Trashes Ferrari SF90 in Monaco in Claude Lelouche Classic Reboot

Ferrari SF90 Stradale in Monaco 1 photo
Photo: YouTube/Ferrari
It was 1976 when French director Claude Lelouch released a short film that was going to earn him a cult following among car enthusiasts. Called "C'etait un Rendez-vous," this is the title most people think of when they say 'that old film with the car racing through an empty city'.
Way before driving games had what it's called a 'bumper camera' (or any driving games were even around), Lelouch fixed his real - and probably quite expensive - camera on the nose of a car and drove it through the empty early morning streets of Paris like there was no tomorrow. The unsuspecting Parisiennes had their mundane commutes interrupted by a mad film director who suddenly decided he'd give race driving a go.

Apart from the novelty of the shoot and the serene beauty of seeing a usually frolicking city now almost completely barren, there was one more thing remarkable about "C'etait un Rendez-vous" - well, two if you consider doing 124 mph (200 km/h) through Paris remarkable. The audio makes you believe Lelouch drove some kind of a sports car, something with a raspy engine and pretty savage exhaust. That's because the soundtrack does come from a Ferrari 275GTB with a V12 engine.

However, the actual car they used for filming wasn't slow either, something made hugely apparent by the footage itself. Lelouch included a disclaimer at the start saying the footage hasn't been altered in any way, which means what we see is what really happened - that's cinéma-vérité for you. The French man drove a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL with a 6.9-liter V8 engine, a quick car for the time but still nowhere near as nimble or as sweet-sounding as the Ferrari.

Now, 44 years later, Claude Lelouch gave up the steering wheel in favor of Ferrari Formula One driver Charles Leclerc for a short homage to the legendary short film. That's not all that's changed, though: the car, which now gets heavily featured, is a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, while Paris has been switched for a scenery much more familiar to an F1 driver - Monaco. That's because the pretext for the whole shabacle is the cancelation of the 2020 Monaco GP.

Of course, the mystery of the original is lost in this modern reboot. The addition of music doesn't help, and while the '76 film had some sense to it - albeit simplistic - trying to understand what the backstory is here is nearly impossible. Leclerc picks up His Serene Highness Prince Albert II de Monaco and heads over to presumably the Monte Carlo Casino. There, the pair are met by a girl with two bouquets of flowers.

Leclerc and the girl pose with the flowers for a picture taken by the Prince himself before keeping one bouquet and giving another to His Serene Highness. Then they leave the Prince to his gambling and head off in the Ferrari, removing their masks as if to suggest they were closer than the clip had suggested that far. His girlfriend, maybe? Not really, but who knows?

We won't lie to you, it's pretty bad - well, you know, as bad as anything featuring Monaco and a Ferrari SF90 Stradale can be.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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