What Rugby Could Learn From F1

July 17, 2017

Another epic weekend at Silverstone once again featured a flawless performance from Lewis Hamilton; an absolute ace in the cockpit of his Silver Arrows Mercedes and arguably the best driver of his generation. Win number five for LH at his home Grand Prix. 

However, what Hamilton constantly does at the end of a race (whether it’s genuine or prompted we’ll never know) is thank the whole team for their arduous and never-ending work - and we shouldn't forget that there's a hell of a lot of work thsat goes into the performance before Hamilton, or any driver, gets into the car. It may seem a little clichéd for one many to continuously thank his whole team, however the work that goes into F1 cars is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Their focus on multi-data analysis, for the end goal of achieving a lap that is just a few hundredths quicker than their rivals would seem mad to the average eye, or mind. Yet, to them it's the norm; they simply must extract every minor piece of information in order to produce the best results. 

England head coach, Eddie Jones (Picture Right: Image from F1.com), was present at the British Grand Prix this weekend, however unlike most of the big names there, he didn’t attend simply for pleasure; he was on an educational mission, trying to decipher the intricacies of the F1 set up, in order to pull from it what he could to help his England rugby team.

He acknowledged that no teams within any sport go to the lengths that those in F1 do in terms of analysis. Jones hinted that he’d already taken 4 or 5 concepts that could be used back at the training ground, and with him somewhat of a revolutionary when it comes to coaching techniques, I wouldn't be surprised if he adapted some of what he saw in the drivers paddock, and brought it to the rugby field. 

Is he one step ahead of the game (it wouldn’t be the first time) in thinking that rugby teams could majorly benefits from F1 styled meticulous analysis?

The F1 technicians look into everything from tyre degredation, break temperature, maximum and minimum speed for each individual corner and straight - it's a ridiculously detailed appraoch but a necessary one. Should rugby seek to employ such incessant testing in order to gain extra yards and tactical advantages, or would it simply be redundant due to rugby being solely about humans and not reliant on machines?

It’s an interesting topic of debate, and we’ll never really know unless clubs start trying it (maybe they are already) but it seems Jones benefitted from his lesson at the British grand Prix and I look forward to see if England reap the rewards. 


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