Let the Moët Fly!

Alain Prost, Patrick Tambay, British Grand Prix

The 1983 British Grand Prix was held at Silverstone on July 16. In qualifying the Ferrari 126C3s of René Arnoux, the only driver to break through 1:10, an average over 150 mph, and Patrick Tambay held the first two positions, followed closely by the Renault RE40 driven by Alain Prost. Prost and Tambay, who had joined Ferrari in 1982 after the death of Gilles Villeneuve, contested most of the race until the late stages when Prost began to pull away and Nelson Piquet with the Brabham BT52 took over second place.

Arnoux’s Ferrari faded in the early going to finish fifth behind Nigel Mansell’s Lotus 94T with which the future champion had charged through the field from the ninth row of the grid. But Prost, Piquet and Mansell were all on radial tires which seemed to offer a distinct advantage over the bias-ply Goodyears. Here is a classic podium celebration with Prost at center stage as Tambay reaches for his magnum from an already champagne-covered Moët representative. Piquet (with Parmalat on the back of his driving suit) is already at work in the other direction.

In 2000 Moët & Chandon stepped back after 50 years as the long time F1 champagne sponsor leaving that role to G.H.Mumm which is part of Pernod Ricard. But in 2016 Moët Hennessy is once again back on the F1 podium through Chandon, its California sparkling wine subsidiary. Champagne spraying from the victory podium commenced with Jo Siffert at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing fourth with a Porsche, which Dan Gurney emulated with abandon after winning the next year thereby making it a winner’s tradition.

Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com




One comment

  1. Jim Sitz · · Reply

    Remember too well the introduction of Turbo engine
    Renault at British Grand Prix in 1977,

    Lotus chief Colin Chapman proclaimed to press that
    such a design would never succeed since 1500cc turbo
    too much of handicap compared to 3 liters non-blown.!

    Jim Sitz


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