That leads to my second thought of Formula One's chequered past, which begins the subject of today's Opera Wednesday. Remember when it seemed every car in Formula One was sponsored by tobacco? We saw Marlboro, Gitanes, Camel, Barclay, Rothmans, Lucky Strike, Gold Leaf, John Player, Mild Seven, Gauloises, West, Benson & Hedges, among the notable brands until the mid-2000's when tobacco slowly but surely became a prohibited sponsor in the sport for safety reasons. This transitions into the winner's podiums in Formula One, where the tune that is played in the Winner's Circle as the drivers and team principal spray champagne but before the unilateral interviews begin is that of an opera featuring women who work in a tobacco plant, no less. While Formula One has banned tobacco advertising, the music played before the winner's interview at a race is that of women working in a tobacco factory!
And of course, there is an opera that celebrates women in a tobacco factory from Georges Bizet. Indeed we know the tune, and there inlies the subject of today's Opera Wednesday -- Carmen, and its established overture.