Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the final Formula One broadcast on NBC, so the NBC Sports crew signed off in unusual — and slightly nauseating — fashion.
Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett broke out the champaign for their own podium celebration at the end of the broadcast, though there weren’t any glasses in sight. Instead, as a nod to Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo, the trio opted to do a “shoey.”
Ricciardo introduced the Australian celebration to F1 in 2016 after he podiumed in his 100th Grand Prix start, and has since convinced the likes of Gerard Butler and Sir Patrick Stewart to take part. Hobbs and Matchett drank their champagne out of replicas of Ricciardo’s race boots, but given that Diffey too is an Aussie — much to NASCAR fans’ surprise — he used his own sweat-filled shoe to keep it as authentic as possible.
The on-air personalities weren’t the only people who imitated Ricciardo, either, as “F1 on NBC” statistician Sean Kelly posted a video of his “shoey” on Twitter.
F1 races are set to move from NBC to ESPN in 2018, five years after the NBC Sports Group secured the sport’s broadcasting rights.
The switch essentially forced Hobbs into retirement after more than 40 years as a commentator. And although that irks Hobbs, he claims he’s more upset that ESPN will give viewers an “inferior show.”
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