The world of motorsport is in turmoil, following the decision to switch sponsorship of the winner’s traditional champagne to an Italian sparkling wine.
‘This is an absolute joke,’ said veteran French driver, Alain Lost. ‘There is no way that I, as a driver for Mercedes, can accept being given a bottle of Ferrari Trentodoc to celebrate.
‘Partly because it sounds like it has been produced by a rival constructor.
‘But mostly because it is Italian.’
Terroir of celebration
Champagne’s governing body, the Bureau de Bulles de Champagne (BBC) said it was ‘disappointed’ by the switch away from Champagne.
‘Champagne has stringent production methods and unrivalled terroir, and these cannot be replicated,’ said President Pierre Sur-Lattes.
‘I am afraid that this cut price substitute will never bring the elegance that we do to being aimlessly spaffed around by grown men giggling like schoolgirls.’
The costs of mounting the Grand Prix are also expected to rise, with dozens of WSET-trained Safety Marshals now required to point out to spectators that the winner’s drink is ‘Italian sparkling, not Champagne.’
‘There was a nasty pile-up at Melbourne back in the 1970s when the crowd and the sponsors collided head on over Australian Chablis,’ said a spokesman. ‘We don’t want to go back to those days.’
The association of alcoholic celebration with high speed driving has long been controversial, and F1’s governing body must work within strict guidelines to ensure that any irresponsible drink-driving message is balanced with an equivalent amount of cash.
Critics have suggested that appointing a drinks brand called Ferrari as a partner raised the sport’s irony levels to dangerous levels. But F1’s Ernie Becclestone told Fake Booze that the sparkler was still well within global motorsport’s parameters for both sarcasm and hypocrisy.
‘The drivers have nothing to fear – the wine is perfectly safe,’ he said.
‘As long as they don’t actually try to drink it.’