PODIUM CHAMPAGNE A NEARLY 50-YEAR-OLD TRADITION
Every good celebration deserves a bottle of bubbly, whether you’re toasting the new year or spraying it on the crowd after a race win.
In motorsports, spraying champagne is a tradition that goes back almost 50 years and is carried on at race tracks around the world, including Circuit of The Americas.
According to legend, Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio was first given a bottle of champagne in 1950 after winning the French Grand Prix. This tradition quietly lived on until the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, when the cork in class winner Jo Siffert’s bottle accidentally popped out, spraying the crowd below.
The following year, American Dan Gurney reproduced the bubbly shower by shaking his victory bottle at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, setting off the now-famous tradition.
G.H. Mumm & Cie is the official champagne of Formula One, while Freixenet is the official cava, or Spanish sparkling wine, of MotoGP. The FIA World Endurance Championship uses Pommery for its podium celebrations.
The bottles you see on the podium are called jeroboams and hold three liters of champagne, the equivalent of four 750ml bottles or 24 glasses.
Mumm’s champagne is aged in cellars for three years before being shipped to circuits around the world. Grapes for the champagne sprayed at the 2014 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX were harvested in 2010.
Photos: Keith Rizzo; LAT Photographic