Video: Shell & Ferrari’s 2m F1 TV advert

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Here is the full video of Shell’s fantastic two minute long Ferrari F1 advert, “The Circuit”.

It features six decades of Ferrari Formula 1 cars blasting through Rome, New York, Monte Carlo, Rio de Janeiro and more:

The video that cost 2m to produce was originally going to include footage shot in London. But the City of London Police and Corporation of London blocked the plans on the grounds of “public safety.”??

The video is strongly reminiscent of Honda’s famous “Impossible Dreams” campaign – but out-does it in my estimation by using loads of classic Ferrari F1 cars. Just listen to that 12-cylinder howl! Magic.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Video: Shell & Ferrari’s 2m F1 TV advert”

  1. Wonderful, wonderful advert! And did you notice the helmets? They were consistent with each car – leaving me with a nostalgic tear in my eye to see John Surtees apparently at the wheel of a Ferrari once again. Clever buggers, those admen for Ferrari…

  2. Just watched it again – couldn’t resist. Now they need another one that includes Gilles in a 312T5…

  3. Just toooo damn good … 12-cylinder howl was the best damn music i have listened for months !

  4. You are right about the sound, just fabulous!

    Thanks for the head up.

  5. It’s wonderful! Clive, we won’t see Gilles in this ad, or Alboreto, Berger, or Alesi for that matter. Why? Because their Ferraris ran on Agip fuel. (Shell was still in F1 during this time, though, courtesy of Ferrari’s friendly neighbor, McLaren.)

    Interesting, too, how they picked Ickx over Lauda, Surtees over Phil Hill, and Irvine and Andrea Bertolini (FIA GT Champion and Ferrari’s 5th driver, if such a title exists) over Schumacher. (especially when one considers Schumi’s salary was partly Shell money and IS still under contract to Shell – remember the Candid Camera spots at the end of last season?) Helmets too expensive, maybe?

  6. Ah, yes, of course – I was forgetting it was an ad for Shell, Journeyer. But interesting too that there were a few brief shots of Chris Amon (well, his helmet anyway). I’m quite surprised they remembered him, although he was one of the best they ever had.

  7. It’s funny, really, how Shell and other sponsors spend for Ferrari’s advertising. As far as I know, they have never spent a single dollar on advertising. :) Actually, this is somewhat also like the ad Johnny Walker did for McLaren in 2005 (Remember that?) That was also quite impressive. They should bring that out again for Alonso and Hamilton. :)

  8. I’d forgotten about that Johnnie Walker one. Here it is (bottom of page):

  9. Just goes to show what I miss – haven’t watched TV (apart from GPs of course) since I discovered the computer. Judging by the grin on the Shoe’s face in the Minol advert, it must be a brand of toothpaste…

  10. Apparently, Minol is a chain of service station acquired by Elf… Or so it says here:

  11. Dennis Mendonca
    31st March 2007, 3:37

    The Shell Ferrari ad can be downloaded at higher resolution from this link at the ad company’s website…

  12. small detail, why are all the old cars running on modern grooved tyres? What happened to the slick tyres.

  13. Slick tyres did not appear on F1 cars until 1970 (excellent article on the history of tyres here) so the ad is correct in that detail. I think they may have cheated slightly in that the tyres look very modern, as though the grooves were today’s straight-cut variety – the old “fancy patterned” grooves would not look so wide, I think. Hard to tell at speed, however.

    This highlights the enormous gap in the ad – from Ickx to the latest Ferrari (unsure just who is supposed to be driving it – Bertolini? Could as easily be meant to be Schumacher methinks). Having watched the video yet again, I think I made a mistake with my first comment. That’s not Surtees at all – it’s all Chris Amon (note that, in the first appearance of the second car, there are two lines down the centre of the driver’s helmet, which could only mean Amon).

  14. I am working on my report over radical change towards standard adverting by shell. It is amazing to know how this advert has persuaded local managers to shift toward standard advertising! excellent idea!

  15. Any knows who did tis ad? the director?

    1. a bit late, but…

      Antoine Bardou-Jacquet – he also did the Cog ad

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