[Video] Indy 500 1993: Fittipaldi and the orange juice


Emerson Fittipaldi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Can the united States have little more than two centuries of history, but they take their traditions very seriously. And this is not unrelated to the world of motorsport. One of the most unique is the celebration of the victory in the Indianapolis 500-Mile race there with a bottle of spirituous drink, but milk. The custom began with the three-time winner Louis Meyer in 1936 and became firmly established in the folklore of the Brickyard since 1956.

In 1993, Emerson Fittipaldi broke with the usual. The two times World Champion of Formula 1 had begun a second career in America, who had already reported a victory in the 500 Miles and a championship CART in 1989. With his Penske-Chevrolet, won by dutchman Arie Luyendik and Nigel Mansell. The surprise came in the victory lane when, with the laurel crown to the neck and the cameras of live television, rejected up to three times the bottle of milk she was offered as I drank another of orange juice.

was Not by accident. Fittipaldi had crops of oranges in Brazil and quite simply, sought to promote the family business. Its action does not fell at all well: a week later, he was booed off in the career of Milwaukee. Even fifteen years later, when he returned to Indianapolis to lead the pace car, he returned to receive abuse. As pointed out by Donald Davidson, historian of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, “it was something that marked his career; he won two times the World Championship of Formula 1, twice won the 500 Miles, but what do you remember the people? That is not drank the milk in 1993”.