A Formula One car versus eight rugby players – doesn’t sound like a very fair fight, does it? A 750 brake horsepower, state-of-the-art speed machine that can hit well over 200mph versus eight humanoids made of nothing more advanced than skin, muscle and bone.
Yet that’s exactly the gauntlet that the 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 car in a straight scrum down.
Using a specially-altered scrum machine to achieve this world first, 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.
See how the action went down in the video above, scroll down for more images and an exclsuive interview with Daniel Ricciardo, then click here to go behind the scenes of the F1 Scrum shoot.
Arriving in style
The Bath Rugby players were kept in the dark about the opposition they were going to face until the last minute. Although the noise gave it away a bit...
Daniel Ricciardo would be needing those earplugs...
An V8-engined F1 car revving its proverbials off makes a hell of a lot of noise. But what a noise!
Touring the grounds of Farleigh House
Bath Rugby's Farleigh House facility must rank as one of the prettiest training grounds in the world. On the day Red Bull Racing came to visit, it was also the loudest...
Daniel tests his handling skills
Known for being one of the most down-to-Earth F1 drivers, Daniel enjoyed throwing a ball around with the Bath Rugby team after they'd finished their unique challenge.
"I respect them a lot as athletes," Daniel told RedBull.com. "They’re big, powerful, they get up from big hits and they know that’s part of it."
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 coolDaniel 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?
That for me is 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 or a nutritional thing or a psychology thing or whatever. So I was interested to see a little bit about what they do, what their workouts are like. The kind of size that they have doesn’t happen overnight!