Behind the scenes of F1 Scrum

We show you how we shot Red Bull Racing's ultimate scrum down with the Bath Rugby squad.
By Greg Stuart

Filming a professional rugby team scrumming down against a priceless F1 car being piloted by a priceless F1 driver is no 15 minute job.

It takes brainy people, some pretty swish camera equipment and lots and lots of planning to make it all come to fruition, but we think you’ll agree that the resulting F1 Scrum film that you can watch above made it all worthwhile.

MORE: Daniel Ricciardo reveals his F1 training regime

To show you some of the hard work that went into making F1 Scrum, we sent top photographer Olaf Pignataro behind the scenes to capture the action from the day. Check out his shots of Daniel Ricciardo, the Bath Rugby team and the Red Bull Racing RB8 machine below.

Click here to read Daniel Ricciardo's thoughts on F1 Scrum

We’re ready for your close up, Mr. Ricciardo


Daniel gets comfy in the RB8 © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel gets ready to film the opening shot of the film, where he hoons the RB8 up the drive of Bath Rugby’s Farleigh House training facility. A Land Rover Defender, driven as fast as a Land Rover Defender has ever been driven, was used for the tracking shots.

We’re gonna need some bigger weights…

Tom Ellis gets his drills in © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Bath Rugby's second row Tom Ellis gets stuck into a weight sled to prepare for the shoot. That motivational message behind him appropriately reads ‘Winning the collision starts here’…

Where does the key go?

The players have a look around the car © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Bath hooker Tom Dunn has a look around the Red Bull Racing RB8. Check out the backward and forward facing GoPro Session cameras on top of the car’s air box.

All eyes on Daniel

Papped © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

With lots of hanging around as the car was prepared for action, the camera crew shoots Daniel Ricciardo chewing the fat with the Bath Rugby players. “I respect them a lot as athletes,” Daniel told during the shoot. “They’re big, powerful, and they put the work in to get that muscle – that kind of size doesn’t happen overnight!”

Nice lid

Beware the Honey Badger © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Leroy Houston and Tom Ellis check out Daniel’s helmet. We imagine they’ve just clocked the Australian’s signature ‘What would he do?’ Honey Badger decal, representing the Australian’s aggressive racing alter ego.

Have it!

Tossing around the old pig skin © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel recently revealed that he likes to chuck an Aussie Rules football around before F1 races, and he was a dab hand with a rugby ball, too.

Is that ten-to-two or quarter-past-nine?

"And where can you view your texts?" © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel gives Leroy Houston a guided tour of his complex steering wheel, as back row David Denton contemplates some R & R.

Follow the nose

The RB8 gets its nose screwed on © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

One of the film crew uses a steadicam to capture the Red Bull Racing team attaching the RB8’s nose.

Crouch, touch... engage

The RB8 locks on © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

The RB8, with a special flat nose plate, is wheeled into position. The scrum machine used in the shoot was anchored to the ground to make sure the players were protected if the car surged towards them.


#Glamour © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

This cameraman obviously picked the short straw, and had to avoid being trampled by the Bath Rugby forwards while shooting them with the steadicam.

Car aerial

Drone racing © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

The film crew’s drone hovers over the scrum, capturing amazing aerial footage of the two sides facing off.

Daniel shows off his pinpoint accuracy

Going, going... gone © Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Always game for a laugh, Daniel aimed a little punt at the drone camera as it was swooping in to take the final shot of the piece. Unfortunately, Daniel’s such an ace sportsman that his kick nailed the camera, which looked decidedly second-hand after the contact. But the Bath Rugby players enjoyed it – and Daniel offered to pay for repairs…

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