In the Italian Grand Prix Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand) flies over an overbank, is thrown from his car and killed. When his body is placed in the ambulance his lover breaks down to the disdain of his wife who climbs into the ambulance with his body. The manager of the team pulls in the rest of his drivers.
With the young Nino Barlini (Antonio Sabato) pulled from the race, Pete Aron (James Garner) wins. The fictory is bittersweet, however and movie ends with Pete walking the track alone.