Not content with whiling his days away playing esports, Charles Leclerc this weekend stepped back behind the actual wheel to play his part in a remake of controversial 70s short C'etait un Rendezvous.

On what would have been the day of the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix, Leclerc took to a Ferrari SF90 Stradale to lap the 2.074-mile to in part mimic the original 1976 film of a rush through Paris’ streets at high-speed.

That film – translated as ‘It was a Date’ - gained notoriety for director Claude Lelouch’s extraordinarily fast nine-minute blast through the French capital city, during which he passes the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concord and the Champs-Elysees, drives the wrong way through one-way streets and even takes to the sidewalk to avoid oncoming cars.

Shot in a single take from a low angle camera, Lelouch claims to have hit upwards of 140mph during the high-speed jaunt. The car used at the time was a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9, though Lelouch would go on to layer the sound of a Ferrari 275GTB over the top for its more distinctive V12 growl.

There have long been conspiracy theories that it wasn’t Lelouch at the wheel of the car, with legendary drivers such as Jacky Ickx and Jacques Laffite rumoured to have been involved. At the time Lelouch was arrested briefly but not charged, with the film going on to receive iconic status.

For the remake, labelled ‘Le Grand Rendez-vous’, Leclerc’s experience isn’t quite so dicey with the Monaco circuit being closed for filming this time, while famous onlookers included Prince Albert of Monaco himself.

"We're going to try to offer a message of hope, to show that despite this crap life goes on, that despite this virus, cars keep on running," Lelouch told BFM TV.

"It's a message of hope to show that things may be a little different now, but that the enthusiasm is still there.

"I had a great time. We're going to try to give you a great ride on this circuit, which is the most beautiful in the world. I hope that this ride will give us hope and desire to continue to play with life."

 

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