Champagne silence on sparkling Monaco podium

Fri May 27, 2016 10:21am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - Formula One, fast cars and fizz make an alluring combination at the Monaco Grand Prix but the drawn-out shout of 'Champaaaagne' will be absent when the corks pop on the podium after this year's race.

Drivers will still be spraying bubbly over themselves and anyone else in range, but the podium announcer's wording has had to undergo a subtle change because another sparkling wine, not produced in the Champagne, region is now being used.

Wine can only be called 'champagne' if it is harvested and produced in the eastern French region.

The cry now is a call for 'celebration' -- a formula used at grands prix in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain were non-alcoholic rosewater is sprayed.

Mumm, the Pernod Ricard-owned house from France's Champagne region, ended a 15-year partnership with Formula One last year and has taken its distinctive red-ribboned jereboams to the Formula E electric series instead.

Chandon, a Moet Hennessy-owned sparkling wine that sponsors McLaren and has vineyards in Argentina, the United States, Brazil, Australia, India and China, has stepped in as replacements without fanfare.

"I've known the people (at Moet Hennessy) for many, many years," Formula One's 85-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters, confirming Chandon would be used all season.

"I think they get a lot more coverage with what they do at a race than on a car, actually. It’s very visible, that’s the important thing."   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany sprays champagne after getting the second place in the Monaco F1 Grand Prix May 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Max Rossi