The Formula One drivers celebrate their podium finish by spraying champagne. This has been a tradition in the sport for years. It is a mark of celebration. There are three drivers and one team representative on the podium. After every Grand Prix, the winners follow this tradition. It dates back to the 1960s. This tradition of spraying champagne on the podium started by accident.
In 1966, Joseph Sifferet won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is an endurance racing event held near Le Mans, France. This endurance race is held annually and is one of the world’s most prestigious races. Joseph Siffert was racing in his Eight-Cylinder Porsche. He received his trophy along with a bottle of champagne, it had been a part of the tradition for many years already. During the podium ceremony, the champagne unexpectedly popped and sprayed everywhere.
The drivers and the crowd were soaked in champagne. Due to the temperature, the champagne bottle had become warm, and the pressure built up inside the bottle. This caused the cork to pop, and the rest is history. After this incident, the drivers did not start this tradition immediately. The champagne was sprayed deliberately for the first time in the following year. The race winners of the 1961- 24 Hours of Le Mans were the first to recreate the celebration.
Who was the first one to champagne shower on the F1 podium?
In 1969 Jackie Stewart, the former British Formula one racer, accidentally popped a hot Champagne bottle. He used his thumb to stop the spill, it only led to more showering. Though there is an image of Graham Hill spraying Champagne in 1966, it was concluded as an accident. It was not caught on television as well. Hence, Jackie Stewart was the first to spray on the Formula One podium.
It is a well-known fact that champagne is associated with celebrations and joyous occasions. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports. This calls for the best celebration. Finishing on the podium is every racing driver’s wish, secondary to winning. This is a huge achievement in the sport. It did not take long for this tradition to catch on. It has become an intrinsic part of Formula One celebration.
Do F1 drivers spray real Champagne?
Formula One used real Champagne for several years. Moet & Chandon was the first official champagne supplier to Formula One. Since 2021, Ferrari Trento has become the supplier. The drivers no longer spray the real champagne, they have switched to sparkling wine. Ferrari Trento will continue their partnership with F1 until the end of 2025.
The brand will always be promoted during the Grand Prix. There is no connection between Ferrari and Ferrari Trento. Though Formula One has not used champagne recently, it has been used for most of the sport’s history. There are certain countries ( Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia ) that do not allow the use of traditional celebratory champagne. It is due to the alcohol consumption ban. The drivers are then provided with a non-alcoholic drink for the champagne shower.
Sugantha Meena is a Motorsports writer at Firstsportz. She follows Formula One religiously. Her love for Mercedes AMG Petronas and Sir Lewis Hamilton is immense. She holds two degrees, M.A. in International Relations & B.A. in Sociology, from Stella Maris College, Chennai. Apart from Motorsports, she is interested in Football, a proud Manchester United fan. During her free time, she loves to read, cook, listen to music, watch movies and spend time with family and friends.
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