Ever wondered why Formula One drivers spray champagne on the podium after a race?
Champagne has always been associated with Formula One, being a drink of celebration it was ideal for the drivers after a race. But it wasn’t until the American Dan Gurney accidentally sprayed the bubbly during his celebrations of winning the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hour that the tradition of spraying started. Apparently, Dan couldn’t speak any French, but his engineers were below his platform looking expectant, so he emptied the prize-winning magnum all over them, including Henry Ford II. Since then, the tradition has transferred to Formula One and the top three drivers soak themselves and their teams at every grand prix.
During events that are marred with sadness, the drivers refrain from spraying the champagne as a mark of respect. Most recently, the sudden death of Edouard Michelin prompted the drivers to mark his passing with a sans-champagne podium.
The traditional choice of champagne was always Moet & Chandon, but this changed to Mumm in 2000. Mumm is exclusively served in the Formula One paddock as well as the three Jeroboam (3 litre) bottles that are emptied on the podium.
Bahrain is a mostly Islamic country, were the consumption of alcohol is not allowed. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, the drivers spray a mix of locally grown fruit – pomegranate and trinj – combined with rosewater instead.