Ron Howard speaks in Austin about the making of his film Rush, slated for a Fall 2013 release

The official countdown to the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ kicked off in Austin, Texas on Thursday with a celebratory luncheon. Hollywood legend and two-time Academy Award®-winning director Ron Howard entertained a packed house of over one thousand attendees, while serving as guest speaker for The Starting Grid luncheon at Austin’s Downtown Hilton Hotel.

Howard shared exclusive video preview of his new epic-action drama, Rush, which is currently in post-production and has a release date of September 2013. The film tells the real-life story of Formula 1™ drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the sexy, glamorous 1970s. 

As Howard pointed to the Ferrari F1 car on stage beside him, he explained:

These machines are works of art. Formula 1 melds state-of-the-art technology with incredible displays of bravery, courage and camaraderie among drivers and their teams. There’s a real will to win and become champions, and F1’s a fantastic, modern sport because of that team spirit.

Following the luncheon, Howard took some time to speak further about his experience making the film and his process learning more about Formula 1. Howard was quick to note that he was mostly captivated by the great rivalry between Hunt and Lauda versus Formula 1 as a subject matter. A different approach than many die-hard fanatics of F1 would choose to embrace, but this may be the kind of story that will help explain the core of what motivates drivers.  Like the SENNA film by Asif Kapadia and Manish Pandey, Rush has the potential to reach many because of its great story and not its on-track action sequences.

Enjoy this clip, albeit a long one, from the briefing with Howard, and listen as he shares his perspective on Formula 1, American motorsports and the making of Rush. Images of Howard's speech and post-event briefing can be found in our Gallery, Ron Howard in Austin.