Have you ever seen Formula 1 drivers take to the podium and waste a perfectly drinkable bottle of bubbly? Not only is it better than perfectly drinkable quality, but it also looks larger than life. That’s because they are, and are produced especially for the occasion.
The bubbly used on F1 podiums was changed in the 2021 season to Ferrari Trentodoc sparkling wine and is no longer champagne. The Jeroboam (approximately 104 ounces/3 litres) of sparkling wine will be given to Formula 1 victors for the next three years in an agreement starting in 2021.
For the first time in Formula 1 history, a bottle of sparkling wine is being used instead of champagne, and it’s a big deal. We’ve got all the details, as well as information on whether you can get a bottle and what links Champagne has with the Formula 1 industry in general.
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What size champagne bottles do they use in F1?
Traditionally, a magnum bottle (1.5 litres / approximately 50 oz) of Moet & Chandon champagne has been presented to the Formula 1 drivers as they take to the podium, enjoying their victory! With this year’s sponsorship change by Ferrari, a nod is being given to the sport’s Italian heritage and the producer’s shared values of passion, innovation and the pursuit of excellence.
Ferrari Trento is not only an award-winning sparkling wine producer but, like Formula 1, has its roots in Italy, crafting its luxury wines for over a century to become a leader in its field. The bottle used on the F1 podium is a special three-litre bottle of Trentodoc Blanc de Blanc made from Chardonnay grapes.
The 2015 vintage is available for public purchase in a limited edition bottle, an exact replica of those used on the podium, with Ferrari branding written in large letters on the side of the bottle.
The history of Formula 1 and champagne
While champagne is often bestowed at ceremonies in different sports, the bubbly drink has a special history with Formula Dating back to the 1950s. The Formula 1 race in France used to take place at the Gueux circuit in Reims, the epicentre of champagne production. Racing in the verdant vineyards of this region, it was an obvious choice to present the winner with a bottle of the region’s finest champagne.
For the first time this year, the champagne tradition has been replaced by sparkling wine. While you might get the impression that the bubbly stuff that podium drivers spray after a race is just an afterthought, it’s not at all.
The wine business generates a lot of money, and the multi-award-winning Ferrari brand will now have a new stage from which to showcase its sparkling wine, introducing it to new audiences around the world. Given that fans are becoming so familiar with race sponsorship brands, this is an unusual route into race sponsorship and the brand advertising that goes with it.
Branding is not only used on the podium, but also in the hospitality areas of the circuits and in the host city’s bars, restaurants and hotels throughout the race weekend. With the increased exposure, a deal like this with Formula 1 is an incredible marketing opportunity for champagne or sparkling wine house.
What size bottles does the champagne come in?
Champagne bottles come in many different sizes, and the F1 podium has seen a number of them, some of which have become more traditional and used for longer than others. But what are the different sized bottles you get and what are they called?
- Classic bottle – 75 cl
- Magnum – 1.5 litres
- Jeroboam – 3 litres
- Roboam – 4.5 litres
- Mathusalem – 6 litres
- Salmanazar – 9 litres
- Balthazar – 12 litres
There are bottles that increase in size up to thirty litres in capacity, known as Melchisedec or Midas, although these are rare and not usually available on the commercial market. The Nebuchadnezzar is the largest commercially available bottle and holds a whopping fifteen litres, enough to fill 120 champagne flutes!
Why do Formula 1 drivers spray the champagne?
Fast forward a decade, and like most traditions, this one of spraying the crowd with champagne first happened by accident. Jo Siffert won Le Mans in 1966, a 24-hour race, and the bottle of champagne he was presented with had been exposed to the sun, causing pressure to build up and release when the crowd was accidentally sprayed with champagne.
The following year, Le Mans was won by Dan Gurney, who deliberately copied Siffert’s move the previous year, spraying the crowd. It was from here that the tradition was born. While the original bottle was an uncorked magnum from Moet and Chandon, it changed to a Cordon Rouge Jeroboam from GH Mumm in 2000, with subsequent changes (Chandon and Carbon).
Is Ferrari sparkling wine linked to the Ferrari car brand?
Very often a name that many associates with Formula 1 anyway, the surname Ferrari is not uncommon in Italy. However, the sparkling wine company that was launched in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari is not related to the Ferrari car brand through family channels. The winery passed into the hands of the Lunelli family in the middle of the century.
While there is no association between the winery and the car manufacturer, both are proud companies that strive for excellence and are firmly rooted in the Italian tradition. With the three-year contract that sees Ferrari’s sparkling wine takes to the podium, both brands can only be linked through their association with the sport.
The bottles of sparkling wine used on the F1 podium have grown in size over the years since the tradition began in the mid-1960s. The Jeroboam contains enough liquid to really create fizz and keep the celebration of the fuming going a little longer, leaving drivers a sip at the end too. Limited edition bottles are available for purchase if you also want to celebrate like a winner.