The Formula One silly season is usually coined for drivers changing teams and new deals being made. Between the 2015 and 2016 season we saw some drivers move to new teams, some new sponsors and even a whole new team. What we also saw but didn’t know until after the chequered flag in Melbourne was the official Champagne of F1 has also changed.

Sebastian Vettel with a bottle of Chandon

G.H. Mumm have been part of the Formula One podium ceremony for 15 years. We spent quite some time with them two years ago in Singapore for a Grand Prix and learned a lot about G.H. Mumm and their deep involvement in Formula One (story here). It was a huge surprise to not see them on the podium in Melbourne.

What we did see however was something never done before. Chandon, the Australian sub-brand of Moët et Chandon was on the podium. Normally there is a long announcement of “Champaaaaaagne!!!” over the PA system during the podium ceremony and large jeroboam bottles are shaken and their contents sprayed on one another. This time the announcement was still made however Chandon is not Champagne, it is sparkling wine. Champagne must come from Champagne, France. Chandon is made in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. This is the first time in history that Sparkling Wine has been on the podium. Chandon is also a sponsor of McLaren Honda so their exposure in Melbourne was phenomenal.

Ayrton Senna with Moët et ChandonThis isn’t the first time we’ve seen Moët et Chandon on the podium though, the late Ayrton Senna managed to spray bottles from Moët et Chandon many many times as did Michael Schumacher. The first-ever French Grand Prix was held at the Reims-Gueux circuit on 2nd July 1950 and the winner, Juan Manuel Fangio, was presented with a magnum of Moët & Chandon. It is good to see them return however there is much to be learned still.

The next races will be interesting. Which brand will be on the podium each race? The brands most likely would be Moët et Chandon however Moët Hennessy (the overarching brand) also owns KRUG, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon. With Bahrain being a dry country the usual “apple juice” is likely to be used but we’ll be watching with a keen eye to see what the top 3 drivers are spraying and celebrating with on the podium.