Things to wonder about: Why do F1 drivers spray precious wine onto a crowd?


Wine is expensive so you can only imagine how much champagne costs. Yet, the F1 drivers can afford to get a tall bottle of G.H Mumm and spray it on a crowd after a win. Really, is this not just a waste of precious wine? You would think that they are pouring the G.H. Mumm because it is pathetic a wine that could double up as paint stripper. Well, this cannot be farther from the truth because this is actually one of the best drinks that you will find anywhere on this planet. This is a celebratory move that was initially left for racecar sports but now it is being adopted in several sports.

Where did it all start?

It is not uncommon to see this wine spraying activity during the Monaco F1 Circuit. However, it all started back in the 1950s. This is when the Gueux circuit in Reims got to host the first ever French Grand Prix. There is no one who goes to the vineyard-packed Champagne region and leaves without a bottle or two of wine- even if you are a racecar driver. Therefore, the winner of the event was presented with a bottle of fine champagne for his victory.

From then F1 drivers have always been presented with champagne after the race is over. It does not matter whether it is held in France or not, you will always get champagne after you have won the race. The same is the case with the Safari rallies that are held in Africa. So if you do not want to buy champagne at its expensive price you can opt to become a racecar driver.

Anyway back to the issue at hand, you will argue that spraying wine and getting wine as a gift are two different activities. Well, you are right and that brings us to 1966 when Jo Siffert accidentally sprayed the crowd with champagne. It always starts out as an accident before it becomes a trend. The bottle had been sitting in the sun for too long thus the pressure built up inside the magnum. Dan Gurney, the gesture the following year when he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Just like that a tradition was born. If you thought it has some very deep meaning then you are mistaken.

What is the bottle used?

Initially it was a magnum of Moet & Chandon. Today, the F1 winners use a Jeroboam. This of course doubles the amount of champagne significantly allowing the driver to soak the crowd in fine wine. Also the champagne house changed at the dawn of the new millennium. All F1 race podiums are supplied with copious amount of the GH Mumm Cordon Rogue. Documentaries have been created to tell stories of the making of this champagne. It definitely is a costly wine and a really good way to celebrate a victory.

There are of course many other brands that are in this caliber but more affordable. This GH Mumm has become quite expensive due to the popularity it has been given by Formula 1. Still it deserves this popularity.

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