How Cybex are supporting the Williams F1 drivers, support team and 700+ UK-based staff
In March 2016, Cybex was named as the Official Fitness Equipment Supplier to Williams Racing, the globally renowned 16-time FIA World Championship winning Formula One team.
The exclusive five-year partnership was announced at the opening of the new Williams Cybex Gym, a 330m² training facility onsite at the team’s headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire.
Home to an extensive range of premium cardiovascular and strength training equipment from Cybex, the new gym will be used by Williams’ 700 staff, including the team’s pitstop crew and drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas when onsite at the team’s headquarters.
First-time gym goers to elite athletes
Cybex were tasked with delivering a facility that catered for everyone; from Williams’ office staff for whom this would be their first experience in a gym, to elite level athletes where physical conditioning levels are tantamount to their success on the track.
“It’s an unusual brief to cover first time gym users, to pitstop crews to F1 drivers so the equipment was carefully selected to not only provide a state-of-the art training facility that is accessible to Williams’ growing team at Grove, but to also maximise the portfolio of equipment where athlete conditioning is of paramount importance,” explained Rob Thurston, Cybex UK sales director.
The gym comprises equipment from Cybex’s 700 cardio series and the new SPARC, Cybex’s self-powered resisted cardio machine designed for HIIT and circuit-based workouts. The gym also includes equipment from the Eagle NX and Prestige VRS selectorised strength lines, Bravo Functional Trainer, Big Iron lifting platform and a range of plate loaded and free weights equipment. Also installed was a functional training rig, group exercise bikes and a range of functional training equipment in the gym’s studio.
Ready to race
Physical conditioning forms a significant part of any Formula One driver’s race preparation, the outcome of which could mean the difference between success and failure on the circuit.
Today’s drivers are highly-conditioned athletes, who can experience forces of up to 5G under heavy breaking; burn up to 1400 calories and lose up to 5% of their bodyweight in water in just one race.
And it’s not just the drivers for whom peak physical fitness is essential; races are often won and lost on the success and speed of a pitstop turnaround. For Williams, they have a reputation to uphold, having achieved the fastest overall pitstop times on numerous occasions during the 2016 Formula One season so far.
“Pitstops in modern day Formula One are complex and require the mechanics to be in peak physical condition,” explained Claire Williams, deputy team principal and commercial director of Williams Racing. “Our team members have thorough training regimes and the Williams Cybex Gym will be the focal point of their fitness work going forwards when away from the track.”
The team behind the team
Williams’ Oxfordshire-based headquarters is in operation 24/7; more than 700 employees and contractors work around the clock to deliver car performance of the highest level and consequently, the health and wellbeing of its staff is paramount to the team’s performance on the track, as Nicola Salter, Group HR director at Williams Racing, confirms: “At Williams we encourage a fit and healthy workforce and we truly believe that human performance is an important aspect to delivering world class engineering; having the Williams Cybex gym onsite means that our staff can focus both on their work and their health and wellbeing and we’re very proud to be able to offer this fantastic facility.”
Shared brand values
For both Cybex and Williams, the partnership goes way beyond that of a traditional supplier-customer relationship: “With performance, results and innovation being key values of both brands, it makes Cybex and Williams a natural fit,” confirms Williams.
This belief is also echoed by Cybex, as Thurston concludes: “The team and the business that has been built around producing racing cars to the highest performance standards is centred around innovation, excellence, precision and world class engineering and we are proud to partner with Williams and proud to work with an organisation that shares so many of our values.”