Watch an F1 car face off against a rugby pack

Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing encounter some seriously tough opposition in F1 Scrum.
© Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool
By Greg Stuart

A Formula One car versus eight rugby players doesn't sound like a very fair fight, does it? An 800bhp, state-of-the-art speed machine that can hit well over 300kph versus eight human males made of nothing more advanced than skin, muscle and bone.

Yet that's exactly the challenge that Red Bull Racing F1 team threw down for Bath Rugby Club when they challenged them to take on their 2012 Formula One World Championship-winning RB8 in a straight scrum down.

Daniel Ricciardo pits his Red Bull Racing RB8 against Bath Rugby's scrum in F1 Scrum.
Daniel burns rubber as the players burn calories © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

To achieve the world first, the team built a specially-engineered scrum machine, which the RB8 would push against Bath Rugby's first string pack, with battle set to commence in the grounds of the team's beautiful Farleigh House training facility.

Not wanting to pull any punches, Red Bull Racing even brought down three-time F1 race winner Daniel Ricciardo to handle the driving.

Both car and driver were changed by their experience: one of the most down-to-Earth F1 drivers, Ricciardo enjoyed throwing a ball around with the Bath Rugby team after they'd finished scrumming.

"I respect them a lot as athletes," Ricciardo told RedBull.com. "They're big, powerful, they get up from big hits and they know that's part of it."

And as for the RB8, it was driven away looking like a true rugby player, with a newly flat nose as a memento.

Watch the video above, flick through the gallery and scroll down to read Daniel Ricciardo's thoughts about the day. 

Daniel Ricciardo on F1 Scrum...

Daniel, what did you make of the F1 Scrum idea when you first heard about it?
I didn't quite understand what they wanted to do at first, I was like, 'How do you do that?' But obviously now that I've seen it, I think it's really cool. I like things that are different and that no one's ever done before, so it's cool to be a part of that idea. Then the backdrop and everything at Bath is very cool, too. 

For me to be in the car with all these big scary guys trying to push me back is quite cool

Daniel Ricciardo

Obviously it's for the footage as well, and if it creates great footage then that's what everyone wants. But I think for me to even be involved and to be in the car with all these big, scary guys trying to push me back, it's quite cool.

You got to hang out with the Bath Rugby players. What do you make of their fitness compared to yours?
To me that's the great thing about sport. People say, 'Oh, what are you going to learn from them, their bodies and their training are completely different'. But you can always learn something, and I think any professional athlete has something to offer, whether it's a training method, a nutritional thing, or a psychology thing or whatever. So I'm interested to see a little bit about what they do, what their workouts are like. That kind of size that they have doesn't happen overnight!

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