Ever since F1 started interviewing the drivers the top three drivers after the race, the podium ceremony has become a must-watch part of the weekend – especially if Daniel Ricciardo has finished in the top three.
His phone-stealing antics in Japan have already become legendary, but doesn’t always take a character like Ricciardo to make a podium hilarious. Sometimes they’re funny because something unexpected has happened, or simply because it’s just really, really awkward. Here are eight funny moments from podium ceremonies of the past.
Mark Webber capped off his F1 career by finishing second in the 2013 Brazilian GP and then completing the slow-down lap without his helmet. Once he got up to the podium he was well and truly in celebration mode, and whilst going nuts with the champagne managed to go head over heels.
At the first race of the 1991 season, Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet were feeling in a mischievous mood on the podium, and FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre ended up being the target – especially during the champagne spraying part. Then, just when you think it’s all over, Balestre comes back out and sprays Senna in what was surely the height of animosity in their fractured relationship.
The podium interviews have definitely been a good thing for F1, but there have been some pretty cringey moments, usually when they’ve got someone with no clue about the whatsoever to chat to the drivers.
Now you can’t accuse three-time world champion Nelson Piquet of not knowing anything about F1, but when he did the interviews for the Brazilian GP in 2014 he’d had quite a few drinks beforehand. Therefore when he got to Lewis Hamilton all he did was hit on his girlfriend before moving on. It’s one of the worst podium interviews we’ve has so far, but also one of the funniest.
Daniel Ricciardo brought the shoey to F1, and for a while it became the thing we all looked forward to most about seeing him on the podium. After doing it a few times though he had to come up with new ways to make it interesting, so after winning the Malaysian GP in 2016 he made everyone on the podium do it.
After taking a swig himself it was the turn of Christian Horner, Max Verstappen and a very reluctant Nico Rosberg to swig from the shoe. Mark Webber was conducting the interviews and one of the first things he did was get rid of the shoe – he’d already done a shoey done at Spa earlier in the season, and wasn’t keen on having another!
There was very little to enjoy about the six car race at Indianapolis in 2005 which saw Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello take a 1-2 finish, with Tiago Monteiro’s Jordan finishing third, almost completely by default.
The sport knew it had messed up that weekend, and the main feeling during the podium was one of embarrassment…for everyone except Monteiro, anyway. The Portuguese didn’t care how he’d achieved his unexpected podium finish and celebrated like he’d just won the championship or something.
Ever since Dan Gurney did it after winning Le Mans in 1967, spraying champagne on the podium has become a motorsports tradition. Usually the bottles have all been opened ahead of time ready for the drivers to get straight into the messy business of spraying each other, but after the 1986 Brazilian GP the drivers were mystified to find they had to open their own bottles.
Ayrton Senna was the first one to eventually get it going before Jacques Laffite managed to get his to dribble out. Then race winner Piquet finally got his to spray after fumbling with the bottle.
In the chaos that was the final laps of the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix there was plenty of confusion over what the finishing order actually was. Elio de Angelis had been told he’d finished on the podium so was sent to the royal box to celebrate alongside winner Riccardo Patrese. Shortly afterwards, however, the other actual podium finishers of Didier Pironi and Andrea de Cesaris turned up, leaving de Angelis standing there, totally out of place whilst those around him celebrated.
James Hunt took what turned out to be his final F1 victory after winning the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, but after the race he was more fussed with getting back home than he was with celebrating on the podium. Second-placed finisher Carlos Reutemann felt the same and left the track straight after the race too.
That left third-placed Patrick Depailler as the only person on the podium. Well, him and some random guy, who probably had the time of his life!