The History of Champagne and Formula 1 Racing

These racers pop bottles.

Green Formula 1 racing cars zoom past the camera.

Wine and cars usually don’t mix. But Champagne and Formula 1 racing? Well, that’s a match made in heaven. The high-speed sport and bubbly have a decades-long history that gets richer with every race.

F1 is a thrilling, high-octane motorsport that captivates audiences around the world, and its popularity in the US has been booming throughout the past five years. In this pinnacle of motor racing, teams compete in a series of Grand Prix events held in different countries around the world, each race demanding a unique blend of skill, strategy, and nerve. The cars, engineered to the highest precision, can reach up to 250 mph, accelerating and braking with incredible G-forces. Once it’s all over, the winners celebrate hard. 

Similar to the NFL’s Gatorade bath, F1 racers indulge in a Champagne shower after every race. Yes, the sweet taste of victory is, in fact, Champagne. 

This winner’s ritual has solidified bubbly as an essential piece to Formula 1 culture. The Champagne Showers are the centerpiece of F1 celebrations– spraying bubbly on the winner’s podium is a trophy in itself.

But many bubble monsters might be wondering: what kind of Champagne are F1 racers actually spraying? And how did this boozy tradition even start? We’re covering all that and more in the history of Champagne and Formula 1 racing. So get ready, set your marks, and let’s go!

Creating the F1 Champagne Shower Tradition

The first bottle of Champagne to reach the podium was at the 1950 France Grand Prix. The track was surrounded by vineyards (how picturesque!) and Arguintinian driver, Juan Manuel Fangio was gifted a bottle of Moët and Chandon for his win. This was one of the first instances of a sports victory celebrated with Champagne.  

But the iconic connection between Formula 1 and Champagne had its breakthrough moment in the 1966 Le Mans race. Swiss driver Jo Siffert started the trend when he accidentally popped the cork, which led to a fizzy Champagne shower.

The following year, American racer Dan Gurney shook and sprayed the podium bottle deliberately, and he sprayed it everywhere. The fans, the other racers, the cameras, even on the immaculately dressed Madame Ford (wife of team owner Henry Ford II). The Champagne showers know no bounds. He sprayed everything

The excitement caught on, and the rest is history. Since then, this tradition has become a hallmark of Formula 1. Other sports have caught on too– basketball, tennis, golf, European football, and nearly all motorsports take part in a celebratory Champagne shower, but F1 was the first of them all. 

F1 Podium Bubbly by the Years

As the tradition solidified, sponsorship offers rolled in. Champagne was the pinnacle of victory in motorsports, and labels wanted to claim the F1 podium. Several iconic Champagne and sparkling wine houses like Moët & Chandon, and G.H Mumm have taken the F1 podium– here is Formula 1’s Champagne sponsorship by the years. 

 The next time you want to drink like a high-performance athlete, pick up a bottle of bubbly! We have some for you to scope out now

Staff Writer


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