For motorheads who know each and every turn of the track at the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix, seeing Nico Rosberg go head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton is a big deal. For those who aren't so familiar with the racers, teams or precision vehicles that hit the tarmac every year, each racecar that whizzes by the grand stand is likely to be no different from the last – a mere waiting game for headlining entertainers like Kylie Minogue, Queen or Imagine Dragons. But when it comes to the protagonists of racing films, eyes couldn't be more glued to the screen. What if we could see some of our favourite fictional characters join the likes of Hamilton on the F1 circuit? Would it be a white-knuckled photo finish, or would it be all-out mayhem? What we do know is that if cinematic universes ever entered our own, these are the drivers we'd like to see get behind the wheel when the checkered flag is dropped at Marina Bay.
Speed Racer (Speed Racer)
Vehicle: Mach 5
Raised in a family of motor-heads with the surname ‘Racer’, it’d be impossible to try to keep this kid off the tarmac. Taking the wheel of the Mach 5, the exotic motoring marvel built by his father, Speed’s moral compass and aversion to backdoor match-fixing deals means that the 18-year-old’s focus will be unwavering when executes death-defying turns and mid-air spins.
Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights)
Vehicle: 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
While he may have momentarily lost his groove after a trauma-inducing crash, it didn’t take long for the NASCAR star to get back into the driver’s seat to reign supreme once again. Unconventional in his method and training, we wouldn’t be surprised if he revved himself up with a few Singapore Slings before shaking ‘n’ baking his way around the Padang. Whoo!
Stuntman Mike (Death Proof)
Vehicle: 1970 Chevrolet Nova
When he’s not stalking his next victim to brutalise with his car, the stuntman-by-day, killer-by-night wouldn’t fair badly on the track. While he’d lose points left, right and centre for his aggressive driving, his death-proof Chevy would make sure he comes out alive in the event of a catastrophic collision. That’s if any race queens don’t catch his eye before the checkered flag is dropped.
Imperator Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Vehicle: Tatra T815 “War Rig”
The size of the femme fatale’s behemoth might make cruising through chicanes a little tricky, but with twin V8 engines under the hood, it’s not hard to picture Furiosa leading the pack. Obliterating anything in its path, the 18-wheeler could withstand any dirty tricks that other drivers might try and pull. And we’re sure the heroine’s bionic arm would make for some flawless gear shifting.
James Bond (Die Another Day)
Vehicle: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
007 has wrecked his fair share of rides throughout his career, but it’s the Vanquish we’d like to see race for first prize on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While other drivers are white-knuckled with gritted teeth, you could expect Mr. Bond to nonchalantly cruise his way to the front with a smirk on his face – with the help of a few of Q’s gizmos, of course.
Dominic Toretto (The Fast & The Furious)
Vehicle: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T
A drag racer since his high school days, we’re hoping he’d get a pardon for his violent criminal past to hit the pro circuit once more. Able to pop wheelies like it ain’t no thang, the muscled-up auto mechanic’s elite status in the underground racing scene would make him a serious contender, even without the help of a couple of NOS canisters.
Frankenstein (Death Race 2000)
Vehicle: Shala-Vette “Monster”
An apt name for his vehicle of choice (and a pun that surely still has the filmmakers smirking), Frankenstein’s Monster is a weapon on wheels. As reigning champion of the Death Race, Frankenstein’s lengthy experience in winning the annual hit-and-run trek might mean he’d be a little taken aback at the absence of human targets on the course – but a deadly contender nonetheless.
Batman (The Dark Knight)
Vehicle: Batmobile Tumbler
While most would get giddy at the opportunity to joy-ride in a Lamborghini Murciélago, we all know that Bruce Wayne can’t wait to jump into his Tumbler when he assumes his alter-ego. Souped-up with Wayne Enterprises’ latest gadgets and weaponry, Bats’ military-grade vehicle would be a blast (literally) to see screaming past the Esplanade in a bid to win the gold trophy.
Chan Fo To (Thunderbolt)
Vehicle: Mitsubishi GTO
A staunch supporter of Mitsubishi (Jackie Chan’s film history suggests that they’re the best for explosive car chases), Chan Fo To – a junkyard mechanic, part-time race-car driver, police informant, and martial arts extraordinaire rolled into one – should have no problem muscling his way to the finish line. Having already defeated the Yakuza in a race of honour, we might see Mr. Nice Guy come out on top once more.
Memphis Raines (Gone In 60 Seconds)
Vehicle: 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Custom “Eleanor”
If he hadn’t stolen one of the other racer’s vehicles, Memphis Raines would be leaving them in the dust in the apple of his eye, “Eleanor”. With plenty of experience speeding away from the police, the master car thief might spend more time airborne than on the roads, given a conveniently-placed ramp is accessible – gliding over the competition while grooving to War’s “Low Rider”, no less.
If that got you a little more excited for the Night Race Weekend, we've curated a Spotify playlist full of high-octane tracks to rev you up and get you over the finish line after the F1 after-party madness. Give 'em a spin and go easy on the gas.
Text Trent Davis
Images Various Sources