THE AMPUTEE racing driver Billy Monger celebrated finishing third in yesterday’s final British Formula 3 race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit by drinking champagne from his prosthetic leg during the podium ceremony.
After starting third Monger, 19, took the lead on lap one but dropped back during the race to clinch a comfortable third place at the chequered flag, and so joined winner Linus Lundqvist and second-placed Tom Gamble on the podium.
The Surrey driver, who is back racing after losing his legs in an horrendous accident while racing in British F4 last April, then removed one of his artificial limbs, filled it with champagne and took a swig.
He later said the “leggy” was inspired by F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, who has a tradition of drinking champagne from a racing boot in a move called the “shoey”, adding that drinking from a prosthetic limb was a trick he said he learnt from a friend in the armed forces.
Monger said: “There’s a good friend of mine in the military who has been teaching me a few tricks, and drinking champagne out of a leg is one of them!
“I thought, I haven’t been on the podium for so long that I needed to remind the boys that this is what it’s all about, and I hope the boys in blue [at team Carlin] enjoyed it. And they might have to drink out of my leg later on too!”
— billywhizz (@BillyMonger) July 22, 2018
Monger also said he was happy for the team but a little disappointed not to havetaken victory, after such a strong start.
“I’d have liked to have won, especially after being in the lead on lap one. I had a good start, I got the tow up the hill and pulled up the inside of Tom and made the most of it.
“But then after that, not having the tow made us a sitting duck and I think if I’d just had that little bit more straight line speed to keep them off me on the Kemmel straight I really do think I could have held on through the infield for the win.”
Billy Monger’s Spa podium is the latest in a number of impressive performances from the double amputee so far in 2018. As well as now having two F3 podiums and an F1 car test drive to his name, Monger managed to set the eighth-fastest time in the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed‘s Timed Shootout competition.
Credit: Carlin Racing via Storyful