The legendary Grappa-based Pole by Coulthard

The legendary Grappa-based Pole by Coulthard

David Coulthard, the famous Scottish Formula 1 driver, revealed the secret behind his pole position at the 1995 Italian Grand Prix during a podcast in October 2023.

Before the qualifiers, Gerhard Berger and Niki Lauda led him to believe that it was a tradition to drink a small glass of Grappa at the Italian Grand Prix. Coulthard, young and naive at the time, agreed.
"They brought three small glasses that looked like they were full of Grappa, but I believe the other two had water in them. Half an hour before the qualifiers, I drank it, and then... I got the pole!"

Despite the sensational qualifying result, which saw Coulthard's Williams half a second ahead of Michael Schumacher's Benetton, the race the following day wasn't as successful: Coulthard's car ended up in the sand at the Ascari Curve, compromising the GP.

Had he forgotten to drink another glass of Grappa?


Poli Distillerie and
Poli Grappa Museum


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